Mar 17, 2022 10 min read
9 Common Workout myths debunked
Ranging from the inane to the slightly more plausible, these fitness-related myths have been adopted as fact by many of the ignorant gym-ilk, who then take it upon themselves to propagate the foolishness - while also trying to make themselves look smart.
Here are some of the most pervasive bro-science myths that should be banned from the training floor. So the next time someone approaches you with one of these terrible ideas, you can just smile and say “bro….I got this!”.
1. Workout for at least 30 min to make a difference.
Debunked: Anything you do, for any period of time, will give you some benefit, You can accrue the same health benefits with three 10-minute bouts of aerobic exercise as during a single 30-minute one. If you're trying to lose weight, though, obviously the more you do, the faster you'll succeed. Running short on time? Ramp up the intensity (Hight Intensity Interval Training, HIITs) to maintain your fitness level and your habit.
2. Yoga is for flexibility.
Debunked: Being good at yoga is about achieving balance, calmness, stability and mental clarity—not about being flexible. The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj, meaning “to yoke,” or “to unite”. The practice aims to create union between body, mind and spirit, as well as between the individual self and universal consciousness
3. Stretch before exercise to prevent injuries and enhance performance.
Debunked: Researchers haven't yet shown conclusively that pre-workout stretching decreases injury risk or improves performance. Limbering up can make tasks such as bending, reaching, twisting and lifting easier, however, says Michael Bracko, Ed.D., a sports physiologist in Calgary, Alberta. The amount of flexibility you need is job-, sport- and exercise-related, he says. Be sure to save your stretching for post-exercise, when muscles are warm.
4. Warm-up/ Cool-down, is not a requirement.
Debunked: The safest and a great mode of injury prevention is a good warm-up and cooldown that involve a milder version of your workout, such as walking before and after you jog.
A warm-up prepares your muscles and joints to work—cold muscles are more susceptible to injury—and a cool down gradually lowers heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure.
Curbing the latter could lead to dizziness and even cardiovascular complications.
5. Get 8-12 reps per set.
Debunked: Whoever branded this eight-to-12 edict was way off base. Hypertrophy can occur with a variety of different weights and rep ranges, as long as you implement progressive overload (like putting the muscles beyond what they are used to and adding more weight as you get stronger).
It was found that if the total training volume was the same, the muscle gains were also the same.
Several recent studies compared the powerlifting style of resistance training (heavy load, low reps, lots of rest between sets) with the traditional bodybuilding-style training (moderate load, moderate reps, less rest between sets) and found that if the total training volume was the same, the muscle gains were also the same.
6. Get a protein shake within 45 min post-workout.
Debunked: Amino-acid availability does influence post-exercise protein synthesis, but whether this actually influences long-term muscle growth remains to be seen.
It takes time for food to be digested, absorbed and used, so some of the protein you ate at lunch may still be circulating in your bloodstream at dinnertime. Immediate post-workout feeding is probably important if you did a fasted workout, but if you ate some carbs and protein beforehand or if you train later in the day after having eaten several meals, you’re going to be OK.
7. Lift heavy to bulk and lifting light to get lean.
Debunked: Lifting heavy doesn’t necessarily guarantee muscle growth or bulk, since much of the physiological adaptations that make you stronger occur in your central nervous system rather than in your muscles.
Training with higher rep ranges may improve your endurance and increase your resistance to fatigue, but it won’t make
your muscles bigger and they certainly won’t get any leaner; there is still no such thing as subcutaneous fat reduction (or, spot reduction). So, while it won’t bulk you up to bodybuilder size, lifting heavy increases muscle recruitment, improves bone mass, boosts performance and enhances core stability.
8. Do cardio to burn more calories/lose weight.
Debunked: The benefits of cardio include improving heart and metabolic health, boosting endurance, lifting mood and of course burning calories, but cardio also increases blood flow to the brain, helping you focus, and impact cardio like running and jumping improves bone density. Doing cardio at varying intensities provides different benefits. It can no doubt be overdone, but people tend to term it as “more cardio = more weight lose”.
9. If you’re seeing gains/ improvement, there’s no reason to change your routine.
Debunked: Even if you are following the principle of progressive overload by systematically increasing your weights, you may be losing out by doing the same exercises, sets and reps that you’ve been doing for the last year (or more!).
Your body is efficient and is always looking for ways to conserve energy. It will adapt to the stresses placed on it in short shrift and suddenly your gains have come to a halt.
Systematically change your routine by switching up the sets, reps, resistance, intensity, frequency, time under tension, rest between sets and even types of exercises to keep your body guessing and progressing.
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