Toning Up? Some Gym Myths Busted!

Spending my time in and around the gym – I hear and see all sorts of things that I class as gym MYTHS! So here I’m going to bust a few 😉

 

MYTH 1: Weights will make you bulky

I’m not kidding when I say I definitely hear this at least once a week in some shape or form. And if i’m being perfectly honest, I’m sure I was the one saying something similar in the past. But here’s that myth BUSTED. Lifting weights will not make you bulky. Do you know that “toned” look you are aspiring towards? THAT is what lifting weights will help you achieve. But don’t mind those “baby” weights either. Leave down the 2kg dumbbells and pick up a pair that challenges you for 8-10 reps on a particular exercise. Do not be afraid of the result – I used to be super conscious of my thighs as they’ve always been the “biggest” part of my body. I shied away from training my legs thinking I would only be making them bigger. NOT SO. I train my legs and glutes now 1-2 times per week and I’ve never been happier. Seeing muscle tone is a massive confidence boost. Remember becoming “bulky” is near impossible for women. We simply do not have the testosterone levels to support it. Lifting heavy weights combined with clever cardio and an on point diet will sculpt your body and build strength. And haven’t you heard? STRONG is the new skinny 😉

 

MYTH 2: Doing countless crunches will give you abs

Unfortunately no matter how many crunches you do or how long you hold that plank you will NOT see abs until you have lowered your body fat. You cannot target your abs alone to tone up your tummy. You HAVE to burn calories from all over in order to blitz body fat and uncover those abs. It’s perfectly fine to include ab work in your routine, strengthen the core from the inside and then add weight lifting and HIIT cardio to start to target the fat burn. I don’t overly concentrate on ab work all year round. But my gym routine allows for me to keep my body fat low combined with a (mostly) clean diet. I’d suggest if using weights in your ab routine – stick to light weights and higher reps of 15-20.

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MYTH 3: You have to do endless hours of cardio

No no no no no! Cardio is amazing, but CLEVER cardio! I remember a time I used to spend 90 minutes on the cross trainer at the gym and that was literally my workout 4-5 days per week. If you want to build muscle – excessive cardio is only going to hinder that. Instead – be clever about your cardio sessions. Here are some ideas:

1: Fasted Cardio – a brisk steady paced walk/jog before breakfast in a fasted state

2: HIIT Cardio – High Intensity Interval Training – performing intervals with high intensity work rate and periods of rest eg. 30 seconds on 30 seconds off OR a Tabata style with 20 seconds on 10 seconds off.

Of COURSE there are times when more cardio is necessary – especially when training for a specific sport or event – but if your goal is to build muscle then be a little more clever about it. At the moment I get my cardio from teaching classes. I currently teach 3-4 30 minute spin classes per week but I make sure to alter my calorie intake if needs be. If you are getting your cardio in on the same days as you are lifting weights – hit the weights first and then finish with cardio OR spilt your sessions so that you are doing cardio – going home to refuel and coming back in to do your weights session or vice versa.

 

I hope you take something from these little tips! Don’t forget to ‘like’ my FACEBOOK PAGE.

 

See you soon,

Leanne 🙂