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The thing about exercise is that everybody thinks they are an expert. I bet you have lost count of the amount of advice that you have received from people that aren't actually employed in the field. The guy that cuts your hair loves the gym and is insistent on giving you advice every time you go in there. Even though you don't want it! Then there is that family member that runs triathlons and can't help but tell you all about how hard and intensive their training regime is. But you actually need to be careful of exercise advice from unofficial circles. There are a lot of exercise cliches out there that you could be buying into without realizing, and there could be harming your motivation, your enjoyment, or even your body! Read on for some more information.
Work To Failure
OK, this is a big one. This work to failure idea has gone on long enough. While it might be the best way to get that last drop of performance and motivation out of professional athletes, for most of us it's really a bad idea.
First of all, pushing yourself so hard that you cannot do anything more is not practical. Most of us have a life outside the gym. That means work or the kids aren't going to take too kindly to us canceling plans because we have exhausted ourselves exercising.
Secondly, there is a danger factor. If you are working to failure, your body is being pushed to its absolute limits. This is not good because as we get more tired, it is harder to control our concentration and our coordination. Making it much more likely that we are leaving ourselves open to injuries.
It can also cause a motivation problem in some people. Especially if you aren’t used to pushing your body this hard all the time. The way that it feels physically can be very upsetting and even seem a little scary. This can hinder the motivation to get out there and workout the next time, and that can slow down your progress, or stop it all together.
It’s Not A Fashion Parade
Wow! How many time have you heard, it doesn't matter what you wear to exercise it's not a fashion parade? This is an old exercising cliche that needs to be stopped in tracks. Just because you don't want to look like you bought your kit from a jumble sale in 1980, does not mean that you are vain.
In fact using modern and up to date workout kit has another advantage over just looking nice. It can help improve your performance and keep you safe. For example, professional swimmers wear body suits to decrease the drag factor in the pool, shaving time off their performance. Then you have cyclists that wear jerseys like the ones from Retro Image Apparel. So they look great but also have 30 SPF UV protection built into what they are wearing. Which protect them from being in the for long periods of time.
You Have To Drink Protein To Build Muscle
OK, so this is massive on at the moment, everyone that go to the gym seems to have their own mixer cup that they bring their protein shake in. It seems to be if you are not drinking your protein you are just not going to build muscle or get fit. But is that actually true, or is it just another exercise cliche?
Well, certainly protein is the building block of muscle, so by working out and imbibing more, you can feed your muscles to grow quickly. But there are plenty of other ways to take your protein other than shakes. You can take it in bars. Or via your diet.
Beans and legumes have a huge amount of protein in, as does lean meat and some nuts. So you really don't have to chug down those shakes that everyone pretends tastes nice if you don't want to. Of course, they are an easy or convenient way to ingest your protein for the day. Just don't be fooled into thinking you have to use them.
It's All In The Mind
OK, so this a cliche that we can hear a lot of about exercise. It's this so-called idea that it has nothing to do with your body, but all of your strength and motivation comes from your mental state.
While it's silly to deny that your mental attitude to working out can make or break what you are doing. We also need to remember that this should work in tandem with an awareness of our body. It is neither the mind alone or the body alone that have dominance in this situation, but it is the interplay between the two.
For example, your mind may be able to override the pain your body is accepting if you are cycling or running 10K. But you need to be able to discern between the types of pain signals that your body is giving you. The pain from exhaustion that you can put off for another mile is different from the pain that something has snapped in your leg. Which means you must stop right away to prevent any more damage.
You have to apply this mind over matter idea with some common sense, or it can do more harm than good.
If You Can't Keep Up Get Out Of The Way
This is favorite cliche in swimming pools when a slower swimmer is in front of your in the lane. What people seem to relish is huffing and puffing and making a big scene in overtaking them. But doesn't everybody have the right to exercise there? Weren't those people a beginner once? Of course, they were, but they just don't remember that they had to build up their strength and stamina like everyone else.
Yes, do pick an ability appropriate activity to start with. If you haven't exercised for a year, maybe best to go to the most high energy spin session you can find. But if you are a little slower, or not quite in time for the first few sessions don't give up, as we were all beginners once.