There are a lot of ‘facts’ out there… La Jolla Sports Club helps you cut through the workout myths
Hello, LJSC’ers, welcome to part two of our award-winning* article covering workout myths. If you haven’t read part one, yet, go ahead and catch up, we’ll be waiting for you.
Caught up? Great. If you have any questions on any of these, grab one of our awesome Personal Trainers, they’re a friendly bunch and are there to help.
One last quick note: While these are solid guidelines, the best option is to listen to your bodies above all else. It doesn’t feel right (versus hard / challenging)? Don’t do it. OK, let’s jump in!
Myth 6: I’m a runner / walker / cardio-only person, I don’t need to weight train
Sorry, Prefontaine, time to pick up some dumbbells. According to the Furman Institute for Running and Scientific Training, most running injuries are associated with asymmetries and muscle imbalances. As most runners are aware, they are either left or right-foot dominant. That dominance works its way from the ankles, to the knees, to the hips, to the back, to the shoulders, to the neck. Unilateral (working one side) and contralateral (working across the body) exercises will restore balance and create a uniformity that will help prevent injury.
Additionally, your bones and joints take a beating with every heel strike. Stressing your muscles and tendons will help create a stronger base, as well as giving you the extra boost when you’re chasing down the finish line.
Myth 7: Steady-state cardio burns more calories
You will find arguments for both sides of this case, but Science has currently deemed that interval training (Hey! Try our HIIT classes!) will help you burn more calories. For years, it was thought that the magical zone was between 68-79% of your max heart rate, but it turns out that you need to be at or above 80% to really burn calories and boost metabolism (up to 72hrs after your workout depending on workout and body). Mix in 45 minutes three times per week with your steady-state / lower-intensity workouts. Be careful, however, to not overestimate how hard you’ve worked and chow down on ‘rewards’ after you’re done. This is a pretty easy trap that many people fall into. Work hard, eat with common sense.
Note: If you are new to exercising, work your way up to length of time in the max heart rate range. The best advice will always be ‘listen to your body.’
Myth 8: Stretching vs stretching
Correct! We covered this in our Running Into Myths article, but the idea is the same for weight training. A little copy and paste and here we… go:
Recent studies have shown that static stretching (stretches that are held for a period of time) should NOT be done prior to running. Instead, you’ll want to use dynamic movements, such as walking lunges, butt-kickers, high knees and these to open up your hips and legs and literally warm up your body. Not only can static stretching injure and tear cold muscles, results of a study published in September 2010 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that distance runners who performed static stretches before running had significantly reduced performance and greater energy expenditure compared to those who did not stretch. So, the takeaway: dynamically stretch pre-run, while saving the static stretching for after your run, which will help to calm the body and also bring the muscles back to balance.
Myth 9: You can achieve awesome results quickly and easily
Healthy living is a daily activity. If you’ve decided to make the change to living healthier (CONGRATS, by the way!), start small and expect to have some pitfalls along the way. Set minor and major goals and take the time to congratulate yourself at each one. We promise, it gets easier the more you do it. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
Myth 10: If you’re not sore the next day, you didn’t work hard enough
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a real thing, and we’ve all experienced it. It does not, however, need to be part of your post-workout. Yes, you want to progress in form, reps, weight, movement, but it’s also important to dial in your energy expenditure. As stated above, the most important aspect to working out is listening to your body. If you have a little extra in the tank, by all means, go for it. Just don’t ask us to drive you home after your #gains.
BONUS Myth: Abs = core
Those 1,000 crunches aren’t doing anyone any good. In fact, they could be leading to imbalances and injury-prone spines. You have multiple layers–train them all to get stronger, maintain fitness, grow older, spinal health, for postpartum, for lower back pain, chasing kids / grandkids / Pepsi-generation grandparents, etc etc etc. Questions? Ask a trainer!
What are some of your favorite fitness myths? Have you stubbornly held onto one for too long? Feel free to leave a comment below!
OK, that’s it for this one. Check in next week, where we’ll get after nutrition and supplement myths (supplemyths?). Until then, have a great week / end!
//Your La Jolla Sports Club team