fitness

8 fitness myths personal trainers are sick and tired of hearing.

Image via Fox.

Weights will make you bulky“. “You need to exercise at least X times a week to see real results.” With everyone now a self-titled “fitness expert” and information coming at you left, right and centre, it can be very confusing to separate the fact from fiction.

While it’s confusing you, it’s even more frustrating for personal trainers. We asked them to share the fitness myths they want busted for good. You’re welcome.

1. Sit ups alone will give you flat abs.

Those 100 sit ups you did last night? They weren’t exactly a waste of time but they’re not miracle workers.

“Yes, crunches will give you definition, but a healthy gut and diet are the real keys toning your tummy region,” says Stephanie Prem, former Olympian and director of Studio PP.

2. No more #Fitspo – it doesn’t work.

Some believe staring at images of impossibly toned (retouched) bodies will kick their motivation into gear, however Prem argues #Fitspo could actually be more of a hindrance than help.

“I think we’ve become too focused on looking good rather than feeling good. While it may be motivating for some it can perpetuate unrealistic body standards for others,” she says.

3. Weights make you bulky.

A common misconception is that weights will make you “bulky“, something that can put women off using them altogether.

“Strength training actually a great way to develop a leaner and stronger physique,” says Michael Cunico, National Personal Training Manager at Fitness First High Performance Club . (Post continues after gallery.)

4. Doing cardio only is enough.

While the cardio training craze of a few decades ago has subsided somewhat, a common fitness myth is that cardio is the be all and end all way to stay in shape.

Instead, Cunico advises looking at High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) which uses big movements involving every muscle in the body for short interval bursts. Activities like yoga and Pilates that might not get you huffing and puffing are still beneficial for toning and strengthening.

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5. You’ll get results quickly.

When it comes to fitness, there is no quick fix (sadly). Getting fit and healthy requires long term commitment and perseverance.

Cardio may be the key to meeting people at the gym, but for weight loss? Not so much. Image via HBO.

6. Warm ups and cool downs are optional.

Warming up with stretches and exercises and cooling down after a workout is important for injury prevention and muscle development. Yes, you need to do it.

"For the extra five minutes you spend on your warm up and cool down, you could be saving your body from a lot of pain or recovery in the long term. Rest is also crucial to achieving your fitness goals," says Cunico.

A day of rest is also something important to include in your training schedule to ensure your body doesn't fatigue, get injured or lose strength.

7. The more you sweat, the better.

While sweating is usually a sign of working hard, it doesn't necessarily mean you've burned more calories - sorry Bikram Yoga junkies.

"It's a great way to eliminate toxins from the body but does not necessarily mean you are burning more fat," says Prem.

8. Missing one workout is the end of the world.

Some weeks you'll jump out of bed and smash your workout, other times you'll feel like just making it out the door is an accomplishment in itself.

Work stress, lack of recovery, poor nutrition and even your time of the month can all impact your energy levels and progress.

"The gradual increase of volume or training stress we place on ourselves should happen over time, so don't beat yourself up if one or two workouts don't go to plan," says Cunico.

What fitness myths are you confused about or hate hearing?