The SIX Worst Fitness Myths

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As “fitness consumers,” we are always looking for new advice from professionals to better our workouts and our bodies. But how can we trust that everything we hear, read or see, is true?

Simply put, we can’t.

And since there are so many “fitness falsities” floating around in the fit-o-sphere, I wrote about some common fitness myths in an email newsletter for my company, Blood, Sweat and Cheers. (Blood Sweat and Cheers is the free daily email that brings you the best fun, active and social events, activities, things to do, workouts, fitness classes and more.) More specifically, I got the scoop from professionals in the industry to debunk some of these myths–and share the truth.

**I got feedback from a third expert once the write-up was already sent to production, so I wanted to be sure to share a sixth myth from Abby Bales of Run Stronger Everyday along with original article. Abby is a NYC-based runner, personal trainer and coach who is currently getting her doctorate in physical therapy. Her input is included at the end (Myth #6) of this post/the original article, and will help runners looking to PR during the 2013 race circuit!

Enjoy — and don’t be fooled!

**article originally appeared in Blood Sweat & Cheers daily newsletter.

Professionals crack your cardio questions

Don't do this BEFORE the run

Helping us debunk some more common erroneous fitness myths are two fitness pros, Adam Rosante of The People’s Bootcamp and Michael Olajide Jr. of AEROSPACE, who gets Adriana Lima Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show-ready.

Myth #1: Stretching Before a Workout Prevents Injury
Fact: Blood Flow is More Important
Rather than simple static stretching, which can decrease power and lead to injury during a workout, Rosante advises instead to get blood flowing to lubricate joints and create elasticity in your muscles. For a better dynamic warm-up, try 25-second combinations of light jogs in place, jumping jacks, high knees, forward lunges with a torso twist, and butt kicks!

Myth #2: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Fact: High-Intensity Intervals Burn More Fat
Unless you’re running a marathon, HIIT burns more calories and raises metabolism for up to 24 hours post-workout. To get the most bang for your buck, Rosante suggests picking 6 exercises to do back-to-back for 30 to 60 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between (that’s one cycle). Aim for 3 cycles, resting one minute between each.

Myth #3: You Need to Workout Every Day
Fact: An Everyday Regime Leads to Overtraining
Working out too frequently halts progress, and can even lead to losing strength. Rosante advises giving your body time to rest and recover, with a working out max of 5 days per week.

Myth #4: You Can Always Work it Off
Fact: You Can’t Outrun a Bad Diet
Constantly feeding your body crap is no match for a dozen sets of burpees. But don’t deprive yourself, either. Rosante proposes sticking to this motto: “If it has a laundry list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, don’t eat it.”

Myth #5: There’s No Such Thing as ‘Too Much Water’
Fact: Yes, There is.
Too much of a good thing (water) is still TOO MUCH, and much of the weight people gain is from water, Olajide warns. If your body is prone to retaining water and fluids, or you don’t workout enough to release said fluid, you will bloat.

**Myth #6: If I just run more miles, I will get faster.
Fact: Fast-tempo workouts create speed.
Increasing mileage will make you fitter, but not faster. Instead, Bales says, fast times come from pushing HARD during hill, speed and tempo workouts. These workouts increase your VO2 max, which makes your body more efficient at delivering oxygen to your muscles AND helps your body increase its lactic threshold, pushing away fatigue and soreness. Adding mileage can be helpful in an overall plan, but speed = speed. End of story!!

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