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Here are 5 fitness 'rules' you definitely shouldn't believe.

The health and fitness world is full of ~interesting~ advice (oh, hey detox diets! We didn't see you there...). And while some of these so-called 'rules' are pretty strange and funny, others could actually do you more harm than good.

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Because it's 2021 and we're sick of being f**ked around, we're going to zero in on five common fitness myths to help you tweak your fitness routine and reach your goals in a healthy way.

Whether you’re trying to get back into exercising or just move your body more, we asked Tim West, MD and Co-Founder of 12RND Fitness for some of the most common fitness myths we need to stop believing, stat.

Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.

If you're one of the lovely dames out there who avoid lifting weights 'cause you're scared it's going to make you look like The Rock, we have some good news.

Strength training won't make you look bulky. 

DO lift the heavy stuff!

Lifting heavy weights will not give you this kinda muscle mass. Image: Giphy 

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"Some of our female members have previously raised concerns when it comes to strength training for fears that they may experience adverse physiological changes and 'bulk up'. However, strength training is vital towards achieving a lean and toned physique," confirms West.

Just to reiterate: If you want to build lean muscle, pick up weights. 

Strength training increases the number of calories you burn daily even when you’re not actively lifting weights. How crazy is that? 

Not only this, but strength training is also an important tool in keeping your bones and joints healthy - cause osteoporosis sucks.

"Strength training doesn’t necessarily mean lifting excessively heavy weights, rather it is the introduction of weights to create 'resistance' and stimulate muscle growth and development. This is important for overall body composition because increased muscle mass contributes towards long-term fat loss," said West.

Lift the weights! Image: Getty 

So, where did this whole 'girls shouldn't lift' myth come from?

"This misconception has been conjured up over the years from the emergence of women in weight lifting, wrestling and other professional sports that require greater muscular strength to improve their athletic performance," said West. 

"These women often train quite vigorously to achieve these results, and have the nutrition and diet to help them reach those goals, often eating at a higher caloric surplus."

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Meaning? You'd have to bulk up your diet and consume an *insane* amount of excess calories in order to see a bulky or body-builder level of muscularity. Remember, these kinds of athletes work extremely hard to look the way they do - so you won't end up there by accident, promise!

Nervous about grabbing a pair of dumbbells? 

Get some personalised advice from a trainer who can tailor a strength training program that works for you. Then be consistent and stick with it. Trust us, you'll feel stronger than ever.

Myth #2: Training every single day, twice a day will get you guaranteed results.

Training twice a day? 

Image: Giphy 

West said that while consistency and regularity in your training is definitely important, pushing yourself beyond your limits without recovery is a big no. 

"You may put yourself at risk of burnout or even injury, which of course would have a negative effect on your long-term results," he said.

So just give yourself a break.

"It’s common for our members to get extremely motivated in their training, even to the point of addiction where we start to see them training twice a day, consecutively which can of course kick-start your progress and help you see fast results, but isn’t sustainable."

Over-training is a thing. Image: Getty 

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"An appropriate balance would need to incorporate at least eight hours sleep daily, a substantial caloric intake, and physical recovery such as massages, physio and foam rolling - but in reality, very few of us have the time (or energy) to achieve it all."

Hear, hear.

"That’s why professional athletes and even actors training for a role have to commit to their training and nutrition full-time. Instead, you can achieve sustainable, long-term results when you train intelligently and maintain a balanced diet."

The best way to build a balanced routine?

Well, if you're getting back into the fitness game, West suggests starting with three workouts a week, ensuring you incorporate recovery and days of rest. 

He said you can then increase that frequency once your body is physically conditioned for a higher intensity, and your fitness levels have improved accordingly.

Myth #3: If your body doesn’t hurt the next day, you’re not doing it right.

Guys, you don't have to be unable to move the next day in order to workout 'correctly'. This is not a thing.

