Everyone is a expert in the gym these days. There's so much advice out there it's impossible to know what to believe. Well, we've compiled a list of the biggest gym myths out there and explain what you really need to know.
1) Just going to the gym is enough to see results.
Okay, so no one believes that you can stuff you're face with pizza and still get into good shape as long as you go to the gym. However, the importance of nutrition and the roll is plays in achieving your goals is often underestimated. Not only does food provides energy for us to workout efficiently, it also helps us recover after working out. It sounds easy, but having a balanced diet and exercising regularly is all you need to stay in shape.
2) If I eat protein I will gain weight and I want to lose it!
Don't worry, you won't become a tank from taking a few protein shakes! Actually a high protein intake in your diet can help you lose weight and prevent further weight gain. A high protein diet can increase metabolism, which means you can burn more calories. Some studies show that you can burn up to 100 calories more a day! Drinking a protein shake after working out, or eating meat such as turkey (load up on our turkey burgers), are the best ways to intake protein. However, it will only work if you have an active lifestyle!
3) I’m working out and eating healthy but not seeing any results?
Whether you want to lose weight or put it on, there is always a mystery into why you’re not achieving those goals even though you seem to be ticking all the boxes. One reason could be your calorie intake. Let’s say you want to lose some kilos, you’re working out and eating the right things, if you don’t burn more calories than you eat, unfortunately you won’t see any results. It’s called a ‘calorie deficit’. Tracking your macros can be a way of tackling this. Use apps such as My Fitness Pal to see how much you’re eating and aim to burn more calories than that. The opposite if you want to gain weight, you must eat more calories than you burn. This does not mean go and pig out with junk food, you have to eat clean food that gives you energy and assists your muscles in strength and recovery!
4) You should work out every day.
You might be glad to know that this is not true! When you work out, you are breaking down muscle fibres, which will make you come back stronger. However, you need to give your muscles time to recover! Aim to take rest days with some light walking or stretching and give your muscles what they need so you can return and smash it!
5) You should workout in the morning.
One of the great myths that seems unsolvable but we’re going to leave this one up to you! It all depends on your body clock as everybody is different. If you’re not a morning person and struggle to get out of that bed, then working out in the morning is not for you. You may be more productive in the afternoon or evening. Same goes if you struggle every evening with tiredness in the gym. Try getting up a little early, or go during lunch if possible. Workout when it suits you, not others because you may lose interest and see working out as a chore!
6) Targeting one area of the body to lose weight works!
This one is aimed at the guy who does 100 sit-ups before bed. Performing exercises like crunches and squats may seem like a good way to lose weight in those areas but they are not as effective as you may think! Do exercises like swimming or rowing that use many muscles in the upper body as well as all over weights programs. Don’t drop the crunches or squats though, when you lose the fat that’s when you use those exercise to tone up.
7) The “no pain no gain” myth.
One of the oldest and most common myths out there. You should feel some pain a day or two after a workout, that’s normal. It’s your muscles getting used to the extra stretching and also recovering from the workout. However, pain within a workout can be a lot different. Don’t go into a workout and strive until its painful, it could be harmful. If you feel pain you’re most likely doing it wrong or you could already have an injury. Aiming for pain in the gym will result in months out of training. Pain the next day, the gain will follow.
8) You should stretch your muscles before a workout.
Okay, we're not saying to walk into the gym and start bench pressing 120kg straight away. However stretching before a workout can actually mess up your routine. Stretching loosens up your tendons which makes your muscles feel weaker and unsteady. If you engage in stretching before the workout you can wear your muscles down too quickly. However, warming up is important. Perform some dynamic stretches such as squats or lunges or light weights before intense training to warm up your muscles. Stretching will not help with recovery but if you want to improve flexibility, leave the stretches until after the workout.