Lies Lies Lies – Top five fitness myths debunked!

You only need to go to YouTube and type in gym fails to see that a lot of us don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to working out! This isn’t a crime – there’s so many theories about the best routines, diet supplements, and workout gear to confuse us all! However, there are some theories that have become so widely accepted that they are thrown around like they’re hard facts. Well, don’t be fooled any longer – here’s our list of fitness myths and their rightful debunks.

MYTH:

Running beats walking.

DEBUNK:

This will probably have a few people gasping as they read, but hold on, this debunk isn’t as simple as a walk in the park! Running and walking target the same muscle groups which does mean that they have similar health benefits when you compare overall energy burn. However, because of the different intensities, it takes more than twice the amount of time to expend the same amount of energy walking as you would running, so running still wins if you’re short on time.

Running and walking target the same muscle groups, it's just a question of intensity!
Running and walking target the same muscle groups, it’s just a question of intensity!

MYTH:

No pain, no gain.

DEBUNK:

This is the chant in almost everyone’s head when they’re exercising for fitness levels, unless you’re a real gym-head that feels the need to say it out loud in the mirror (there’s one in every gym, isn’t there?) Whilst a little bit of discomfort shows that you’re really trying hard with your exercise routine, any located sharp pains are a sign to stop and rest. If they continue once you’ve restarted, you should contact your doctor in case you’re injured or there’s something else wrong.

MYTH:

Lifting heavy weights bulks you up.

DEBUNK:

Sorry guys, but most of you love to get the big weights out and macho it up at the gym, so this one is for the ladies. Lots of women chose lighter dumbbells in the fear that heavy weights will make them bulk up. However, they can actually slim you down! According to a study published in Medicine & Sport in Sports & Exercise, women who lift challenging weights for eight reps burn nearly twice as many calories as women who do 15 reps with lighter dumbbells.

MYTH:

Running on a treadmill is just as good as running outside.

DEBUNK:

Too windy? Too wet? Too cold? Paid your gym membership? Whatever excuse you use to run on a treadmill instead of outside needs to stop. Running outside on uneven terrain against the wind and the rain engages more of your muscles, which requires more energy and ends up burning about 10% more calories than running the same distance on a treadmill. Plus, it’s more interesting to take in the scenery outside than it is to look at yourself panting and sweating in the mirror!

Taking your workout outside can come with a whole host of benefits!
Taking your workout outside can come with a whole host of benefits!

MYTH:

You can target where you burn fat.

DEBUNK:

Losing some weight around the wobbly bits is one of the main reasons that people work out! Often people use specific routines to burn fat off of those areas so they’ll wobble a little bit less! However, a new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning has found that it’s not as easy as that. Their research, in which 12 people completed a 12-week exercise program focusing on one leg, found that 11 of the 12 lost the same amount of body fat in each leg, and burned even more from above the waist.

MYTH:

You should have a rest day in your workout routine.

DEBUNK:

People even have a day named after this famous myth, and it’s probably one that lots of us would like to believe! However, rest day is actually not the best way to rehabilitate your body ready for the next trip to the gym. According to Barbara Bushman, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Missouri State University, resting is actually vital to your workout routine, and should not be treated as an alternative to your exercising. By resting in between exercises your body won’t go under unhealthy strain and should be fighting fit to work out every day!

Rest is key! But rest as you go for max results. Resting between exercises is the best route to go!
Rest is key! But rest as you go for max results.

The next time you’re heading out for a run, or you’re on the way to the gym, remember our list of fitness myths. It’s always good to check in with fitness tips and workout fads, but it’s important to realise that there’s a lot of false information out there. To avoid becoming a YouTube sensation on a gym fails video or exercising in the wrong way because of something you’ve read, make sure to fact check. Our blog will also have some helpful fitness articles to guide you along the way!