Sussex Performance Centre
Contact Us

With Christmas slowly creeping up on us, the majority of people put their health and fitness goals aside to focus on the usual; work parties, drinks with friends, meals with family and the biscuits that were brought into the office on Monday.

With that being said, there are always plenty of fitness “myths” being bounded around ready for your ‘new year; new you’ approach.

Of course the main objective over the next 7 weeks is to keep exercising using a structured training programme BUT regardless, you will still hear plenty of so-called fitness tips being suggested for the ultimate post christmas shape up. Here we want to put the record straight.

Myth 1: Crunches/Sit ups alone will give you abs

Truth

Not true – the only way to have visible abdominal muscles is to get to a low percentage of body fat.

What to do

Go back and forth between a conditioning exercise and an ab exercise

  • Abdominal exercise: Any movement will work. The goal is just to direct blood flow toward that area. For maximum effect you want the ab set to last 45-60 seconds. Less than that and you won’t be getting as much blood flow to the region.
  • Conditioning exercise: Any demanding energy systems activity will work too. Sprints, hill sprints, Prowler pushing, battle ropes, tire flipping, etc. You want the whole session to be non-stop for 10-15 minutes. That’s the key if you want maximum fat loss.
  1. Ab crunches for 60s (as many quality reps as you can perform)
  2. Prowler pushing for 20m – 30m
  3. Reverse crunches for 60s (as many quality reps as you can perform)
  4. Prowler pushing for 20m – 30m
  5. Repeat continuously for 8-10 rounds.

Myth 2: Lifting weights will make you look like Arnold Schwarzenegger

Truth

Unlikely ever to happen without decades of training, very specific workouts and lots of calories (not to mention probably steroids). Lifting weights = more definition in certain areas and a reduction in overall fat mass.

What to do

Focus on weight training for 2-3 days per week of your training schedule. For the majority, a full body training approach works:

  1. Barbell Back Squat – 4 x 10 reps
  2. Dumbell or Barbell Bench press – 3 x 10 reps
  3. Chin Up – 3 x as many reps as possible
  4. Standing Shoulder Press (DB or Barbell) – 3 x 10 reps
  5. Barbell Curls – 3 x 10 reps
  6. Hanging Leg Raises – 3 x as many reps as possible

Myth 3: Squatting is bad for your knees

Truth

Squats are actually very therapeutic for your knees (when performed with correct form). Sitting down all day and being sedentary is bad for your knees.

What to do

If you are unsure how to perform a squatting movement, ask an experienced trainer. There are many varieties, such as goblet squat, front squat, hack squat, back squat, kettlebell squat etc. Find the right variety and practice the movement with perfect form. Progress the weight as you become more technically sound at the movement.

Myth 4: If you’re not sore, you didn’t get a good workout

Truth

Getting really sore after training doesn’t necessarily mean that you had a good workout that will lead to gains. You can stimulate muscle growth without experiencing extreme soreness. That said, you should feel something after a tough workout. Most people experience more soreness when dieting, but that doesn’t mean they’re gaining more muscle.

What to do

To reduce soreness and build/retain muscle optimally when dieting, reduce calories for most of the day but increase your pre, intra and post-workout nutrition. Include plenty of carbohydrates during these three meal times:

  1. Chicken and Rice with Spinach
  2. Workout Drink – water, electrolytes, maltodextrin, BCAA’s
  3. Potato, Fish and Peppers

More information here

Myth 5: Walking doesn’t do much for fat loss

Truth

If you regularly lift weights walking is the easiest and most beneficial way to improve your physique without messing with your performance or gains.  Studies have shown that walking 3-6 hours a week burns fat and increases your work capacity. If on a treadmill, use an incline and never hold the rails. Walking is restorative and provides a perfect recovery and fat burning tool.

What to do

Walking is a low intensity exercise, which means it burns a higher percentage of fat. True, walking for 10 minutes doesn’t burn much fat, but walk briskly at an incline for 4-8 hours a week and you’ll burn a significant amount of fat. As for work capacity, a fit person should be able to exercise at a moderate pace for a long time. Walking helps build this ability. Aim to achieved 10,000 steps every day and look to walk on a slight incline.

With all these tips in mind, stay focused over the Christmas period and keep training part of your schedule.

From all of us at SPC, enjoy the festivities!


If you would like more information on different training methods, please get in touch! Our details are on the contact page. We are always happy to help.

You can also see other posts like these on our blog page. Have a suggestion for what we can cover next? Then please do get in touch!