Gay gym myths – busted!
What exactly should you be doing in the gym?
While it’s important to try and stay up-to-date with the latest fitness thinking and health developments, it’s easy to be confused by the huge range of magazines and online experts all purporting to offer the miracle work-out. Even your friends, your work-out buddies, and your Instagram crushes are likely to have competing views as to what works and what doesn’t.
In the interests of research, we sat down with a couple of strength and conditioning coaches to drink green tea and quiz them about what we should really be focusing on in order to get the buffed-up beach body that we’re aspiring to.
Myth: I need to do sit-ups to get great abs.
Busted: Sit-ups are actually a waste of time . The reality is that everyone has abdominal muscles, but unless your diet and exercise regime enables you to be lean, you can’t see the definition.
Tip: Incorporating interval training into your work-out three times a week will help you drop body-fat and get you on the way to revealing your abs in all their glory.
Myth: I want to look leaner so I need to do a lot of cardio.
Busted: Consistent aerobic training is actually counter-productive for burning off fat. Excessive aerobic training is likely to increase cortisol levels – a stress hormone that contributes to abdominal fat.
Tip: Interval training – whether it be sprints or incomplete recovery between resistance exercises - will ensure you achieve an anaerobic state during your workout. Anaerobic training is intense enough to cause lactate to form. Anaerobic training is far superior for dropping body-fat and increasing lean muscle.
Myth: Exercising on a Swiss-ball will help improve my core strength.
Busted: While a Swiss-ball can be a useful tool when integrated into a training programme, you’ll get much better results by training your lower back muscles.
Tip: Your lower back is an extremely important foundation of your core strength – focus on deadlifts, good-mornings, and hyperextensions for instant results.
Myth: I want to build my upper body so I’ll spend less time on my legs.
Busted: If you want to develop a great upper body you’ll get the results faster by training your lower body just as hard.
Tip: Training the big powerful muscles in your legs will push your body to increase testosterone levels - testosterone is a male-dominant hormone that is essential for muscle gain. Grab some dumbbells and get lunging and you’ll soon start to see improved results from all those bicep curls.
Myth: I want to get lean so I need a low-fat diet.
Busted: A low-fat diet may actually be hindering your attempts to drop body fat. Essential fats, such as those high in Omega three - such as fish, olive oil, and avocado – are extremely important for switching on fat-burning cells and switching off fat-storing cells.
Tip: Ensure you’re following a balanced diet that includes plenty of ‘good fats’ but make sure you avoid the trans fats found in highly processed foods. Cakes, biscuits and yellow non-dairy spreads are out!
Myth: Protein shakes are bad for you.
Busted: While protein shakes have had some bad press, quality products are fine and are still the best way to support the body during post work-out recovery and to maximise muscle gain.
Tip: Look for products that use natural whey from grass-fed cows, and that are sugar and aspartamine free. Post work-out protein shakes can help to increase natural growth hormones, assist in replenishing glycogen stores, and support cell regeneration and muscle growth.
Myth: I need to be in the gym every day in order to stay in shape.
Busted: Allowing your body to rest and recover is just as important as pumping iron. Over-training can limit your body’s development and lead to injury.
Tip: Mix it up to keep it interesting. Limit your resistance and weight training to three sessions per week. On the other days focus on sprints, swimming, or get on the bike and go for some interval cycling.