With National Fitness Day just around the corner (it’s on 9th September in case you didn’t know), we’ve decided to bust some of those infamous fitness myths that you’re all falling for. We asked Rob Owen, resident Fitness Manager at The Holbrook Club, to divulge some of the most common myths he gets asked about:
Lifting weights will bulk you up
This is only strictly true if you’re male; men have around 30 times more testosterone than women which is why bulking is much more noticeable in men. In fact, strength or weight training can help you lose weight in the long run as you’re likely to burn a lot more fat during your workout. Training with weights increases the number of calories you burn so it’s time to stop backing away from the free weights and get lifting.
Crunches will get you a six-pack
We wish. They may be the most famous of ab exercises but crunches alone will not give you that six-pack everyone will envy. For starters, their low calorie burn means they don’t help with fat loss. Secondly; a well-honed six-pack relies upon a super healthy diet to strip your body of any non-essential fats and toxins. We all have ab muscles somewhere; it’s about bringing them out with a clean diet and all-body fitness regime to cut back body fat.
I can get my 5-a-day with fruit alone
It may be better for you than a bar of chocolate but fruit contains a high amount of sugar. In achieving your 5-a-day, it’s best to get more portions of veg in your diet as they have more minerals and vitamins and less calories. If you’re a fan of smoothies in the morning, add some spinach or kale to the mix to increase your veggie intake. Struggle with the green stuff at dinner? Roasted vegetables are just as healthy and that bit more delicious so long as they’re not cooked in too much oil.
Cutting carbs is the only way to help you lose weight
Diets such as Atkins have, for many years, given us the impression that losing weight is all about cutting carbs from your diet. But this isn’t strictly true. Whilst white and processed carbs aren’t the best (chips, crisps, white pasta, white bread etc), we all need some form of carbohydrate to maintain a balanced diet. It’s impossible to avoid all carbs as they can even be found in fruit so rather than completely cutting them out, be smarter with your carb choices. Go for brown rice, brown pasta, wholemeal bread and sweet potatoes; you’re going to need them if you want enough fuel to gain muscle and stamina in your next workout.
The more time I spend in the gym, the better
This is one of the most dangerous myths as spending too much time in the gym can mean two things; you’re not working hard enough or you’re working too hard. Both are bad for you, particularly overtraining as this means your muscles won’t have enough time to recover and you are at higher risk of getting injured. Make sure your time in the gym is well spent with a proper programme and goal in mind; an intense 30 minute workout is better for you than a prolonged, 3 hour stint.