Getting yourself into the gym can be a daunting task. Starting a fitness journey can be an intimidating endeavour, especially if you are new to it all. One thing that doesn’t help, though, is the amount of false information that gets passed around from gym to gym. Whether it’s hearing it from a friend or seeing it coming across it online, fitness myths are all around us. Even seasoned gym-addicts themselves are guilty of preaching wrong information, simply because they’ve believed it for long enough. Don’t worry, however, as we are on a mission to get you on the right track and debunk these fitness myths.
Carbs are Bad
One of the most well-known health and fitness myths that almost everyone has come across. If you have ever planned any sort of fitness diet you will have been given this advice at some point. The truth is that carbs are our bodies source of fuel that give us energy to workout. Cutting out carbs completely is a potentially dangerous choice which will be harmful if kept up over a sustained period. Not only that but your brain requires a minimum number of carbs to function properly. If you are trying to grow muscle, you will need carbs in your macro plan. A more sensible piece of advice would be to limit your carbohydrate intake if you are on a weight loss program.
Squats are Bad for You
Quite the opposite, in fact. If squats are performed correctly and with the right technique, they can be one of the best exercises that produce results. They work a tonne of muscle groups from your quads, hamstrings to your calves. When squats are performed with the right form, they can actually be a significant deterrent to knee injuries. In the early 90’s the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) published research that stated squats were useful in strengthening the knee, not detrimental to joint stability and any damage sustained would be down to improper technique or pre-existing conditions.
Abs are Made in the Gym
This myth is partly true but is often misinterpreted. To achieve any distinct abdomen muscle, exercise will be required. The myth points to the advice that if you do 500 crunches a day without altering your diet, you will have a washboard stomach with brilliantly formed abs. Anyone who has ever committed to focusing on the ab region will tell you the real truth. Abs are made in the kitchen. Abs are all about body fat and the more you reduce your body fat percentage, the leaner your abs will appear. Losing fat will make them more distinguished and noticeable. This means that if you stick to the 500 crunches a day routine without changing your diet, your abs will remain trapped under layers of body fat.
Intake your Protein an Hour after you Workout
Protein as part of your diet is essential for muscle growth. The timing of when you should take this protein is a bodybuilding myth that has lasted for generations. The Anabolic window is a term which refers to a period of time after your workout when your body is primed to accept protein and be optimal for muscle mass growth. Taking protein at this time will do you no harm. It is not, however, a necessity. A recent study carried out by the Journal of International Society for Sports Nutrition concluded that it is indeed a myth. Their results found when it comes to building lean muscle mass, the timing of protein intake was not a factor.
Weight Training will make Women Bulky
The biggest piece of misinformation when it comes to females training in the gym is our final myth. This is that if women use weights of any degree of heaviness, they will become manly looking and bulky. Lifting weights of any kind trains your muscles and makes them stronger. This doesn’t necessarily mean bigger. To achieve a look that is often referred to as ‘toned’, using weights will be beneficial and produce denser muscles. Combine this with a healthy diet and you will be on the right track to achieving your fitness goals.