Exercise. We all know we need to do it to be healthy, strong, and get the bodies we’ve always dreamed of.
Trouble is, if you’re motivated enough to get into the gym you’ve probably been led to believe a whole bunch of things that are NOT helping you.
Here are 5 myths you NEED to STOP BELIEVING IN TODAY:
1. Abs are made in the gym
Everyone wants a six-pack, or even just a flat tummy. How do you get it? Many people will tell you to exercise more.
The TRUTH is that while exercise is required to improve your body, the most important factor in getting a great-looking stomach (and by extension a great looking body) is DIET.
You need to be consistently eating the right amounts of the right foods or you’ve lost the battle from the start. No matter how hard you exercise if you’re filling your body with junk you’re not going to lose the fat and uncover those abs.
2. Train abs to build abs
The second most common ab myth is that to get abs you need to do tons of ab exercises.
The TRUTH is that if you want abs you must do exercises that strengthen the body as a whole, and that use the abs for their true purpose – to hold the spine erect.
Doing thousands of crunches will not work half as well as doing exercises like barbell squats, dumbell snatches, standing barbell press, bent-over rows, pushups, planks and deadlifts.
When these exercises are done with sufficient weight the abs HAVE TO work hard to keep your body in the correct posture.
3. Don’t lift heavy weights – you don’t want to get ‘HUGE’
Here’s the thing: People who get HUGE (muscular that is) are people who train with very heavy weights AND (some or all of the below):
- Take steroids,
- Eat tons of extra calories
- Have freak genetics
- Train several hours per day
YOU are certainly in NO DANGER of following in their footsteps by doing some squats, pullups and pushups.
Want to find out for sure? Take all of – or even one of – these tests:
- Do 25 pushups without taking a rest. Proper pushups. Not from your knees.
- Do 10 pullups – hands facing forward, arms straight at the bottom of every rep.
- Load a barbell with your own bodyweight in plates. Do 10 squats where your hip goes below your knee on every rep.
- Deadlift 2 times your bodyweight for one rep.
If you can’t do these challenges you are in NO DANGER of getting HUGE. These are pretty ‘entry-level’ requirements for amateur athletes – huge lifters scoff at these tests.
4. Walking is exercise
I don’t know where this idea came from.
Walking is a totally normal daily requirement. EXERCISE involves CHALLENGING the body to adapt and become stronger. These don’t sound like they fit together right?
Now, if you’re SEVERLY overweight or VERY old then walking may be enough exercise for you. But if you are someone who can be considered able-bodied and below the age of 65, you can’t walk around the block and think it’s going to help you to change your body or be healthier.
Find something challenging and do it until it’s not so challenging anymore. Then make it more challenging again. This is exercise.
5. Jogging is the best exercise to lose fat
The myth here is in the wording. Jogging for hours DOES work for fat loss. But it’s just one way to go about exercising to lose fat, and it is definitely NOT the BEST way.
If you’ve got your diet right then any challenging exercise will be effective in helping the fat to come off.
The BEST type of exercise?
Hybrid-style training where strength and cardiovascular systems are trained simultaneously. The ‘super-circuit’ is a good example of this style of exercise.
You lift some challenging weights and do some stair-climbing in alternating rounds. It’s challenging because you never really rest, it is well-rounded, and it is time-efficient.