Like many people, working out and I have a complicated relationship. I know that when you first start working out, going to the gym can be super intimidating, and it can be really easy to fall prey to all the common workout myths. Here are seven workout “rules” and why you should ignore them. Time to kill those fitness #goals.
1. You shouldn’t eat before your early morning workout.
False. Treat your body like the badass machine it is. Like any machine, we need the fuel we get from food to be able to power ourselves through a workout. Now, this doesn’t mean you should munch out on all the pancakes you can get your hands on. Instead, go for a light, energy-packed breakfast.
2. You should always try and lift your max.
False, again. The most essential part of a strength workout is consistency in your form and reps. While the weight should be challenging, it shouldn’t be your max. Try doing more reps with a lower weight.
3. Running is the only way to lose weight.
While running is a great way to get in your cardio, it’s definitely not the only good form of cardio to help you burn that stubborn belly fat. In fact, some fitness experts say running is not even the best way to lose weight. Any kind of high-intensity cardio that gets your heart pumping will burn calories. Plus, running can sometimes seriously blow.
4. You should stick to the same routine every time you workout.
This myth is sooooo busted. When you do the same routine for a long time, your body gets bored and plateaus, and this makes your workout have way less impact on your fitness than it did when you started. Adding or increasing weights, adjusting the number of weights, or just setting a new fitness goal for yourself are all great ways to keep challenging your body and to keep your workouts fresh.
5. You need some expensive workout plan to help you lose weight.
While workout plans can be a great thing to help you get motivated (and get your feet wet in the world of working out), they are by no means a necessary component of weight loss. If you don’t want to drop a lot of cash on a workout plan, all you need to muster together is some dedication, consistency, and a mix of strength and cardio workouts.
6. You’ll see results and you’ll see them fast.
Unfortunately this myth is very, very false. Our bodies take time and consistency to change. We all do it, but hoping to see changes in the mirror after a few workout sessions and being really disappointed when you don’t see anything is a super fast way to feel discouraged (especially when you see tons of amazing fitness transformations on Instagram that seem to have happened overnight).
Unfortunately, it’s really easy to get down on yourself and lose some momentum — but you shouldn’t always trust those transformation photos.
7. You don’t need to eat more when you workout a lot.
Again, your body is a machine, and when it’s burning a lot of fuel by working out, it needs more fuel to keep going. If you do a lot of cardio, not eating more calories to supplement your workout is a quick way to burn yourself out, both mentally and physically. Find out how one Spoon contributor got healthy by stepping off the scale and eating a lot.