No matter how well intentioned you are to get to the gym and get in your best shape, these common misconceptions can hinder your success. Understanding the truth behind these misconceptions can help you see better results. Plunkett Fitness in Overland Park, Kansas, wants everyone to get the most out of their workouts, so we are here to explain these misconceptions.
1. Exercising on an Empty Stomach Yields Better Results
This misconception isn’t 100 percent false, but it truly depends on what your goals are. Working out on an empty stomach can help you lose weight, but you will need to be sure that you have enough energy to get through a quality exercise routine. If you are trying to lose weight but aren’t able to get through workouts with a snack, consider a protein shake that can boost your energy without weighing you down. Morning workouts (before breakfast) might be the best option if you are looking to lose weight.
If you are trying to build muscle mass, you won’t want to workout on an empty stomach. You will want complex carbohydrates like a banana or protein shake before your workout to help you achieve your goals of building muscle.
2. Long Workouts are Better
We can understand why this seems to make sense to a lot of people. The more time you work out, the more calories you can burn, right? Well, that isn’t really the case. The intensity of the workout is much more important than the duration of the workout. Plus, you want to keep in mind what you want from your workout.
For those who want a more relaxing workout, an hour-long yoga session may be the best option, while those who want to burn a lot of calories and don’t have a ton of time may want to try a 20- to 30-minute HIIT session. The more intense workout will burn more calories than the yoga session in half the time.
3. Stretching Before Exercise Can Prevent Injuries
This is one of the most prevalent misconceptions about exercise. Most people learn when they are young that static stretching before exercise can prevent muscle injuries during workouts. There is no research to support this claim, and in fact, static stretching prior to exercise could do more harm than good. A few different theories as to why static stretching before a workout can cause injuries, but one is that stretching a “cold” muscle can cause damage to the said muscle.
The better way to get ready for an intense workout is to warm up and then do dynamic stretches. Leg and arm swings, and other stretches that involve movement, are better at preparing you for a workout than static stretches. Static stretches can be performed after exercise. You might feel tightness or discomfort, but you shouldn’t feel any pain during these stretches.
4. Exercise Can Make Up for a Bad Diet
It doesn’t matter how much you exercise if you put garbage food into your body. In fact, it is likely that people who have a poor diet will overestimate how many calories they are burning and will eat more food than before. That’ why diet is also an important consideration in fitness. At Plunkett Fitness, our trainers help you build and nutrition plan as well as an exercise regimen to help you see results.
5. Lifting Weights Makes Women Bulky
For some reason, this popular misconception has scarred women away from weightlifting. While it is possible for women to bulk up from lifting weights, the way your body responds to different kinds of training is dependent on body type and genetic makeup. This is why a weight training program that is tailored to your body composition, lifestyle, and goals is incredibly important for the results you want. Whether you want to bulk up or get lean, toned muscles, Plunkett Fitness personal trainers can design a routine that is tailored to your body and your goals.
Weightlifting has so many health benefits that it is unfortunate that so many women are afraid to take part. Not only does weightlifting burn body fat, but it also helps support healthy bone density. Additionally, as you become leaner and stronger, you can become more confident and burn even more calories even after your workout is over.
6. You Only Need to Work Out a Couple Times a Week to Stay in Shape
If only this were true… Unfortunately, you aren’t going to get the results you want with just one or two days of working out each week. For real results, you are going to need to work out three to five times a week. Even if you can’t get in large workouts this often, you can do smaller, more focused workouts to get in at least some exercise.
On the flip side, overtraining can also be a big problem. You need to get a couple of rest days each week to give your body time to heal. Resting will prevent injuries and allow you to get back to your workouts even stronger than you would be without it. On rest days, take a light walk or perform dynamic stretches.
We know just how important it is that you are getting proper diet and exercise information. At Plunkett Fitness, our trainers are experts in both nutrition and exercise, which allows us to help shape your overall fitness from all angles. We offer personal training and group training sessions that offer individualized routines that allow you to do your best work without spending hours in the gym. To get started with a consultation, call us today at 913-390-3360.