Squeezing ourselves into workout leggings is hard enough. You say no to a takeaway, yes to protein powder, while clearing an hour for pure gym time and spending the first 10 minutes on the best playlist. So why not make every lift, stretch and squat really count?
Our resident’s gym and roof deck are made for freer fitness. With us, you can head to the treadmill or weight room downstairs, or exercise in the sun using our climbing frame. That’s why we’re thinking about maximising every sweaty second – you’ll make huge strides in your routine when it’s convenient and honed to a T.
Today, we’re breaking myths about working out well, quickly and effectively, so your body isn’t doing more heavy lifting than it should.
1. You burn extra weight on an empty stomach
Don’t punish yourself for sipping 150 ml of liquified celery before a session on the cross-trainer. Whether you have an empty stomach or not, you’ll burn the same number of calories. Aerobic exercise – Pilates, Zumba, circuit training – is the most comes under most fire for this falsehood, but in 2014, a study from the Journal of International Sports Nutrition showed that fasting doesn’t offer much for cardio gains. You’re better off with a half-full belly and decent energy.
2. Morning workouts are always best
Not necessarily. You might discover that a 7-8AM commitment is right for you, but if it isn’t, you can do just as much midday or during the afternoon. On the other hand, it can help to turn yourself into a morning person – running or lifting to start the day kicks your metabolism into higher gear, which means you’ll be accentuating the results from a fitness plan.
3. Lifting weights bulks you up
It will if you go all-out with a deadlift calendar or bench your boyfriend in your sleep. However, weights are also very good at slimming you down. A pound of muscle burns between 10-30 calories per day, versus 5-10 for a pound of fat. When you raise weights carefully over weeks and months, you’ll become leaner, more balanced and healthier with an improved metabolic rate.
4. Sweating sooner means you’re unfit
Actually, the opposite is true! Push your body harder and you’ll heat up more easily. Therefore, you start sweating faster, keeping that core temperature down. At the same time, you’re losing fewer electrolytes because your body’s burning energy for longer stretches. When you’re sweating after a couple of minutes, instead of half an hour, crack a smile – you’re doing something right.
5. Heart rate monitoring is useful
We’ve all tried to keep our wrist on the treadmill handle, seeing our heart rate feed a speedometer. Feels like a good way to gauge stress, right? Well, not really. These in-built heart monitors – or even some wearable kit – don’t take your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) into account, which doesn’t show how intense an exercise is for you specifically. Instead, try talking while working out. Being a little breathless (or a lot) is a clearer sign of effective training.
6. Muscle turns to fat
Nope, it doesn’t. Muscle consists of protein, while fat is made of lipids. You’ll never see one turn into the other because it’s just not physically possible. Yet there’s definitely a danger to letting muscles go limp and unused; they’ll shrink after several weeks of inactivity. Some research tells us that it takes three times the amount of time you’re inactive to regain size and definition.
7. An hour’s training beats 30 or 45 minutes
In fitness, time and effort aren’t exclusive. Tighter, high-energy bouts of exercise are better than slaving on the resistance bike for a full hour. Include more workouts that focus on several parts of your body at once – like pullups, squats and inclined rows, commonly known as ‘compound’ techniques, the natural manoeuvres that beef up your core. Meanwhile, make your body strain in bursts, rather than motoring along quite nicely for 10, 15 or 20 minutes.
Feel like you’ve ripped a few preconceptions apart? Awesome – the next step is towards a gym or open-air space that waits, every day, for your sweaty grip. Our onsite fitness features are a cut above the norm when you’re this close to Birmingham city centre. Ask us for a viewing and see what we mean! You’ll pump up your living standards as well as that left arm…