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Exercise Awareness Behavior Health Tips

Gym Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

2 months, 1 week ago

2305  0
Posted on May 17, 2024, 1 p.m.

Imagine slogging away at the gym only to see minimal results. Well, it might not be your lack of effort that's holding you back. It could be the gym mistakes you've been making. 

From misconceptions about cardio to myths surrounding weightlifting, the fitness world is rife with misinformation that could be sabotaging your progress. It's time to separate fact from fiction and debunk those gym mistakes once and for all. 

Targeting the fat-burn

You can't control where your bodies lose fat. In other words: there’s no evidence that you can spot-reduce fat in just one area. Those hours you spend only for crunches every single day won’t get you flat abs.

But you can reduce fat by investing in a calorie deficit and a full-body workout. When you exercise, your body burns fat overall, helping you lose weight and maintain muscle mass. Over time, this can change your body shape and support long-term weight management.

Your metabolic rate, which is how much energy your body burns at rest, is influenced by your muscle and fat composition. Muscles are more metabolically active than fat, so having more muscle means you burn more calories, even when you're not active. That's why people with higher muscle mass tend to have a faster metabolic rate compared to those with more fat mass at the same weight.

Still eating whatever you want

Some people hit the gym just to eat what they want. They believe that as long as they burn enough calories through exercise, the quality of their diet doesn't matter much. 

But, while exercise does indeed burn calories, it's often not enough to offset the effects of a consistently poor diet. Many calorie-dense and nutritionally lacking foods can quickly surpass the calories burned during a workout session. 

To achieve optimal health and fitness, it's essential to recognize that exercise and diet are not interchangeable. A study showed that a good diet and exercise combined are better than a good diet or physical activity alone.

Spending hours and hours working out

The more you train your muscles, the better and faster you can see those more pronounced abs, bulky triceps, and so on. In fact, more isn't always better when we talk about physical activity.

Muscles need time to recover and repair after intense workouts. Overtraining can only lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injury.

The quality of your workouts matters just as much as the quantity, too. Effective muscle growth requires a combination of progressive overload, proper form, and just enough intensity. So, don't even bother beating yourself up for long hours, squeezing steel in the gym without a structured training plan.

Research indicates that resistance-trained individuals can achieve increases in both strength and endurance with just three 13-minute sessions per week over an 8-week period. Surprisingly, these gains are comparable to those achieved with a much larger time investment.

Thinking that if you stop working out for once, your muscles turn into fat

Fat and muscles are two completely different things. They’re two distinct types of tissue with different compositions and functions in the body. 

When you engage in regular workouts, particularly strength training, you may experience changes in your body composition. This can include reductions in body fat percentage and increases in muscle mass. However, fat does not magically transform into muscle.

Muscle mass consists of muscle tissue, glycogen, water, and a small amount of intramuscular fat. Muscle tissue, the only tissue capable of contracting, is composed of chains of amino acids, which vary in structure. 

These amino acid chains contain nitrogen, a component predominantly stored in the body as muscle, with some amino acids circulating in the bloodstream.

Studies have shown fat cannot directly transform into muscle because it lacks nitrogen, and the body lacks a mechanism to convert fat into amino acids. Therefore, the processes of muscle growth and fat loss are separate and distinct.

Although lifting weights can both build muscle and induce fat loss, these should be viewed as two separate results, not one being the result of another.

This article was written for WHN by Andre Oentoro who is the founder of Explainerd, a motion graphic company. Andre helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). 

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

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