Often faced with statements like the below, I want to clear up some of the myths surrounding the gym and habits that come along with it.
1. Go to the gym and you will be fitter, leaner and slimmer
Life would be a lot simpler if this were true. Unfortunately, it’s not true. There are many other factors that go into all of these goals, such as eating habits, exercise selection, rep range, etc. The gym is definitely a start in the right direction. Ask/employ a professional or take some time to do some research - it makes the whole process less of a guessing game.
2. If you’re not sore/unable to move, you haven’t worked hard enough
Definitely a myth I want to get rid of. Sometimes after a great workout at the gym, this will happen; sometimes it won’t. That doesn’t mean the work you have done is ineffective. Not every day needs to be a 100% maximum effort on the body. This can actually be counterproductive and likely to cause fatigue that can delay progress and training itself for a while. Recovery, mobility and flexibility are just as important.
3. Lifting weights makes women bulky
It’s very unlikely. Less testosterone makes it harder for women to bulk, and you’d have to do some specific work. Weight training is a very effective tool, developing strength both physically and mentally. Building muscle mass doesn’t mean you’ll end up looking like a unit; more muscle mass actually helps to burn fat. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy!
4. I MUST train for x amount of time every day
Quality over quantity. A 20 minute session of solid work can be a lot more effective than an hour of unorganised training. Effective planned workouts with a specific goal means you can get results without having to spend 2 hours a day in the gym to feel like you’ve achieved something.
5. Core work will make my abs appear
Not really. This one is unfortunately about body fat and is a lot harder than doing 10 minutes of core work at the end of your session. Aim to train hard, eat well and make sure you’re in a calorie deficit. Losing body fat is a tough battle. Try to focus on getting as strong and fit as you can, and this may just come as a by-product.
6. Cardio machines will make me fit
Not necessarily untrue but running on a treadmill for 30 minutes everyday will only get you so far. It definitely doesn’t make you the fittest you could ever be; unless you’re training for a specific event, adding some variety to your cardio is likely to have a bigger impact on your performance.