You’re not the only one — fitness gurus encounter these popular myths all the time. According to personal trainer Kirsty Welsh, these little tidbits of misinformation are often spread with good intentions, and aren’t wholly untrue, but they’re too all-or-nothing to be good advice for everyone.
“Yes, [the advice] will reach the purpose they’re after, but it’s probably not best in terms of health on the body,” Kirsty says.
Here are just 11 of the fitness ‘pearls of wisdom’ that maybe aren’t so wise after all:
1. “Situps will give you a flat stomach”
"I would hear that at least on a fortnightly basis. It's all well and good to do situps, despite the fact they're not the most effective ab exercise, but when it comes to 'torching the fat' a large portion of that is going to come down to nutrition. Despite people being a little more educated around that space, we're still a long way off really understand how to get rid of stomach fat and how to have abs." — Blake Worrall-Thompson, trainer — Wellbeing By Blake
2. "It's better to work out at [insert time of day]."
This sounds legit — and it is in terms of certain times being less crazily busy at the gym — but there's no solid evidence to suggest that one particular time of the day is most effective for everyone. Rather, your own body's circadian rhythm and your schedule are the best ways to determine what time suits you best to squeeze in exercise on a consistent basis. If you bound out of bed in the morning and like to go to bed at a reasonable hour, an a.m. workout is probably right up your alley. For other people, that perfect time might be in the evening after work.
"[F]ind a time that helps you make your exercise a regular, consistent part of your life," Stephen Aldana from the department of exercise sciences at Brigham Young University tells WebMD. "This is more important than the time of day."
3. "No pain, no gain!"
"Often people avoid exercise as they think the only way to get benefit is if it is painful. We need to think of exercise as movement and get some every day. Exercise is as important to the body's function as eating, drinking and breathing. The old cliché of 'no pain no gain' only really works if you want to look like a body builder but not everyone wants this. Most people want to feel better, feel stronger and have more confidence. When people train with me my aim is to have them finish a session feeling better at the end then when they started. Because at the end of the day 'no pain, no pain!'" - Greg Stark, Personal Trainer at Better Being, lululemon athletica Ambassador
Forget No pain no gain — we prefer these honest and far more sane fitness motivation posters (post continues after gallery):