"This is absolutely not true. It’s not unusual to experience some muscle soreness when you’re trying something new that your body is not yet adapted to, however it’s important to distinguish if you’re experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), or a potential injury or strain," said West. 

Image: Giphy 

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"DOMS is a dull muscle soreness that can occur up to 48 hours after strenuous exercise and is usually triggered by training outside of your normal range of intensity, or anything that your body is currently used to. 

However, if you're doing these kinds of workouts on the reg, West said your body should get used to your style of training and your muscles will begin to adapt towards a specific stress, which is known as the repeated bout effect (RBE). 

"Essentially, discomfort is natural, but any ongoing pain should be acknowledged and addressed as necessary."

Myth #4: It’s only a good workout if you’re drenched in sweat.

Fact: Just because you're dripping with sweat post-run, doesn't mean you've torched any more calories than usual. Sorry. Please don't be mad at us. 

Listen to You Beauty, where Kelly and Leigh discuss whether you actually sweat your skincare off at the gym. Post continues after podcast. 

"The amount of sweat we produce is extremely variable from person-to-person, in particular females tend to have more sweat glands than males, whilst males often have more active sweat glands which can increase how much they sweat," explained West. 

How much we sweat all depends on the conditions of our workout - it might be the result of an overheated studio, the weather or even your own personal physiology.

Image: Giphy 

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"Our body generates sweat in order to cool down when our core temperature increases, and can be impacted based on what you’re wearing, how intensely you’re training, whether you’re training inside or outside, the level of humidity, and whether it’s a hot or cool day."

West said sweat is also highly impacted by your initial level of hydration, so if you’re dehydrated during your workout, your body will struggle to produce sweat to cool you down. 

Meaning? Sweat doesn't indicate how good your workout was. Mmmkay?

"Although your muscles generate heat during exercise and can cause sweat, sweat is a highly unreliable indicator of the effectiveness of your workout. Instead, focus on the intensity of your training, ensuring that you are adequately hydrated, and that you replenish your body nutritionally post-exercise," said West.

Myth #5: HIIT isn't for beginner fitness levels.

High-intensity interval training, commonly known as HIIT, is hugely popular. If you haven't heard of it, it basically involves working at a high intensity for brief intervals with rest periods in between. HIIT usually requires little equipment and a small amount of space - making it perfect for at-home workouts.

Sounds good, right? However, there are some cute newbies getting around the fitness block thinking HIIT isn't for them - which West said is rubbish.

"High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has grown in popularity over the years because it is dynamic, efficient and scientifically proven to create results, however this style of training can also be intimidating to someone if they’re concerned about just how intense it may be," said West.

We get it - the word 'intensity' may sound confronting, but experts ensure that this form of exercise is highly individual and depends on your current level of fitness.

"Someone who has been doing HIIT for years will of course have an increased stamina and athletic ability to someone who is just starting out."

So, what's the go? Should you be doing it? 

Well, maybe.

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"Incorporating HIIT into your training is a great way to condition your body across a multitude of functional movements and add an element of strength training without having to train for an extreme duration of time." 

This makes HIIT training great options for people short on time (read: all of us) - and it's way more engaging than slogging it out on the treadmill for, like, an hour. 

Image: Giphy 

"The reason HIIT is so effective is because of excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) which can raise your metabolic rate for more than 24 hours post-exercise."

Umm... come again? 

Basically, your body will spend the rest of the day pumping out energy in order to recover from the intense training session you gave it.

"In our clubs, we have coaches available to our members in every single workout to gauge their current fitness level and skill ability and cater to them accordingly, which can mean adapting certain exercises to ensure they don’t put themselves at risk of strain or injury, and can improve over time."

If you're doing HIIT training at home, just remember to take it easy. "Take it at your own pace and be mindful or how your body is feeling, whilst ensuring you continually challenge yourself to push further as your fitness progresses," said West.

Feature image: Getty

Are you guilty of believing any of the above? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.