Fitness and training is a bit of a minefield. There’s a heck of a lot of misinformation out there and it can get a bit confusing as to which advice to follow. Are crunches worth the effort? Are treadmills worse than running outside? These questions and more answered below!
You can target where to lose fat
Any kind of exercise will start to reduce overall levels of body fat, but unfortunately we can’t really choose where that fat comes from. However, if you are looking to target fat loss from your arms, legs or stomach, a full body workout is a much better use of your time than trying to target those particular areas.
Lifting weights turns you into the hulk
Yes, if you lift weights you’ll build muscle, but unless you’re downing protein shakes and lifting hard-core you aren’t going to bulk up in that way. In fact, weight-training can help to slim you down and produce a better overall body shape. In fact, the more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns when sedentary, so it’s actually great for keeping your weight levels in check! Lifting weights burns more calories than cardio alone, so mix it up between the two for the best results.
Weight machines are as good as free weights
We aren’t going to say that weight machines are useless, because any form of exercise is a good thing! However, if you have the option at the gym, opt for free weights (dumbbells etc) as they provide a better overall workout. This is because you aren’t as ‘fixed’ in one place as you are with the machines, which means that you are using more muscles to keep yourself balanced and work harder as a result.
Treadmills are as good as running outside
Just like with weights, if you are running outside rather than being fixed on one spot like you are on a treadmill, you are actually working more muscles as the terrain changes more often, and you are keeping yourself balanced as you turn and run up hills. Of course, treadmills are still great exercise – just make sure you mix up speed and incline for a better simulation of running outside.
Crunches burn fat around the stomach
If you want to target stomach fat, you’re much better off undertaking a full body workout that includes a good mix of cardio and weight training. Crunches are generally good as a basic core exercise, but their effectiveness is limited in terms of fat loss.
More gym = more progress
When you exercise, you are putting strain on your body to help it grow and adapt to the new challenge. This is a good thing of course, but its also important to give your body the appropriate time to rest and recover! If you work out every single day, you aren’t giving yourself that crucial recovery time which could actually lower your overall performance and may actually end in injury.