It’s time for fitness. Let’s break the recipe sequence that took place on the blog lately and talk about exercising. You already know I’m not a pro so everything I relate to fitness is my personal experience. There’s still a lot more to learn. Yet, what I know for certain is that there are fitness tips I don’t want to follow. Why? Because many of them are so controversial that I just can’t help disobeying. Rebellious nature? Obstinacy? Unreasonable experiment with one’s own physique? Call it whatever you like but in the beginning, I really wanted to find out what would happen if I did it my way. Well, some background knowledge was probably there.
I might have a very long way to go, but I have faced a simple fact – there are no universal truths about exercising. We are all unique, so are our bodies. It’s never simple arithmetic to count your calories, neither is the one-hour workout your only option.
I’ve said it before, it depends on what one aims at. Well, I won’t be the next Miss Bikini competitor. I’m an ordinary woman whose gym looks like some humble equipment and little space at home. The woman who didn’t want to believe these:
- No deep squats, your booty will get too bulky!
Really? My observation is that it gets well shaped rather than bulky. Not that I do deep squats all the time but I do plenty of them. As a matter of fact, I love squats. If I have 10 minutes a day for exercising, they are definitely first on the list. So I think deep squats are just fine unless you go to extremes. Besides, glutes are not the only ones to suffer during your squatting torture. Squats target your thighs and abs as well. In fact, I’ve noticed an obvious change in my abdominal muscles, especially when I add weights. The only thing I usually worry about is whether I perform squats the right way (here is a nice article by Girls Gone Strong explaining this) and not how deep I go.
- Ladies, heavy weights mean big arms.
This is my favourite. It’s so old that it should have been debunked forever. Yes, but no. I can still hear women say it. Honestly, 2 or 3 years ago I wasn’t quite certain what would happen with weights heavier than 1 kg. This was part of my fitness experiment, to find out myself, and by no means follow blindly the general opinion. What has happened so far? I have almost the same arms but some lean muscles outlined. And I don’t mind this. Actually, I’d love to go a bit further. It looks beautiful, not masculine. Not to mention that after some time your arms will beg you for heavier weights. 🙂
- You can’t make it without cardio.
To a certain extent, I agree. Yes, I would achieve better results doing more cardio but still, the results are not bad. After years of exhausting cycling, running and jumping, now everyone knows that an effective workout doesn’t need more than 30-40 minutes of cardio. My cardio usually takes less than that (try Christine Khuri’s cardio blasts), and how could it be otherwise when my whole workout is 30 minutes altogether? 🙂 Should I quit just because my time for fitness is reduced to 30-40 minutes a day, a few times a week? And what if I don’t enjoy cardio that much in the first place? Surely, I can’t fight all the fat in my body without regular cardio. However, I still can tone and strengthen it with some quick alternatives.
- Abs mean crunches, a lot of crunches.
Until you finally get bored to death. I do crunches but I also do other exercises to train my abs. Very often, crunches don’t take place in my workouts at all. I believe in what my body shows me, that’s all. It has proved that abs aren’t made by crunches only. Here’s my favourite core exercise (see it in the second half of this video): wide stance, left foot in, right foot out, straight left arm (use a weight, the heavier the better), right arm goes to right foot (right knee softened but static, not bent) and up, repeat 12-15 times, then switch sides. Another wonderful exercise is plank and its different variations. Do it every day. It’s sooo good for the waistline. It also relieves my chronic lower back pain. And let’s not forget that first and foremost “abs are made in the kitchen”, I meekly accept the fact. 🙂
- Work out every other day.
Hm. You can’t make me follow this advice. I don’t spend so much time working out so overdoing it is unlikely to happen. The efficiency goes down only if you follow the same daily routine. Do different exercises and work out different muscle groups. Alternate high-intensity with low-intensity workouts, Pilates or Yoga. It works for me. The best results I got were during a few months of everyday exercising. Hope another active period like that is soon about to come (parenting, you know). 🙂
- Go to the gym, home fitness is not good enough.
You’re right, I’d better go. Is there a kids’ playground there or should my four-year-old lift weights with me? Or isn’t there any hope for me to have a nice workout at home, at least half as good? I’m sorry, I think I have to disobey again. I’ll unroll my mat, grab my dumbbells and do my best… at home. That’s it. I don’t have another option now. And guess what, home exercising is good enough. Good for me.
Agree or disagree? Would you add on to my list of fitness myths?