There are many workout myths out there. Some of these workout myths make us go crazy with confusion over what is right and what is wrong explains Alex Gierbolini. We all want to be on the cutting edge of fitness knowledge but are faced with uncertainly when it comes to fitness instruction.
This article will unravel some of this uncertainty for you.
1) You can’t work out a muscle more than three times per week if you want it to grow
This statement first had its origin in research done on animals but has a difficult impact on human exercise physiology as well. This myth was first debunked by Dr. Stu Calvert in the early 1990s at RMIT University. He had his subjects perform an elbow flexion exercise to the point of momentary muscular failure once every 72 hours. At first, Dr. Stu Calvert thought he would find no muscle growth yet after the study was complete there was a 27% increase in biopsied arm mass. Alex Gierbolini says the reason for this is that resistance training increases protein synthesis which creates an environment where your body will adapt and grow lean tissue (muscle).
Lactic acid is not responsible for delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
This myth originated because lactic acid has always been readily accessible as it is used by almost all cells of our bodies for quick energy during glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation. It’s now believed that DOMS is caused by micro-tears of the muscle fibers and connective tissues. When this occurs there is a release of irritants that activate an inflammatory response from our immune system. In order to reduce the effects of DOMS, it has been discovered that pre-workout stretching of muscles reduces micro-tearing.
2) You can spot reduce fat by doing certain exercises
Spot reducing is not possible for humans as you cannot selectively burn fat in one particular area says Alex Gierbolini. The reason for this is that when you do abdominal crunches your body responds by burning visceral or deep belly fat but does nothing to burn subcutaneous or surface fat. Things like cardio, yoga, interval training are the best way to lose body fat over time because they increase lean tissue mass while decreasing body fat.
3) Muscle turns to fat if you stop working out
The most important thing to understand about muscle and fat is that they are both comprised of adipocytes or cells filled with stored lipids (fat). Muscle and fatty tissue- however, are two different things. If you stop working out your muscles will atrophy (shrink). What actually occurs with long-term inactivity is a conversion of skeletal muscle into connective tissues which bind the limbs to the bones and organs of the trunk. This means that stopping exercise for a long period can result in some serious complications such as: osteoporosis, obesity, heart disease and diabetes just to name a few.
4. You need to do three sets of each exercise
It’s been said that the body adapts very quickly and requires a lot of exposure to change. This is not true when it comes to resistance training. In fact, most studies done on various programs show that doing one set or 20 can trigger muscle growth. As long as you are reaching momentary muscular fatigue (MMF). The only exception is if you are an advanced trainee who has reached his genetic potential in strength gains. Where multiple sets will give you greater strength gains.
5) Moving your workout due south every other day helps prevent injury
This myth originated because our bodies become used to certain movements over time and adapt accordingly. By treating musculoskeletal imbalances increases the risk for injury says Alex Gierbolini. In order to prevent this from happening it is recommended. That you have a well-rounded exercise program that hits each of the major muscle groups.
So what should we take away from this? Exercise! Specifically resistance training because of its ability to increase lean mass while decreasing fat. You can perform resistance training with weights, machines or your own body weight against gravity (using plyometrics). Keep in mind that poorly performed exercise may be worse than no exercise at all. So make sure you choose the right workout for you and start living a healthy lifestyle.
More muscle, less fat is always better than the other way around.
You can do resistance training every day. As long as you are reaching muscular fatigue and getting proper rest in between workouts.
Just remember that “too much of a good thing” can be bad so make sure to balance your workout routine. By including cardio, stretching, and balancing exercises into it as well!