Three of the fitness industry’s biggest myths debunked by our Head of Performance Gareth Cole.
Myth 1: No Pain, No Gain
Exercise can be uncomfortable and strenuous at times but should never be painful.
Pain is a central nervous system response to a problem and not to be mistaken with fatigue. This should be clearly outlined by your Coach during your first session.
Delayed onset muscle soreness is completely different and to be expected after a new or intense training session, this is due to small microtears happening within the muscle. The few days following the session the muscles are reacting and adapting to the new or higher than normal stresses and can feel uncomfortable at times. Understanding and distinguishing the difference between these two very different physiological reactions is key to a safe, sustainable progressive programme.
Just remember that if you’re feeling sharp and localised pain then stop but if you’re experiencing a general burning sensation then its a healthy fatigue response.
Myth 2: Strength Training For Women – Will It Make Me Look Bulky?
Increasing muscle mass requires considerable time, effort, specific strength training and lots of available calories in the form of carbohydrates and protein. It also requires plenty of muscle building hormones in the form of testosterone, something traditionally women possess in considerably lower levels. To clarify women may experience some weight gain, but this is usually due to lean muscle density weighing more than fat.
Myth 3: If I Work My Core I Will Burn Fat And Finally See My Abs
We’re all different and our bodies are predisposed to storing fat at different rates and in different areas. For some of us the fat might increase or reduce from your arms first, then your hips, then your midsection and for others the complete opposite may occur. This is all dependent on your genetic make-up, nutrition, insulin sensitivity, stress and sleep.
There’s unfortunately no such thing as spot reduction, which means your body cannot reduce fat in a specific location so try and look at reducing body fat in a more integrated way. Increasing muscle density through general strength training in addition to healthy food choices and a strict sleep regime to help optimise your metabolism.