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7 Common Exercise Myths Debunked

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Have you noticed how everybody seems to be a fitness expert nowadays? Ask any active gym-goer for advice and you’ll straight away get a list of workout truths and insider tips. At least, so they say.

But often when you start digging deeper these training dos and don’ts aren’t exactly backed by science. In fact, some of these exercise myths might do you more harm than good.

So to help you separate fact from fiction I’ve put together this list of common exercise myths; and why you should stop believing them ASAP.

Do you know what’s true?

Exercise myth #1: More cardio means more weight loss

Truth: Although cardiovascular training is definitely a good type of exercise for weight loss, it’s not the magical weight-loss solution that people make it out to be.

Yes, cardio helps you burn calories and increase your calorie deficit, but only during your workout. As soon as you stop, your body stops burning calories as well.

This is opposed to lean muscle mass, which keeps burning calories even when your body rests. So does that mean you should only focus on strength training instead if you want to lose weight?

No, just strength training won’t cut it either I’m afraid…

Instead, you should try to balance your workouts between cardio and strength, but even that’s not enough. Why not?

Because weight loss always depends on healthy nutrition and diet as well. Of course, the best thing you can do is combine all of the above.

Suggested read: The connection between testosterone and weight loss >>

man doing cardio exercise

Exercise myth #2: Morning is the best time to work out

Truth: Although many consider an early morning workout the best way to start the day, studies suggest that there isn’t such a thing as the best time to work out.

This might be one of the most common exercise myths, but research shows that different times of day each have different benefits.

For example, morning workouts are generally better for sleep patterns (as studied here) and your empty morning stomach may help increase fat burn (as studied here).

On the contrary, this study suggests that between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. your body temperature is highest and you can expect peak performance.

Similarly, this study suggests that late during afternoon and evening your reaction time is at a peak, resulting in increased physical performance as well.

So when should you exercise? Honestly, I would say go for the time that fits best into your daily routine.

man tired after morning workout

Exercise myth #3: Supplements are for gym fanatics

Truth: You don’t have to exercise seven days a week to reap the benefits of nutritional supplements.

No matter what your workout routine looks like, healthy nutrition is always important for optimal performance.

For example, a testosterone booster like TestoGen can give you more energy, strength, and endurance to enhance your performance, regardless of how often you work out.

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Exercise myth #4: Stretch before a workout to prevent injuries

Truth: Static stretches can be beneficial after a workout when your muscles are already warm, but doing them before your exercise won’t prevent injury.

A study published in the journal Research in Sports Medicine debunked this myth back in 2007, revealing that static stretching is ineffective in reducing exercise-related injury.

What you should do instead is add some warm-up exercises to your workout routine. Studies have shown that a warm-up can effectively reduce the risk of an exercise-related injury.

man and woman doing warm-up exercises

Exercise myth #5: Avoid sex before competition

Truth: You will be happy to hear that you can still enjoy a quicky before hitting the gym. Although it’s been one of the most common exercise myths amongst pro-athletes for decades there’s no scientific evidence backing it.

A study published in The Journal of Sex Research analyzed the difference in muscular performance between men who had sex the night before a morning strength test and men who abstained for six days.

As it turned out there was no difference whatsoever… So stop punishing yourself before a competition; have some fun instead!

Suggested read: Does sex increase testosterone levels in men?

couple having sex

Exercise myth #6: Sports drinks are healthy

Truth: The fact of the matter is that it’s all just great marketing from companies who want to sell you sports drinks.

At the end of the day, most of these drinks are just water mixed with a lot of sugar…

Instead, the best thing to drink during a workout is plain water. This should be enough to keep you hydrated during your workouts.

man drinking water after exercise

Exercise myth #7: Bigger muscles mean greater strength

Truth: Size doesn’t always matter! Of course, a bodybuilder will (hopefully) be stronger than someone who never works out at all, but that doesn’t mean that quantity always equals quality.

A 2015 study published in the journal Experimental Physiology actually found that sprinters and weight lifters have stronger muscle fibers than bodybuilders.

It debunks the belief that size is all that matters, thus earning this myth the final spot in this list of top exercise myths.

Continue reading: How to exercise at home – 15+ workouts to get you started >>

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