Debunking Popular Fitness Myths
In an age when there is so much information coming at us from so many sources and so many directions, it is easy to get confused! When you’re working out and trying to make serious gains, everyone has different ideas about how to get lean, how to get big and how to make uncanny gains in no time at all. Some of this information is helpful and a lot of it is just plain erroneous. Here are some common fitness misconceptions that you need to get straightened out before your next workout.
Myth # 1: If you want to build mass, cut out the cardio.
Aerobic fitness is achieved through regular cardio-vascular training and it is among the most preventative medicines available. What good is having gorgeous muscles if you drop dead of a stroke or heart attack! While building solid lean muscle is important, cardio- vascular fitness is essential. And the best way to “pump up” the lungs and heart is by exercising aerobically. According to the International Sports Sciences Association, three to four 30-45 minute sessions of cardio per week will definitely help to build cardiovascular fitness. Whether it’s running, swimming, biking, or the treadmill in the gym, you’ve simply got to do cardio in order to stay healthy and live longer.
Myth #2: I’m hurting, but if I just keep training, I can work through the pain.
This long running myth can potentially have dangerous effects on your body. There is a difference between pain, and the soreness and discomfort you feel after a rigorous workout. The latter is called delayed onset of muscle soreness and it is a natural reaction to a break-through exercise session. Stretching, rest, massage and contrasting hot and cold showers can help ease this discomfort. Any indications of real pain (joint sprains and swelling, chest pains, etc.) should signal you to see a doctor.
Myth #3: I can only get “big” if I take the latest most expensive supplements and steroids.
Just because a prominent body builder is pitching a supplement or pro-hormone on-line does not mean that you need to buy it or use it. You can achieve successful gains by working hard in the gym, eating healthy and clean, and getting enough quality rest between workouts. Always consult a doctor before taking any supplement. For guys over 40, have your testosterone levels checked.
Myths #4: Drinking enough water during exercise is not important, in fact it can cause cramps.
Drinking enough water during workouts is vital. Most of us never get enough water. You need water throughout the day especially before, during and after a workout or other physical activity. Lack of water can lead to headaches, fatigue, body aches and even death! The International Sports Sciences Association recommends 8-12 eight -ounce glasses of water per day. On strenuous workout days, drink 16 ounces of water for every pound lost during exercise.