Myth 1. I need to stretch to prevent injury
This is perhaps the most contentious topic for pre-workout do’s and don’ts. While stretching pre-workout is not particularly bad for your body, several studies including one by the Centre for Disease Control concluded that stretching does not prevent injuries.
Instead of static stretches before your workout, try a dynamic warm-up routine that mimics the workout you intend to perform. Starting with smaller movements to lead up to the actual workout increases body temperature and blood flow, preparing you for the workout that is about to come.
Static stretched work much better at the end of a workout to lower body temperature and bring back tired muscles to their resting length
Myth 2. My workout is only successful if I feel sore
The idea that muscle soreness is a sign of a good workout is ingrained in most of our minds. We equate soreness with pushing ourselves harder. A closer look at this belief actually reveals its falsity.
Studies suggest muscle soreness after a new workout may spur muscle growth and strength. However consistent muscle soreness may not actually lead to any muscle growth and might even lead to overtraining and injury.
Instead of focusing on soreness, try to increase the effectiveness of your workout by focusing on your form, increasing repetitions and/or weight.
Myth 3. I am working harder if I take fewer rests
First and foremost, working out harder doesn’t necessarily mean working out effectively. This is especially true in the context of taking breaks during your workout.
By allowing your body to rest between sets, you can perform subsequent exercises with higher intensity, better movements and lower injury risks. Therefore, if thought about critically, taking rests is an essential criteria for superior results.
Just be sure to check for the optimum rest duration for your specific workout and goal. For example, a 15-60 sec rest interval may be ideal in the case of hypertrophy (lean (muscle gain) and fat loss training, but this rest interval could go up to 5 minutes for extreme strength training.
Myth 4. There is ‘one best way’ to train
In this present age of fitness aficionados, everyone seems to know what is and isn’t right when it comes to training.
‘Lifting heavy weights is the best way to build muscle’ or ‘Don’t do cardio if you want to gain weight’ are examples of phrases we often hear.
However, the truth is that all exercise has some merit. Additionally, what may work for someone may have vastly different results for someone else. It is important to remember that genes, height, body type, nutrition, recovery, hydration, supplementation, mindset amongst other things have a key role to play in the effectiveness of a workout. Focus on finding out what works for you, and more importantly what you enjoy doing and the results should follow.