Fitness myths busted

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Men's Fitness debunks some of the most common fitness myths

Searching for fitness advice on the Internet? Be careful, there’s a lot of bad advice out there. And some that’s so terrible that following it could result in you picking up a nasty injury. Below are a few examples of the kind of thing we’re talking about. Even the ones that don’t lead to a debilitating pull or tear will have you plateauing quicker than you can explode out of a deadlift. By  Andre Jackson – Men’s Fitness.


Myth 1: Carbs are bad
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Myth 1: Carbs are bad

Myth 1: Carbs are bad

If you’re looking to gain muscle or run a marathon you’re going to need carbs in your diet.  Removing them completely may help you to burn slightly more body fat but it’ll stop you from getting a raft of vital nutrients. Carbs help the body stay energised during an intense workout and replenish the body’s fuel supplies after you’ve finished training. So don’t make carbs your enemy, just stick to clean ones from natural sources, rather than processed carbs that could make you fat and shorten your life.  

Myth 2: Just doing crunches will give you a six-pack
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Myth 2: Just doing crunches will give you a six-pack

Myth 2: Just doing crunches will give you a six-pack

Whether you do one or a 100 crunches, it doesn’t really matter. Crunches alone will not turn you from lardy to lean. That’s because the move strengthens your abs but doesn’t promote fat loss in any meaningful sense. For that you need to do high intensity workouts that fire up your metabolism to torch lard. Avoiding processed food is also crucial. A good rule of thumb is that everything you eat should have come out of the ground or at one point had a face.

Myth 3: Running is the best way to burn fat
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Myth 3: Running is the best way to burn fat

Myth 3: Running is the best way to burn fat

It really depends on the type of running you’re doing. Look at sprinters compared to long distance runners. The former are normally built like comic book characters – all rippling muscles and v-shaped torsos. The latter are normally skinny with slight potbellies. The reason? Sprinting builds explosive type two muscle fibres – the bulky powerful kind that make you look big and ripped, while steady-state long distance running builds slow twitch ones that don’t grow to the same size. Plodding along can also release the stress hormone cortisol into your system, which promotes fat storage. 
Myth 4: Target your stomach to burn away flab
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Myth 4: Target your stomach to burn away flab

Myth 4: Target your stomach to burn away flab

It’s not possible to ‘spot reduce’ your body fat, no matter what some trainers claim. Doing high intensity workouts that target your whole body will help torch fat across your frame and build new muscle, which has the effect of making you look bigger and leaner.

Myth 5: No pain, no gain
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Myth 5: No pain, no gain

Myth 5: No pain, no gain

Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is the pain you get in your muscles after a hard, effective workout. It signifies that your muscles are growing and repairing. In other words, it’s a good ache. Any kind of sharp pain during a workout is a sign you’ve injured or are about to injure yourself and means you must immediately stop what you’re doing. It’s more than likely down to poor form, so get a personal trainer to show you how to perform an exercise before doing it yourself.

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