Any fitness fanatic who can look deep into the mirror at the eyes looking back will admit it; we’ve all done silly things in the gym.
We’ve all held beliefs about what we’re doing; beliefs, that in time, we learn are not fact-based. It happens.
The explanation for why is lengthy and boring, but it has to do with how we bias our perceptions. We all do it. I’m doing it right now. The hope is, that over time, we upgrade our perceptions with better information.
This is your first step in that direction.
You may not be guilty of all these beliefs, but any one of them may be wasting your time in the gym. Putting an end to them gives you back the time you need to focus on getting better results. It advances you in your biases to a higher ground.
You can skip cardio and still have an awesome physique. Read that sentence again.
When it comes down to keeping your body fat low, cardio plays a helpful role burning calories, but you can burn just as many calories if not more with high-intensity interval training or some such format.
In fact, if you’ve been the cardio queen or king for a long time, you’re not torching as many calories as you think.
Your body like efficiency. When you do the same thing over and over, you gain efficiency. You burn less today than you did last week. Instead of always hitting cardio, spend a few sessions stacking resistance exercises.
You stretch because you think it will prevent injury. It could, but the time you spend stretching may be a waste.
There is a value for opening up your hip or shoulder joints and aligning your pelvis to your spine. This is true, but much of what stretching offers you can achieve by with light weights or bodyweight exercises as a warm-up.
By performing lighter-weight versions of the exercises you intend to do, you’re already getting into your workout faster, you’re not wasting 30-minutes on the floor reading Facebook.
Never do another crunch again in your life. You can still achieve a six pack without them.
In fact, crunches do nothing for your six pack if you’re diet isn’t aligned with your goals. You’re wasting your time. You may, in fact, be creating an issue with your spine and pelvic alignment.
An overactive six pack can put your back into a flexed (curved) position, which is not how you want it when lifting.
Rather than hating your abs by crunching them, develop your core integrity through isometrics like planks. Cut the fat off your abs (they’re there, I promise) by cutting your diet down.
You do curls because everybody else does them. They do them because they read silly magazines that are in the business of selling ad space through sensational headlines.
The magazine cover reads: Get Guns Like Phil Heath With These 5 Bicep Exploding Exercises. I know those headlines; I write ’em.
Here’s the truth… Unless you are actually bodybuilding, I can name twenty other exercises that will do so much more for your physique.
Biceps are small muscles. You train them when you do real exercises like pull ups, deadlifts or rows. Those exercises hit your primary movers, like your back muscles.
You’ll burn more calories when you train big muscles. You’ll use your body the way nature designed it to work.
You do them because you think you are burning thigh fat, maybe developing your glutes. Forget it.
Build your glutes through squats or any other leg exercise. Burn thigh fat by adjusting your food intake. You can’t burn the fat that way anyway.
Your body stores fat based on your genetics. You can’t pick where you store it, nor from where you burn it. What you may do, with these exercises, is tear up your hip joint.
There is a safe way to do these exercises, but what most people do is load up the weight, cheating their technique. This can be terrible for your hips, you back, and your whole body by that measure.
Putting an end to these five beliefs will not solve every challenge you have in the gym, but you won’t waste so much time anymore. I advocate sourcing and hiring a good trainer. If you want some advice on finding the right one, read this: To Find The Right Trainer Employ The Five Cs. Until then, stop all this nonsense.