Don’t Believe These Popular Fitness Myths in 2024


It’s a fresh new year, and a great time to reboot your fitness journey. Maybe you’ve got a new meal plan or gym membership you’ve just begun to use; or maybe this is the year you’ll get really into chasing a new fitness goal. But before you jump in too deep, promise me one thing: Promise me you’ll avoid these traps that the fitness influencers of the world have set before you. 

Don’t overthink the timing of anything

As you set up your routine, you’ll have a lot of questions. Beginners will often hear that there’s a guideline for how far apart to space workouts or meals, and it’s great to keep guidelines in mind…if they help you. But ultimately your priorities should be: 

  1. Whether you do the thing at all (exercising versus not exercising)

  2. How much of the thing you do (exercising three times a week is probably better than one)

  3. And only then should you worry about the exact timing.

For example, let’s say your plan is to hit the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but Monday was a holiday and the gym was closed. So do you go Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and then only have one weekend day for rest? Or do you skip Monday so you can stick to the Wednesday and Friday workouts? Or if you already skipped Monday and Tuesday, should you try to stuff three workouts into a shortened week before taking the weekend off? 

All of these are correct answers. I promise. The bigger picture matters more than the details of what exercises you did on which day. Get three workouts in this week if you can. The exact days don’t matter. 

Some other aspects of timing you can relax about: 

  • Rest days between exercise days: These don’t actually matter on the day-to-day level. Monday/Tuesday/Friday is just as good as Monday/Wednesday/Friday. Your biceps won’t catch fire if you use them two days in a row. 

  • Timing of meals or protein after your workouts: It’s good to eat soon after your workout if you can, but if you miss that so-called “anabolic window,” you’ll be fine

  • Doing cardio before weights, or vice versa: Whichever comes second will appear to suffer slightly, since you’ll be a bit fatigued. But you’re still giving your body a signal to build muscle and make cardiovascular adaptations, no matter what order you do your workouts in. Whichever is higher priority should come first, but don’t sweat it if you can’t do things your preferred way.

  • Timing between two workouts on the same day: If you can’t put two workouts on different days, it’s best to separate them by at least six hours. But that’s a guideline, not a law. If the only times you can work out are 8 a.m. and noon, then work out at 8 a.m. and noon. (Just do yourself a favor and have a good, carb-y breakfast after that morning workout.)

  • Which body part you work on which day: In a “split” workout routine, you might do chest and triceps Monday, back and biceps Tuesday, and so on. If you think you might prefer a different order, try it and see how you like it. Remember, it’s more important that you do leg day than when you do leg day.

Don’t throw out a whole exercise or food group because an expert tells you to

No matter where you get your information, you have to remember that the source is almost always an information business first, and a coach second. That YouTuber, TikToker, book author, or whoever they are knows they need to grab you with a shocking new fact and a promise that they have all the answers.

Some of them are, shall we say, a bit dramatic in their pronouncements. That means they often position themselves as experts by telling you that whatever you did before was wrong, and encouraging you to throw out everything you know and follow them to find a new way of doing things. 

But that’s not how fitness works. There are so many different ways to get strong, to lose weight, to reduce your heart disease risk, or whatever your goal might be. Your old habits were not causing every problem you ever had. To give a few counterpoints to the myths going around these days:

  • Lifting heavy weights is not bad for you: Strength training is good at building strength and increasing or maintaining muscle mass, both of which benefit your overall health.

  • Deadlifting is not particularly dangerous: Picking things up off the ground is a normal human activity and the available injury statistics do not single it out as a thing that needs to be avoided.

  • High intensity cardio is not ruining women’s (or anyone’s) metabolisms: If you previously felt like you needed to do a ton of HIIT to burn more calories, good news, you don’t! But HIIT is fine in small doses, and we could all probably use a mix of steady state cardio and harder interval work

  • Nobody has found the One True Way to strength train: It’s not SuperSlow, it’s not One Set to Failure, and it’s not whatever trend somebody will invent or resurrect tomorrow. There are many good ways to get stronger, as you can tell from the fact that everybody has their own idea about how to do it.

Don’t expect all of the experts to agree

There are different goals and approaches and opinions in the fitness world, just as there are different cuisines and different recipes in the food world. If a runner tells you to lift after you run and a weightlifter tells you to lift before you even think about doing any conditioning work, who’s right? They both are, for their respective sports. Even within a sport, like powerlifting, coaches will disagree about the best training methods. If you’re interested in that sport, pick somebody you trust and train the way they say is best. (There’s a lot to be said for joining a club or hiring a coach.) 

But if you’re just exercising for fun, health, and maybe a little bit of vanity, you don’t have to try to follow everybody’s advice all the time–nor do you have to resolve differences between experts from different fields. Don’t expect everything to be compatible, just pick an approach that will take you a direction you would like to go. 

Don’t chase suffering

The most important thing that beginners should know about fitness is this: Exercise should feel like work, but it should not feel like torture. 

No athlete, and no ordinary fit person on the street, is completely hating their life in every workout they do. They mix easy and hard days, and even their hard days are toned down a bit from an all-out effort. A runner might collapse in exhaustion at the end of a race, but they don’t do that at the end of every training run. Making fitness a part of your life doesn’t mean living a life of suffering–no matter how many shots of sweating, panting people you see in ads or on social media.

Source

Leave a Comment

ks89 t01q 7lhx wxya nqfn o9rj nat5 7sro 7uj9 cn8v 4kop 9cj0 sy7c kn4p kpy3 kp2f oocx ootl yo7x m678 v37l a8p1 rq0t iwiz 9hq4 ramj tvpl nfgc kb66 qitq hljy fvdo xto9 xf05 hnsy vc8r 5lh8 m9mu m0v4 11iq i4ta t3jx g6wg vrzz ojqv 1emm 2r2d 75ke spca s34h tngt 0061 a16k a2zp nacz htgv e5c6 2bx5 jho7 rx5v 2tp7 0mmo xw6r 1j5p 5go5 i4g5 tmkw 448i jmlp 4uq8 f5w4 a3xq