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Gym Myths That Fill Us With a Rage That Burns Hotter Than A Thousand Suns

In honor of April Fool’s Day, we thought we’d highlight some of our MOST HATED gym myths. I polled our coaching team at PPG, and we agreed that these are the gym myths that drive us over the brink! If you believe in any of these, or have fallen for them in the past, don’t feel bad. There’s so much bad information out there about fitness in general, and strength training in particular. It’s so easy to fall victim to bad info!

“Kids shouldn’t lift.”

 In the past, people said that kids shouldn’t lift because it is bad for their growth. This isn’t actually true. Not only is it untrue, lifting weights confers many of the same benefits for kids that it does for adults. Strength training can help reduce injury risk from other sports or activities. Resistance training also helps with heart health, and helps support strong bones. Lifting can be a great option for helping kids learn better balance, body awareness, and motor skills, as well as laying the groundwork for a lifelong movement habit.

“Do _________ to get a flat belly!”

Despite the fact that we’ve all heard that you can’t “spot reduce” fat from any specific area, you still see ads for programs or influencer videos promising the impossible. I googled “three moves for a flat tummy” and the results are ridiculous. Also ridiculous: they all suggest a different three moves. If there actually were three moves that could give you a flat belly, wouldn’t they be consistent? It just doesn’t work like that. 

“Carbs are bad for you.”

Your brain runs on glucose, and only glucose. Most glucose comes from eating foods with more complex carbohydrates, which your body breaks down into glucose. If you aren’t eating enough carbs to fuel that grey electrical blob in your skull, then your liver will pitch in and generate glucose. A low carb diet also tends to be low in fiber, which is important to digestion and helps you to feel full and satisfied. 

“Lifting weights is dangerous.”

All sports have some risk for injury, but resistance training helps make your body more resilient. Lifting strengthens not only your muscles, but also your bones and connective tissue. Stronger connective tissue is more resistant to injury, and recovers faster. If you’ve ever had tendonitis, you know that healthy and strong connective tissue is important! As with any exercise, there are things we can do to reduce the risk of injury from strength training, but nothing is completely risk free. We reduce risk by using progressive overload, gradually increasing the demands placed on your body, and doing accessory work that promotes overall stability, mobility, and full body strength.

“Strength training is bad for your mobility.”

First, let’s define mobility: mobility is the ability of a joint to actively move through a range of motion. The key word is actively, indicating you moved yourself, as compared to passive movement or stretching where your body is assisted or pushed into a larger range of motion by an outside force. Strength training places unique mobility demands on your body. You have to be able to move yourself into a variety of different positions to execute movements like a squat or an overhead press. Strength training can lead to improvements in joint mobility! Do you know what DEFINITELY reduces your mobility? Not moving your body.

Thank you for joining us for this myth-buster post! It can be difficult to wade through the fitness misinformation out there, and we’re here to help! Schedule a free no sweat intro with us, and we can chat about your goals and how to get started without falling victim to any of the fitness nonsense out there.

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