5 Fitness Myths That Need To Die
2019, what a time to be alive! We have access to SO. MUCH. INFO. and it’s awesome… except for when it’s completely inaccurate.
The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know. So, as always, we’ve got you girl! We’re cracking open five fitness myths and sprinkling some truth around like confetti.
MYTH#1: IF YOU AREN’T SORE, DID YOU EVEN WORKOUT?
That soreness you feel the day after, and sometimes two days after a workout is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness a.k.a DOMs. This soreness is thought to be the product of inflammation, caused by microscopic tears in the connective tissue.
DOMs will occur mostly from three scenarios: when you’ve loaded a muscle while lengthening it (e.g. lengthened hamstrings in the Romanian deadlift), when you’ve introduced a new movement, and when you’ve completed a higher amount of volume than usual in a movement.
People like the feeling of DOMs after their workout because they see it as instant feedback from their body that they’ve worked hard and are getting results. However, having DOMs has not been linked to a more effective workout.
A better way to measure the effectiveness of your workout is by tracking the weights you’re using and making sure they are consistently increasing, by progressing the difficulty of movements, and by tracking your overall results over a longer period of time.
MYTH#2: THE MORE EXERCISE YOU DO, THE BETTER
People often think that the only way to get results quicker (whether they’re pursuing body composition or performance goals) is to train more frequently.
This is definitely not the case! Equally important as the training itself, is the recovery between sessions.
After you create the stimulus (i.e. lifting weights), your muscles then need to recover, and this is where the adaption takes place, the process which actually causes muscles to grow and become stronger.
By over-training, not only will you hinder the adaption process, but you can also reduce your overall effectiveness in the gym, increase your risk of injury, increase your stress levels and lower your immune system.
We recommend splitting your week with two recovery sessions as a starting point, and then listening to your body. Everyone’s recovery requirement is different.
MYTH#3: LIFTING HEAVY WILL MAKE YOU BULKY
I’m only going to say this once, and then we won’t need to do this again; lifting weights will not make you bulky. You’re not going to start exploding out of your sleeves from doing a few biceps curls, you’re not going to turn into quadzilla from doing a set of weighted lunges, and I promise you that your shoulders will still fit through the door when you leave the gym after doing a set of shoulder presses.
Just flick over to our Instagram and take a look at all the fine ladies who lift heavy every week at our gym. They work their asses off every session, have gotten crazy strong, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
Putting on muscle is actually very difficult and requires a training and nutrition strategy geared specifically towards that goal, even more so for women as we naturally have less testosterone than men.
If you want to know all the reasons why you should be lifting heavy weights, I’d need a separate article. In fact, you can read all about it here!
MYTH#4: THAT ONE DIET FITS ALL
Psst. Want to know the absolute best diet ever? It’s not keto, it’s not vegan, it’s not paleo, it’s called the Choose Your Own Adventure Diet, and no two are the same.
Your age, gender, hormone profile, lifestyle and energy requirements are uniquely yours, therefore you can’t possibly follow the same diet as anyone else and get the exact same results.
There will be an approach that’s perfect for you, one that gives you the fuel that you need, makes you feel good and allows you to go about your life being awesome.
Focus on nutritionally dense foods, listen to your body’s feedback (hunger, energy, stress levels, digestion) and find a strategy that fits within your lifestyle and that you can stick to consistently.
MYTH#5: THE SCALES HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS
If you can SEE physical changes in your body but you’re weight hasn’t gone down on the scales, or has even increased (!!!), it’s time to celebrate girlfriend because this indicates that you’ve increased your muscle mass AND you’ve lost fat mass at the same time! Well played you sly minx.
Muscle mass weighs more than fat mass, so if you’ve lost 2kg of fat mass but you’ve increased your muscle mass by 1kg, the scales will reflect a loss of 1kg total body mass.
If you want to paint a more accurate picture, use an inBody scan or DEXA scan instead of the scales. This will give you a better indication of the muscle and fat mass changes in your body over time.
Also be mindful that your weight will naturally fluctuate over the course of your menstrual cycle. For more accuracy, make sure you get your measures done at the same point of your cycle.