In the year 2015, we have been reduced to virtual friendships, relationships, and interactions. As I too am forced into a virtual society, I scroll/troll my news feed, and friend pages and I’ve noticed a few things amongst many, including some fitness myths..
I am a newbie figure competitor and I have been working out for 15 plus years learning as I go, and shaping my fitness journey to suit my needs. I have clients, and because of that I need to keep my ear close to what they say they need, hence the scrolling and trolling.
During my scrolls, I noticed that there is a fear of exercise
And my analytical mind wanted to know why, and where the fear came from. My text books give various explanations, but the one that stood out was self efficacy. In relation to fitness, self efficacy is one’s belief that they can successfully participate in, and complete an exercise program.
Rarely do we find people who go to the gym just because they want to, or let’s say without external factors. Most of the time there is a reason, or goal to be reached and or maintained; and the habit becomes a lifestyle. So, back to my trolling adventures, I’ve noticed that people feel more comfortable with routines that include the least amount of exercises while thinking they are in store for an effective workout. I’ve heard statements such as, all I need to do is lose my stomach so I do 50 crunches a day, or I don’t want to get too big and look like a man. The statement that baffles me the most is I can’t do it.
So for all the fitness myths that I’ve heard, I’m going to try to clear them up for you, Fit Rebels.
Remember when I mentioned the “I do crunches” statement? Well, according to bodybuilding.com, spot reduction is possible through liposuction. As an advanced gym goer, I have learned via research and information I’ve received from gym veterans and mentors, that spot reduction does not work. Crunches do tone the abs, but the exercise does not engage your entire core. The article, “6 Fitness Myths Busted (and 3 surprising facts)” from health.com states that “the exercise does not burn many calories”. Certainly not enough to tone the entire core without adding additional exercises or total body movements. The article continues to add that planks and bridges are better, because they engage the entire core.
Some individuals lack physical activity because of injuries. Some people think that running is bad for your knees. From personal experience, I can testify that knee strength, “if you will” is largely related to your core strength. A strong core will allow you to use your quads and hamstrings properly. A Stanford University study determined that older runners knees’ were no less healthy than those of people who do not run. The article from health.com recommends doing total body workouts 2xs a week to build strength.
Now I have heard the chorus to this song too many times: I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look like a man. That comment just reminds me of how women ignore and or do not know much, if anything, about their bodies. I want to initiate change among women to start loving our bodies and the organs within them.
Women produce less testosterone than men, and have less muscle tissue. The article “The Top 10 Fitness Myths You’re Probably Wrong About” from fitnessmagazine.com reports that men have 20-30 times more testosterone than women. So let’s use our brains ladies, if you want to look like He-Man you will have to alter your hormonal levels. On a serious note, you may have a hormone imbalance. End result, Storm from X-Men or Wonder Woman, but definitely not He-Man or the Incredible Hulk!
Oh the age thing, the higher the number goes, the more irritated some of us get.
There are folks out there who believe that the older you get, you must begin to place limitations on your life, and exclude yourself from activities that you once enjoyed. The subject becomes more intense in relation to women. I myself was told to stop competing because I was going to be 40 years old, and it was implied that I wasn’t thinking. Now being realistic, age warrants a change because your mindset changes; therefore you may participate in the same activity, but in a different manner. For instance, women compete in their 90’s, however they do not compete against women who are 20, 30, 40, and so forth. Let’s be respectful of who people are, and not impose judgments regarding age or any other ‘ism” upon each other. Respect who people are, and let them do what they enjoy doing!
At 40, you’re still a training baby, according to bodybuilding.com, unless you were a competitive professional as a teenager. Of course, at 40 you are no longer a spring chicken or rooster, but that does not mean you reduce or stop exercising. Think, “training baby!”
With all that said, I would like to add that a good personal trainer will ask the right questions, during an assessment process to determine your fitness level. We are required to create a routine that will help you meet your goals, and burn calories effectively no matter the level of fitness activity. If you can’t keep going, take a breather, and then keep going or transition from the standard exercise to the modified exercise to finish your reps.
My own story includes struggles with weight, nasty comments, and are you pregnant questions. I understand that struggle, and I am living proof among others that the “I can’t do it” mentality has no place in fitness or life for that matter.
Talk to friends to form a workout group. In reference to our growing virtual society, if you live in a different state or another country, you can still participate in a supportive, competitive, weight loss, or healthy journey program. Or just join Dia’s Fit Rebels, we are a lovely group of regular folks!
Be Well and Live Well, Fit Rebels!