• Busting Fitness Myths



      By Alexandra Baackes Men's Fitness

      You're a well-informed workout buff, so when science suggests one of your trusty training principles is ineffective, your head spins. But don’t worry—we’ve cleared up seven of the top fitness myths circulating the sweaty air of your local gym.

      Myth 1: You can crunch your way to great abs

      Fact: You've probably been doing crunches since “gym” was something slotted between lunch and recess, but they're an ineffective way to get a true six-pack. Instead, experts say toned abs come from a combination of interval training, utilizing carbs effectively, getting adequate sleep, keeping your stress levels low, and of course, selecting the right training moves. “If you look at big bodybuilders with block abs, they're not getting those from crunches,” says personal trainer and strength coach Eric Allen. “They're getting them from squats, deadlifts, and chinups.”

      Myth 2: Cardio comes first

      Fact: Stand at the door of your gym and watch the next 10 people walk in. You’ll likely be observing a traffic jam at the treadmills. Yet the most effective way to organize your workout is to strength train first, and hit cardio second. “Running or doing other cardio first will reduce glycogen levels, which can prevent you from training as hard as you need to,” Allen explains. “On the other hand, weight training first will increase levels of testosterone and cortisol, both of which are beneficial to your workout.”

      Myth 3: Don’t squat past your toes

      Fact: “The No. 1 fitness myth that I come across with my clients is that they shouldn't squat below 90 degrees,” Allen confides. His trainees quickly learn that squatting with knees over toes is a healthy, biomechanically safe move to do. In fact, we do it every day. “Squatting knees over the toes, butt to the floor, hamstrings covering calves, chest up is the most effective way to squat,” he assures. “Look at someone picking up something they've dropped off the ground—it’s a natural movement.”

      Myth 4: You need electrolytes after every workout

      Fact: While sports drink commercials will work overtime to prove otherwise, good 'ol water can get you through many workouts. Electrolyte-pumped sports drinks are really only necessary for gym sessions or intense cardio workouts that last an hour or more. Extra sugar in sports drinks can impede the fat-burning process, so they should be reserved for those times when they're truly necessary.

      Myth 5: Static stretching is sacred

      Fact: While it’s often repeated that static stretching is a must before workouts or athletic events, recent studies have proven that’s a myth. In fact, "static stretching done pre-workout can reduce performance and power," Allen says. So what’s the solution? While static stretching should still be a part of your post-workout routine, dynamic stretching should be your focus at the start of a workout. Try this warmup before training. http://www.mensfitness.com/train-rig...namic-warm-ups

      Myth 6: If you’re not sweating, you’re not working hard

      Fact: In reality, it depends on the focus of your workout, explains Allen. “An Olympic lifter training for pure strength will incorporate several minutes of recovery between lifts in order to let his nervous system recover for peak performance.” He may not be sweating, but he sure as hell is working hard. Before your start fretting about your sweating, zero in on whether endurance or strength is the focus of your training.

      Myth 7: You can run off the pounds

      Fact: “People are hung up on the idea of cardio,” Allen says. Yet when it comes to shedding inches, focused weight training is a more effective way to drop pounds than banking hours on the treadmill. “Interval and weight training is a better way to reduce fat,” he adds. Of course, keep in mind that while you can burn away calories, no amount of time at the gym can compensate for an out-of-control diet.

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...%80%94debunked
      Comments 9 Comments
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        I don't really agree with the first myth. Yes sitting on the floor performing hundreds of crunches a day isn't going to produce a six pack, and I do agree that diet truly is the key to seeing your abs. But ask most fitness athletes whether bodybuilder, power lifter, etc and they will agree that abdominal exercise should be performed to keep a strong core. Dead lifts and squats alone in my opinion don't fire the abdominal nearly as much as say cable crunches or leg raises.
      1. SXIPro's Avatar
        SXIPro -
        Weren't most of these 'myths' debunked decades ago? Most are common sense.
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Myth # 7 isn't a myth, in fact, just the opposite is true: you can't bulk up effectively if you do tons of cardio. Just look at Lance Armstrong. ;)
      1. max d's Avatar
        max d -
        As far as ab activiation,there was an article on here a couple weeks ago that stated standing military press hits you abs better than deads and crunches.
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        Originally Posted by max d View Post
        As far as ab activiation,there was an article on here a couple weeks ago that stated standing military press hits you abs better than deads and crunches.
        Yeah but is the muscle turning on the same thing as contracting it? I have a hard time believing military presses are going to create an abdominal as big and as strong as doing say decline crunches with a 45 on your chest.
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Originally Posted by max d View Post
        As far as ab activiation,there was an article on here a couple weeks ago that stated standing military press hits you abs better than deads and crunches.
        Overhead press works the whole core, I feel it more in my lumbar than abs. Deads seem to hit my abs hardest, good mornings too. But all those exercises are isometric on the core, & you can't build the kind of isometric core strength you need for heavy lifting by doing dynamic exercises like cable crunches & hyperextensions, for the simple reason that it's impossible to load them effectively. Even if you could it would probably be disastrous, since the function of the core muscles is to be isometric and provide stability to the spine under loads. So it makes sense that if you want a strong core you have to train it with progressively heavier isometric loads. All that said if you have time then direct ab work is probably at least marginally beneficial.
      1. compudog's Avatar
        compudog -
        Originally Posted by Bigcountry08 View Post
        Yeah but is the muscle turning on the same thing as contracting it? I have a hard time believing military presses are going to create an abdominal as big and as strong as doing say decline crunches with a 45 on your chest.
        Yes it I think it actually is kind of the same. I don't think there's any such thing as 'turning a muscle on', Muscles can really only do 1 thing, which is contract. The abs aren't 1 muscle though, they're a group of muscles. So when they're 'activated' (contracting) isometrically, meaning without moving, they're contracting in a certain pattern. When they're 'activated' dynamically, in a movement like a crunch, they're contracting in a different pattern. Same group of muscles, all contracting, but in different patterns.
      1. Montego1's Avatar
        Montego1 -
        Originally Posted by SXIPro View Post
        Weren't most of these 'myths' debunked decades ago? Most are common sense.
        It's Men's Fitness.....of course they think this is all new data lol.
      1. MANotaur's Avatar
        MANotaur -
        i do sqauts and ab work

        what has two thumbs and is a fitness rebel??!!

        <<<<<<<<<<<THIS GUY!!

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