Getting fit is hard enough as it is without the amount of misinformation out there. The fitness world is full of old wives tales, myths, and legends that only help in halting your progress and getting you frustrated.
Some of these are well known such as doing 1000 crunches a day to get abs and that weightlifting stunts your growth. Others are a little less well known like squats are the worst exercise for your legs or you shouldn’t ever overhead press because your shoulders will detach from your body.
Well, after today you should feel a little more comfortable in your fitness knowledge as we dispell some myths that could be getting in your way towards a better, stronger you.
1. Almost Anything About Crunches
Most likely everything you know about crunches is wrong about from that they work your abs. Are they the best ab exercise? No. Is the only way to get a six pack by doing hundreds upon hundreds of reps? Not at all. Will they give you a six pack if you’re still a little tubby? Sorry, but no.
Crunches are useful but they’re not the be all and end all when it comes to core training. If you want a six pack then the best thing you can do is lose fat and get in the gym. We all have abs and it’s only the layer of fat covering them that stops them from showing. If you’re in the gym doing large, compound movements then your abs will be engaged. Once you can see them is the time you can think about shaping them with different exercises. First, you need to just let them show and a good workout routine coupled with a healthy diet will do that.
Some of the best exercises for your abs are:
- Hanging leg raises
- Ab wheel roll outs
- Hollow body holds
2. You Need To Do Cardio
Yes, cardio burns a lot of calories and is a great way of improving your aerobic fitness. Yet, you don’t have to do it. Cardio does have it’s time and place but it’s not necessary for losing fat. All you need to do to lose fat is to expend more calories than you’re taking in and you can do that in a variety of ways that don’t involve you slogging it out on a treadmill. Weight training can really get you working and there’s also HIIT (high-intensity interval training) which will let you blast fat in a much shorter time than you normally would with LISS (low-intensity steady state).
Also, it’s important to note that running isn’t the only form of cardio you can do. Cycling and rowing are both good options whilst swimming will work your entire body.
3. You Can’t Have Fun If You’re On A Diet
Nobody likes cutting and trying to lose fat but also nobody likes their friend doing it because they seem to become suddenly secluded. You don’t need to hide away and keep yourself from fun events just because you want to lose your love handles. Losing fat doesn’t mean not eating out, never seeing your friends and only leaving the house for the gym. All it means is a little more moderation and being slightly stricter with yourself.
If you know that you’re going to go to an event with less than optimal food then plan it into your diet. Eat a little less during the day and then when you get there, make sure to have everything you want but don’t go wild. Nobody likes the person who turns up to a party and can’t drink because they’re on a diet so don’t be that person. All you need to be is sensible and that takes a little planning.
4. Only Using Supplements If You’re Bulking
Supplements are great for getting in anything that you may not be able to in your diet. A lot of people struggle to eat enough protein so protein shakes come in handy. Though, supplements don’t need to be used only if you’re trying to build muscle.
Protein is extremely satiating so fitting in a protein shake when you’re hungry can stop you from overeating on something else. It kind of works as a milkshake that will help you with fat loss. Not only this but because you’re on lower calories then your recovery will take a hit. This extra protein will help you speed up recovery. The same can all be said for BCAAs (branch chain amino acids).
Another important supplement is creatine. Creatine helps with ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. ATP is the molecule we create when we need short bursts of energy. Jumping, sprinting and heavy weight for low reps will all use ATP. However, creatine has also been shown to improve cognitive performance and mental alertness. So, not only will you be able to work harder in the gym but also at work.
These 4 myths have hindered the progress of many bodybuilders and lifters. Break through the mistruth and become smarter and stronger.