Fitness Myths: 6 Tips to Separate Fact from Fiction

fitness myths separating fact from fiction

There are many myths that float around the fitness industry. While some myths can be harmless, others can actually hinder your progress and prevent you from setting off in the right direction from the very start.

To help make sure that you have all the best knowledge and information to hit your goals, here are some of the most common fitness myths that you may have heard, and some facts to set the record straight.

Avoid Believing These Common Fitness Myths and Get the Facts

Myth 1: Sit Ups/Crunches = Abs

A common misconception is that to get ripped abs, you need to do hundreds of crunches and sit-ups every day. This exercise only targets your abdominal muscles, and to get abs, you need to target more than just that muscle group and watch your caloric intake.

While this doesn’t mean that you should banish crunches from your training regime, just bear in mind that there are other really great exercises that may be even more beneficial in helping you sculpt and tone your core.

Other exercises such as leg raises, hanging leg raises, and different type of crunches such as decline crunches, air bike and oblique crunches are great ways to get those abs. Try a variety of exercises to target muscles in your front, side and back. Take a look at an exercise library, such as with Jefit workout app, that will give you some better ideas on what you can do instead.

Myth 2: The More You Train, The Better

Another myth that athletes and gym goers believe is that you don’t need rest days; the more you train, the faster you will generate results.

However, this fitness myth can have the opposite effect. Not incorporating enough rest days into your routine can lead to your body’s inability to recover properly in time for your next session. In fact, you will be doing yourself more harm than good.

Make sure you use a workout log to schedule in rest days so you do not skip them. By putting them into your regime, you will be more inclined to follow it.

Myth 3: Gym is a Solitary Activity

Many people believe that working out at the gym is a mostly solitary activity. You head in, put on your headphones, and do your workout and leave.

While it may be difficult to find other gym goers that can go to the gym at the same time as you, an alternative is to take advantage of the digital era and find an online community. There are many supportive people online in which you can turn to for encouragement, advice and even just to chat too. 

Myth 4: If You’re Not Sore, You Didn’t Work Hard Enough

Some gym goers take the sign that if you are sore then you had a great workout, but if not, then you didn’t work hard enough. Some may think that it is an indication that your muscles are growing. However, this one of those fitness myths that is not necessarily true.

Seasoned gym goers may not have felt sore the next day but it doesn’t mean that they didn’t do enough to get results. Especially if you have been training 5-6 weeks a day, your body would have been conditioned to your training so you probably won’t feel as sore as someone who is new to it.

It doesn’t mean you are working any less harder.

However, if you do wake up sore, try to use a foam roller to massage and loosen your muscles. Also, remember to stretch before and after your workout to minimize the chance of soreness.

Myth 5: Your Gym Workout Need to Be Long

Another one of those misleading fitness myths is that in order for your gym session to be effective, it needs to be long. For those who hate long, laborious gym sessions, this is great news.

Shorter, intense workouts may be more effective than longer workouts with less exertion or LISS (Low Intensity Steady State cardio). This is particularly useful for the on-the-go, busy lifestyle that most of us lead now.

This is why HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is becoming more and more popular by the day. As workouts are shorter, people tend to work out harder as opposed to reserving energy because they know they have a long session ahead.

However, this doesn’t mean to say that long 45-minute to one hour sessions are useless. It depends on your personal preference and whatever you can stick to consistently.

Myth 6: The Scale is the Best Way to Track Your Progress

People mostly step on their scale to track their progress. However, this method may give you incorrect information.

While it will show you your weight mass, it doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle mass. This means that even if you are losing fat and gaining muscle, the number on the scale may not change. In fact, it may even increase.

It can be really dangerous and disheartening only using the scale number to track your results. There are other, more accurate ways to do so such as with tape measurements and progress pictures.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be hitting your fitness goals in no time at all.

fitness myths separating fact from fiction

Want Abs? Decrease Your Added Sugar

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There is nothing more upsetting than not getting results after dedicating yourself to dieting and exercise over the course of a few months! You pushed the weights regularly, did cardio and improved your diet, but in the end, there was still that unwanted layer of body fat covering your abs. It may have been because you did not focus enough on controlling one very important item…added sugar.

Are Doing Sit-ups Enough?

The answer to that question is NO. A study done in 1984 at the University of Massachusetts looked at various fitness outcomes of subjects who performed 5,000 sit-ups over the course of a month. Performing hundreds of sit-ups on a daily basis wasn’t enough to lose abdominal fat. The subjects, a group of college students, had body measurements taken as well as a painful muscle biopsy procedure. The subjects body fat didn’t change and not even an inch was lost around the abdominal area by the end of the study. In the end, they had much stronger abs but their body fat and girth remained unchanged.

Many factors can influence the way you look and feel on a daily basis as well as over the course of your lifetime. A healthy, sustainable lifestyle also plays a huge part in how lean you ultimately get. You have probably heard that genetics are also important. True. Don’t forget about physical activity (in and out of the gym), this plays a significant role too. The missing “ingredient” in most exercise plans though is cutting back and monitoring added sugar.

What is Your DASI? Daily Added Sugar Intake

The term, DASI, is an acronym that I coined and stands for daily added sugar intake. It’s an important component of any nutrition program and it’s a game changer for those looking to get ripped. For the majority of people, getting a lean, ripped mid-section will be a lifelong challenge. Some never seem to realize that how they fuel their body in turn effects their midsection and abdominal area. This goes well beyond doing a daily plank challenge. Learn from the story of the UMass college students.

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Follow These 3-Steps to Get Strong, Ripped Abs

  • Beware of added sugar in all foods and drinks. How? Start reading food labels and keep track of your daily added sugar. Put yourself on a sugar budget. Eat no more than 150 calories of added sugar a day for men. That’s about 38 grams a day for men and 100 calories or 25 grams a day for women. Carbohydrates (sugar) contain 4 calories per gram. There are two types of sugars, natural sugar and added sugar. Added sugar is hidden in just about everything we eat and drink. Examples of natural sugar are milk and fruit, and unlike added sugar, they contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals. Added sugar has minimal nutrients, basically no fiber, and can quickly raise blood sugar levels like all fast food or junk food.
  • Add a weekly HIIT session on the cardio side, in addition to your weekly strength training sessions. Do this by adding intervals into a cardio session with bouts of hard work followed by brief periods of recovery and repeat several times. A whole cardio session could be an interval-based workout for 15-20 minutes or you can periodically add it to the cardio work you’re doing now. Any type of cardio will do the trick from jogging to rowing.
  • 1-RM Test. Push your strength training workouts. Use one day to determine a new 1-RM (one repetition maximum) involving all your major exercises, like bench press, shoulder press and squat and do a reset on your current program. This can be done every 12-weeks.

Changing things up from what you had been doing is a great way to stimulate not only your body but also your mind. Finally, incorporating the three tips above into your new routine, will definitely move you in the right direction of getting the long wanted ripped abs. Use the Jefit app to help track your progress and keep you moving toward your goals. Remember, you don’t own it until you right down or record it, so use the app. Good luck Stay Strong!

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