MYTHS OF FITNESS
With information at the tips of our fingers, it can be hard to tell what’s fact or fiction, especially when it comes to fitness. There are plenty of myths out there about what we should eat and how we should exercise that can make your head spin. We’re here to debunk those ideas so you can crush it without hesitation (or confusion).
CARBS ARE BAD
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again, carbs are not bad! Carbs fuel our bodies and give us the energy we need to do a tough workout. Most healthy carbs are full of fiber, essential to our overall health and digestion. However, not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs (also known as simple carbs) can be somewhat unhealthy in high amounts. Prioritize incorporating complex carbs like veggies and whole grains into your macros and you’ll feel energized in no time.
STRETCHING BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT PREVENTS INJURY
Bet you’ve heard that one before. It’s very common to hear “make sure you stretch before you start!” from people all across the fitness industry. But, really, what they should be saying is “make sure you warm up your body before you start!” Static stretching is actually much better for you after a session than before a workout. In fact, over-stretching cold muscles can be harmful to your overall physical fitness. Instead, opt for a fast-paced walk on the treadmill, or hop on the stairmaster for five minutes. Get your blood flowing, and then move to dynamic stretches (like the ones from FBK here!)
LIFTING WILL MAKE YOU BULKY
This is probably our biggest pet peeve. One of the most common misconceptions about weight training is that it will make you bulky. Body fat is what can lead to a bulky physique, but by lifting weights you’ll increase lean muscle and shed fat, resulting in a toned and healthy body. For women especially, putting on enough muscle to be considered “bulky” is incredibly challenging. In fact, it takes professional bodybuilders years to achieve that physique, so don’t worry, adding weights to your routine will not bulk you up.
This is actually one of the more harmful myths, especially for women, because lifting weights regularly will:
- Improve your heart health
- Keep your tendons, joints and ligaments lubricated
- Boost your metabolism (also known as your caloric burn, meaning you can eat more without gaining fat!)
- Build a better posture
- Minimize injuries
- Increase energy and stamina
- Regulate your hormones
- And so much more!
If you’re still not convinced, know this: women’s hormones are not even remotely conducive to building muscle mass. It is extremely difficult to put on excess muscle mass as a female, meaning that there is no way to “accidentally” get bulky. That's like being scared to ride a horse for the first time because you might find yourself in the middle of the Kentucky Derby. It isn’t going to happen :)
THE SCALE IS ALL THAT MATTERS
Our brains have been wired to think that the smaller the number on the scale the better. However, your weight should not be the end all be all to determining if you are hitting your fitness goals. The number on the scale can actually go up when you start strength training since muscle is denser than fat. Notice how we didn’t say muscle weighs more than fat (it doesn’t) that’s like saying one pound of bricks weighs more than one pound of feathers… hint: they both weigh one pound.
Water retention and inflammation can contribute to your weight, making it fluctuate daily. Your hormonal and menstrual cycle can also play a role here. You are not defined by the number on the scale, so try to start focusing on being healthy and balanced and your body will find its ideal weight on its own.
SORE = GOOD WORKOUT
Have you ever found yourself disappointed when you don’t feel sore after a really hard workout? Or how about pulling out the bragging rights when it hurts to walk up the stairs after leg day?
Soreness doesn’t always mean you had a successful workout, and here’s why: You can feel soreness after lifting heavy weights or working a muscle group that you haven’t in a while. This is your body’s response to injury, or in this case tiny muscle tears and rebuilding from working out. But if you don’t feel that soreness, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t get a good workout in. It just means that your body has adapted to the exercise and while you’re still seeing results, you’re not getting that “mini-injury” like the first time you did it.
In general, the less sore you are after a hard workout, the more “in shape” you are.
CLEAN EATING IS THE ONLY WAY
Of course, a healthy diet filled with whole foods is going to be the best for your overall health and fitness goals, but you don’t have to sacrifice everything you love! Like we’ve shared before, #FBKGetSchooled is all about balance. When you restrict yourself, you’re more likely to binge and go off the rails. By still including alcohol, sweet treats, and some of your favorite snacks in moderation, you can hit your goals and still and still live your life!
What other myths have you heard that you’d like us to debunk, or talk about with you? Tell us over @fitbykaty on Instagram!
Ready to get your masters in myth busting? Our coaches are schooling us on the biggest myths in the fitness industry in our latest video.