Whether new to exercising or a seasoned veteran, you’re likely to encounter some common myths about working out. These myths can be a combination of bad science, old wives’ tales or just plain ignorance of the facts. If you are new to working out, it’s important to consult your doctor and find a gym and coach whom you can trust. Adding research backed by science into the mix will ensure you get all the information you need to build an effective and efficient workout routine.
Myth: You must perform static stretching before each workout.
Static stretching is simply stretching without movement. This could include stretching any body part, such as your back, hamstrings or triceps, while standing/sitting still. As Method Sports & Fitness Head Sport Performance Coach Anna Tarpley puts it, while static stretching can be beneficial, it’s best to wait until after a workout when your body is warm.
“Your chances of pulling a muscle, or even tearing one, increases if you’re doing static stretches while your body is cold,” Tarpley says. “If you’re looking to stretch before you work out, it’s best to try dynamic stretching.”
Dynamic stretching requires movement and makes joints and muscles go through a full range of motions. A beneficial stretching routine not only warms up your body but also mimics the motions your body will be going through in your workout.
Some dynamic stretches that could be useful pre-workout include high kicks, jump squats, jump lunges, hip stretch w/ a twist, knees to chest, or lunges w/ a twist.
Myth: The longer you work out, the better.
The length of time you work out is not necessarily proportional to the results you’ll receive. For example, working out for three hours with lousy form or faulty equipment could lead to injury or muscle strain. But a focused workout could garner results more efficiently in a shorter period of time.
Method Sports & Fitness Head Sport Performance Coach Kyle Orgovan says efficiency is the key. “Working out for a long period of time can actually be detrimental,” he says. “What’s more important than the length of your workout is the quality of your workout. If you only have time for a quick workout, it’s better to do a focused exercise that is done well and with proper supervision.”
Myth: Lifting weights will give you a bodybuilder’s body.
Lifting weights has numerous health advantages, and building muscle is one of them. But lifting weights is also advantageous for improving heart health, keeping your joints/ligaments/tendons lubricated and feeling good, boosting metabolism, improving your posture and balance and boosting your energy levels.
You can lift weights as part of your regular workout routine without worrying that it will benefit you in only one way.
Myth: Work out every day for best results.
Much like the myth that working out for longer is better, the myth that you should work out every day leads to poor results. Certainly, there are benefits to being active every day. However, your body needs rest and giving your body that rest is sometimes more beneficial than putting it through a challenging workout.
If, for example, you’re trying to fit in a workout every day by waking up early in the morning, your body may not have enough sleep to recover fully. This could set you up for injury or get you to the point of diminishing returns on your routine.
“It’s best to listen to your body,” says Method Sports & Fitness Coach Jon Seibert. “There are times when a workout will feel really good and benefit your physical fitness. But there are also times when recovery and sleep will benefit you even more.”
Myth: Cardio is the best way to shed weight.
Cardio can be an important part of any workout routine, but it’s not a great way to lose weight. Being active, watching how much you eat and eating healthy foods are the best ways to shed those unwanted pounds. Mixing in different exercises will benefit your weight loss goals much more than trying to run on a treadmill for 60 minutes a day.
Weightlifting and interval training are more effective than doing only cardio because they utilize multiple muscle groups and are better at preventing injury. Adding a bit of cardio to your workout is great, but if you depend only on running to lose weight, you will be sorely disappointed.
Fact: Method Sports & Fitness has the knowledge and technology to help you achieve your fitness goals.
One of the benefits of Unlimited Membership is access to our professional coaches and their expertise. Monitoring progress and results along the way to adjust your workout routine, our team is able to proactively alter your workout routine to best achieve your goals.
Take the questions out of working out, and let us customize your workout to you.