Fitness Rules That You Should Break
Posted on 11 Jun, 2015
Because our time and energy is limited, it is important that we follow certain best practices in our day-to-day living. This goes for the way we approach fitness. In this article we will take a look at six common fitness practices that studies have shown are outdated.
Fitness Rules That You Should Break
Old Rule: Always Rest Between Sets
To make sure you do not snap a bone or dislodge a ligament, the recommendation is that you take a 2-minute breather between sets at the gym. But new studies have shown that there is a more time-efficient way that brings greater results.
New Rule: Exercise Different Muscle Groups During Breaks
Instead of sitting on your machine like a sloth while you catch your breath, fitness experts suggests this: that you keep your heart rate up by immediately jumping onto another machine that works a different muscle group. You won’t overstress the area of the body you just punished, you get a cardio workout in the process, and you get to go home earlier than normal.
Old Rule: Watch Yourself In The Mirror While You Workout
The purpose for this is so that you can make corrections in your form. There is one problem, though. Many of us do not know what correct form looks like.
New Rule: Close Your Eyes And Feel
When you close your eyes while performing certain activities, it activates the neural pathways between your brain and your muscles. This allows you to feel and control your body a lot better. Intimately knowing your body’s capabilities and full ranges in motion enables you to push your limits and stop before you get injured.
Old Rule: Tone Up A Specific Area Of Your Body By Exercising It
We’ve seen the infomercials. The ones that can conjure six packs, tauten flabby arms, and turn buns into steel. But the truth is, you can’t spot reduce fat.
New Rule: Burn Fat To Kill The Jiggle
We all have six packs. They are just hidden under layers of fat. Lower your body’s overall fat level and everything will magically tighten up. It’s that simple.
Old Rule: To Not Be Big And Bulky, Use Light Weights And Do More Reps
We hear this a lot, especially from women. But speak to any body builder, and they’ll tell you how incredibly hard it is to gain any mass. You don’t bulk up by chance. You have to be on a diehard mission to do so. You have to be in the weight room for so many hours that the regulars nod at you as you pass.
New Rule: Lift To Your Limit
Always aim to do 3 sets of 8-12 reps, and select a weight that will get you to muscle exhaustion in the final set. It is when you get to this point that you start to build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the more fat your body metabolizes when it’s at rest. Your body will start to firm up, and you will look slimmer, not bulkier.
Old Rule: Variety Is The Key
To thwart repetitive stress injury, many health professionals suggest that you mix it up. This is great advice, and you should follow it. But apply this new rule on top of it.
New Rule: Have Seasons For Your Exercise
Give your body a chance to adapt to a particular exercise before switching your workout, as changing up your routine too frequently can hamper the potential gains it offers. Set aside a different period for each area you want to develop: speed, strength, tempo or agility. You can allow the seasons to dictate your schedule: strength in the winter because you’ll want to be indoors, long tempo runs in the spring and fall when it’s temperate, short speed sessions in the summer.
Old Rule: Practice Yoga And Pilates For Longer, Leaner Muscles
Ok, here’s the thing. Muscles are attached from one end of your bone to another. To get them longer you would need a saw, a bunch of metal staples, and a month’s supply of morphine. And leaner is what you’re after, cardio and weight training are more effective.
New Rule: Supplement Your Workout Routine With Yoga And Pilates
Yoga is great for strengthening the core, improving balance and flexibility, sharpening focus and stress relief. It should not be a replacement for other forms of exercise as it does not have the same cardio, fat burning and muscle strengthening benefits.
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