As a fitness blog, it is our duty to continuously harp on the issue of exercise. After all, most of our readers agree that apart from having a strong mindset and good dietary habits, exercise is crucial for long term health and weight maintenance. Truth of the matter is that some people hold misconceptions about exercise that prevents them from even trying.
In this article, we cover a few of the common misconceptions and the mistakes that have prevented people from succeeding in the past. The latter bit is just as important because mistakes in the past that have resulted in poor outcomes can deter people from trying again, which is normal. Hopefully this will not be the case for long, with some guidance from us.
The first thing we have to cover is the myth that weight training can make women bulky. This is a very common misconception and is especially relevant for the key demographic of our fan base. Weight training for a woman will strengthen and tone muscle, burn fat and increase metabolism, not build excessive mass.
I cover in detail in the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint that women do not produce enough testosterone to build muscle mass the way that men do. In fact, the female bodybuilders that you see did not become that way “naturally”. They follow a firm and disciplined training and eating regimen. Furthermore, they don’t look that way all the time. So put that myth to rest.
A second common mistake that some people do is to preferentially focus on their strengths. That means that those with strong shoulders will train their shoulders more etc. This is not the best idea because the human body does not work in isolation. Different muscle groups support one another. Having an imbalance may even result in injury. Therefore, you should start focusing on your points rather than what you are good at. This will help you balance things.
Speaking of strength training, another mistake some people make is to sacrifice quality for quantity. For example, if you are ready to increase the number of reps of a particular exercise, you can try to decrease the number of reps in a set but increase the number of sets. Of course this goes against the traditional wisdom of forcing yourself to do a little more each time try decreasing. There is a whole art and science to this that is covered in detail in the Lifelong Fitness Blueprint.
The mantra of “No Pain, No Gain” is repeated many times in the world of fitness. However, one shouldn’t overdo this. Pain is your body’s way of letting you know something is wrong. Do not ignore this. If you exercise at a slightly higher intensity than what your body is used to, you will encounter physical discomfort. This is normal.
Unfortunately, some people have the tendency to overdo it. Don’t. It is important that you have the “base training” before getting into the advanced training. The base training develops the body and gets it ready for training at a higher level. Another mistake that some people make is not resting between intense exercise periods, and they still wonder why it hurts.
It is normal for you to hurt after you exercise, but it must be done gradually with a good amount of rest periods to allow proper healing. There are two common problems here with beginners. Overdoing the exercise can cause long lasting damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments if you work out while you are in pain without allowing enough rest time to heal. You might find yourself in constant and long lasting pain if you do this which means that you will no longer be able to exercise.
If you wake up the next morning after you exercised and can barely drag your aching body out of bed because everything hurts, you are going to be less motivated to exercise at all. Constant pain is a sure way to kill your exercise program. We cannot overemphasize the role motivation and psychology plays in long-term fitness.
And the number one mistake, drum roll please…… is the failure to set goals. Do you exercise without a clear goal in mind? Having a clear goal set is a critical step in exercise and weight loss success. Tracking your progress in a journal will help ensure you see your improvements, will help motivate you and help you meet your ultimate goal.
Goal setting is something that people talk about in all areas of one’s life, and is crucial if you are after something specific. This is the same for exercise, fitness and weight loss. Of course, if you are happy sustaining your body then you might not need this as much. But if there is a desired outcome, there must be a goal. Being smart about how you exercise will take you a long way. It is important to have a healthy body, so get out there and start exercising today.
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