Fitness Myth Busters
Here are my top 10 myth busters to arm you with some basic knowledge to workout with confidence.
We are all bombarded with constant information about how + what we should be doing to keep strong in midlife. With so many confusing stats it is difficult to decipher fact from fiction! Here are my top 10 myth busters to arm you with some basic knowledge to workout with confidence.
1)No Pain No Gain?
DOMS stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It is caused by micro-tears in the muscle + likely to follow 8 + 48 hours post exercise. It is usually brought on by either performing movements we are not used to or using very heavy weights. Whilst a degree of ‘muscle damage’ is required for muscle growth, some may argue that DOMS is a sign of a ‘good workout’! However severe DOMS can be detrimental to subsequent workouts + our motivation can take a hit if we are crippled by muscle soreness! So a little stiff is quite natural after a session, but if we are struggling to get down the stairs it’s a good indictor we have gone too hard or too heavy!
2)Muscle weighs more than fat?
No! Muscle is not heavier than fat. In the same way 1 pound of feathers weighs the same as 1 pound of lead, 1 pound of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound of fat. The difference is in density. 1 pound of muscle takes up less space/volume than 1 pound of fat. This means two people of the same weight can have a very different body composition. One with more muscle mass will appear smaller/leaner because muscle takes up less space in the body + the one with more fat will appear bigger/bulkier.
- Strength training makes you bulky?
Unless you are several hours a day lifting some seriously heavy weights along with a very high protein diet, it is unlikely you will bulk up. The less body fat you have, the leaner + more muscular you will appear. The bottom line is building muscle is important in midlife, but you will NOT bulk up or build the physique of a bodybuilder unless you train + eat like one!
- Can I target belly fat?
No! Unfortunately we can’t target the lose of fat in one area. However, if you combine over all fat lose + strengthen the abdominal area, you will appear stronger + leaner.
- Is cardio the best way to lose weight?
If weight loss is your end goal, a cardio workout will certainly help take you into a calorie deficit (in addition to a smart nutrition plan) which is essential to losing weight. But longer term, more lean muscle mass will help increase your metabolism at rest, as well as providing additional health benefits. A combination of cardio + strength training is ideal.
- I need to workout every day?
No, working out every day is not necessary! When you work out you are breaking down muscle fibers in order for them to rebuild stronger. To do this you need to let your body recover. I recommend two active recovery rest days a week for stretching + walking or working on your mobility.
- Stretch before a workout?
Yes! But we need to keep these stretches dynamic. Static stretches are for post workout. Keep your body moving through the moves helping to improve mobility + elasticity in the muscles. I recommend 5 minutes to include a little pulse raiser like jogging on the spot, to get you ready for action.
- Can I turn Fat into Muscle?
No, fat is fat + muscle is muscle – they are two different types of tissue and cant turn one into the other. You can however lose fat + increase muscle! Lets go…!
- I need an energy drink after a workout?
We should stay hydrated after working out when we have been sweating + working hard, but avoid the sports drinks! The majority are filled with sugar. Stick to water to rehydrate you + look towards a healthy post workout protein snack like a handful of nuts.
- I will burn more fat doing an early morning, fasted workout?
No, your body does not burn any more body fat working out in the morning versus later in the day. It still depends on overall calories consumed + calories burned. You should try to eat an hour before exercise, but if you workout very early, you may decide to do it fasted.