Some exercise myths just won’t die. Here are 8 myths you need to make sure you aren’t still falling for. Your success depends on it.
You Need Direct Ab Training to Get Good Abs
This exercise myth forces many people to spend much longer in the gym than necessary. I’ve seen exercise routines where half of the time is dedicated to ab training.
Don’t get me wrong, a strong core is extremely important. However, you can get a great ab workout in from doing heavy deadlifting or squats. Try some overhead squats and see how much your abs come into play. In addition, a great diet is necessary to see those ab muscles. You’ll never be able to see them with a layer of fat covering them up.
Higher Reps Burn More Fat
Use low reps to build muscle, and high reps to lose fat – or so the saying goes. But why? What makes higher reps so special for fat loss? Nothing.
Focus on using exercise to build muscle and to create a favorable metabolic environment for fat loss. Use your nutrition to manipulate your body fat. In the big scheme of things, you burn very few calories from exercise as compared to the rest of your day. Nutrition is number one.
You Burn More Fat in the Fat Burning Zone
This exercise myth never seems to die, but it seems that people are finally starting to catch on. The fat burning zone is the idea that you should keep your heart rate within a certain range for more fat burning.
The reason the myth still hangs on is because you do burn a higher proportion of fat in the fat burning zone. However, you do not burn more total calories from fat. In fact, you burn the highest proportion of calories from fat when at rest. Push the intensity, and focus on total calories burned instead.
You Need To Do Curls To Get Great Biceps
Everyone loves curls. When they think of bigger biceps, the curl is the #1 exercise people go to. I can’t think of a single isolation exercise that is more popular. But did you know that you don’t need them to get great biceps?
Try doing some heavy rowing movements or pullups. I guarantee you these exercises will get your biceps as big as you’ll ever want (elite bodybuilders excluded).
Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky
This exercise myth scares more women out of the weight room than giant, sweaty, screaming men. For some reason women think they are so genetically gifted that they will turn into the Incredible Hulkess by just stepping foot in the weight room.
Unfortunately, women are at a huge hormonal disadvantage to men when it comes to putting on muscle. They have to work much harder to build and maintain muscle. If you’re worried about bulking up, you should be looking at fixing your diet – not at dismissing weight training. Your size is correlated with calorie intake.
You Can Target Fat Loss With Exercise
What’s the best exercise to get abs? How about inner thighs? Arms? This is a hard one to grasp for many people, but there is no exercise out there that will remove fat from a particular part of your body.
Fat loss is not localized, it is systemic. You didn’t get to choose where you put the fat on, and you don’t get to choose where it comes off. Fat loss is all about your diet.
You Need a Gym to Work Out
Maybe this one is a little less of a myth, and a little more of an “excuse”. No, you don’t need a gym to exercise. Strength training can be accomplished with as much as a home gym, or as little as your own body weight. It can cost you hundreds of dollars a month, or it can cost you absolutely nothing. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Deadlifts Are Bad For Your Back
Beware the evil deadlift, for it will destroy your back. I suppose the fear of the deadlift comes from the many people who use horrible form that results in injury. With proper form the deadlift is the king of lower back (and entire back for that matter) exercises.
If you want to mitigate lower back problems in the future, you should be deadlifting and building up the muscles that support the spine. Injury comes from improper form – not the deadlift itself.