Are you killing it in the gym and yet not seeing results? Chances are, you have fallen victim to bad advice. That is easy to do these days because we have greater access to information, but it is not always accurate. Some myths are harmless half-truths, but others can, in fact, be harmful. They can cause frustration in exercising and sometimes lead to injury.

One reason myths begin is that we all react little differently to exercise. So what is right for one person may not be right for another. In this sense, you have to find your own ‘exercise’ – the things that are right for you. Here are the 10 top workout myths you should avoid in order to get stronger, faster, better, and more powerful.

Myth #1: Strength Training Will Make You Pump Up.

strength training

Truth: It is pretty hard for a woman to pump up from a normal strength-training routine because she does not have as much testosterone as a man has (the difference in this hormone level makes a man more prone to pumping up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, then strength training can help you lean out, but you must keep your nutrition in check, too. Muscle is metabolically active. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy. So, the more lean muscles you have, the more calories the body will burn at rest.

Myth #2: You Can Focus On Burning Fat From Particular Body Parts.

burning body fat on particular parts

Truth: Fat cells are distributed across your entire body. So if you want to lose fat from a particular part, you need to lose complete body fat. After an intense workout, your body needs to sop up oxygen at a higher rate to help return to its natural resting state. This procedure requires the body to work harder, burning more fat in the procedure. Incorporating strength training may help you hit your goals too because having more lean muscle will help the body burn more calories at rest.

Myth #3: Doing A Lot Of Cardio Is The Best Way to Weight Loss.

Truth: If your goal is weight loss, running endless kilometres on the treadmill is not always the best approach. Yes, cardio workouts will help make a day-to-day calorie deficit (alongside with a healthy diet), which is essential for weight loss. But in the long-run, since having more lean muscle mass helps the body burn more calories at rest, you will be adding to this deficit without doing anything. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength workout is a good idea. And do not forget, when it comes to weight loss, making a smart nutrition plan is crucial.

Myth #4: Not Feeling Sore Means You Did Not Get a Good Workout.

Truth: While workout intensity and soreness are sometimes linked, how tired your muscles feel is not always a good sign of a solid sweat session. Being sore does not necessarily mean it was an excellent workout – it means that a significant bulk of stress was applied to the tissue. You can have a very good workout and not be sore the next day. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. Recharge within the first 30 – 45 minutes post-exercise, get enough sleep, and stay hydrated – all of these can help boost recovery and reduce soreness.

Myth #5: You Should Give 100% Effort During Each Workout.

100% effort

Truth: Sort of. Try your best to stay focused and give 100% during each workout. But not every gym session requires a very high level of intensity. And if you are sore each day, that may be a sign that you are going too hard. It is not a good idea to exercise at high intensity and too frequently because it limits recovery and can result in overtraining. To not put too much stress on your muscles, you should be only going extra hard 2 or 3 times a week.

Myth #6: Sweating A Lot Means You Worked Hard AF

sweat workout

Truth: Not necessarily. You sweat because of your body temperature increase. Yes, your muscles create heat when you workout so a tough training will increase your internal temperature, but it also has to do with the temperature you are working out in. For example, you are not going to sweat as much 15 degrees Celcius weather as you would in 25 degrees weather.

The humidity in the air plays a role, too. It is not sweating that cools you off; it is the evaporation (of sweat). You will feel like you are sweating more when it’s humid because sweat cannot evaporate. (It is also a reason to be careful working out in hot, humid climates because your core temperature will keep increasing.

Myth #7: You Have To Do Minimum 20 Minutes of Cardio

running on a treadmill

Truth: You can get an awesome cardio workout in less time by doing high-intensity interval training. High-Intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work more efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles. If the system is stressed enough, it does not require a long workout for results. Plus, high-intensity interval training creates an afterburn effect, which means you continue burning calories after you finished. One approach is Tabata – 20 seconds of hard work and 10 seconds of rest for eight series total, which adds up to a 4-minute routine.

Myth #8: You Need To Stretch Before Training.

stretch before workout

Truth: While it is true that you should not jump right into training, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at – save those static stretches for afterwards. Your pre-workout goal should be to improve elasticity and mobility in the muscles. You can do this best with a foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where your body keeps moving (instead of holding stretches still). This prepares your body for training and helps boost your range of motion, meaning you can get deeper into exercises.

Myth #9: Yoga Is Not a “Real” Workout.

yoga

Truth: People usually have an image of yoga as a series of soft and gentle stretches – they apparently haven’t taken a tough yoga class. The first time I took one was a radically humbling experience. It has been one of the best adding to my routine, for both my body and mind. While there are blissfully relaxing yoga classes out there, tougher ones (like power Vinyasa and Bikram yoga) can surely leave you sweaty, sore, and satisfied.

Myth #10: You Should Workout Every. Single. Day.

Truth: Absolutely not true! When you workout, you are breaking down muscle fibres, so they will rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you must give your body time to recover from training. Aim for 1 to 2 days a week of active recovery days – meaning doing something that does not put stress on your body, such as gentle stretching or a walk. So, you are definitely off the hook for that 7-days-a-week workout plan.

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