There are so many misconceptions about fitness now a days.
Not only that, it is so easy to get lost in the idea of fitness that we end up believing lies that don’t serve us at all.
When I first started my journey, I was miserable and I felt like I couldn’t do anything right because there were so many standards I held up myself too.
I was influenced by the media and all the clickbait articles the internet.
So much so that I forgot the real reason why I started my fitness journey in the first place. I made no progress because I had the wrong mindset. T
his is why I want to help you kick those negative beliefs far away because the real work starts internally, not externally. Here are 10 lies about fitness you need to stop believing.
1. “I need to do at least an hour workout every day to stay fit
False. Nothing hurts me more than the fact that I used to believe this lie. To put it differently, it’s not about working hard but working efficiently.
In order to work smartly, you need to exercise the right muscles to see the change.
A 20 min effective workout beats a one-hour workout with no purpose at all. All you need is to bring out your focus and intensity and give it your all.
Don’t waste your time at the gym trying every cable machine because you want to exercise every single part of your body in one session. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in one day.
It’s important to realize that our body has more than 600 muscles supporting each other, so you cannot work every muscles during that hour. Yet most of us are only exercising quads, abs and biceps because those are the most visible.
In order to make a change to grow those biceps, you need to train the small muscles first, because they are the ones support the big muscles.
Think of your body as a plant, if you don’t take care of its soil, the leaves won’t grow. You need to water the seeds, aka work the little muscles for your biceps grow for example.
2. “I need to have a flat stomach 100% of the times”
Let’s take a deep breath before this one.
I am not an enemy of the media, however there is an influx of opinions out there that it is easy to get lost in it. I surely have.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are being influenced by all the pictures and highly targeted ads that you see on Instagram.
That is to say, you are being influenced just by watching your favorite influencers with flat stomach every day. You may be thinking that no matter what you try, you can never attain that type of physique. I want you to stop right here.
Understand that your body is unique. Yes we are all humans, but there is something different about you and the way you are made.
Like I mentioned genetics play a factor and your lifestyle might be different from those influencers. There is nothing, absolutely NOTHING wrong with you if you don’t have a six pack abs or a flat stomach.
Some days you will feel bloated and your stomach will look as round like a pregnant lady in her first trimester and other days it might look flat like a ruler.
This does not mean that you are not healthy or that you aren’t making progress. Give your body grace and whenever you think about pinching your body and complaining about the “fat” be thankful of what your body does for you instead.
Don’t be discouraged if you are putting the work, but yet don’t see instant results. Keep going at it and just stick with it.
3. “I need to go overdrive to achieve results”
Contrary to popular beliefs, overdrive isn’t the way to achieve results. There is a fine line between stepping out of your comfort zone and overexercising your muscles.
It is necessary for you to roar past your normal limit, but you need to go back to the basic when your form starts to break down.
You’d be hurting your mental state if you put too much expectations on yourself and end up not meeting it because your body isn’t at that level yet.
Also, focusing on getting the most reps instead of making sure that you have the correct form can lead you to injuries. So, avoid bad form at ALL COST.
This is why most people give up or end up getting hurt. It’s not so much about the destination, but the journey. Focus on small improvements instead and take it slow.
4. “I just need to lose fat in my abs, thighs, arms, etc.”
You can’t just target fat lost in one area of your body. Your body is like a water hose. Everything that goes in it affects the whole body. Don’t forget that genetics plays a part in this too.
I used to wish that I had slim thighs because that was all I saw in the media.
I believed that was the standard I needed to reach in order to be beautiful.
Lies! First off, I am African.
My mother has strong thighs, so did my grandmother, and my great grandmother and I am dang proud of it now.
Maybe the reason you want to lose fat in that specific area is because you think that will make you more beautiful, but I need you to accept yourself in the state you are now and make peace with yourself before trying to achieve any goals.
In other words, think deeper about why the fat in your abs is bothering you. Maybe the media is influencing you that you need to have flat stomach and tight abs in order to look fit. Scratch this lie from your head.
Remember, it is okay to have these goals, but ultimately, find something deeper than wanting to achieve a physical change.
5. “Home workouts aren’t for me”
Exercising is a mobile activity. Mind-blowing, I know. And let’s not forget that COVID-19 has taken us by surprise. forcing us to adjust to a new normal of staying at home.
Pre-covid, I would have never even glanced at the idea of working out at home. I was convinced that if I wasn’t surrounded by cable machines, and other people around me working out, I was not going to do the same.
But I was wrong and I thank quarantine for that. You should to because you can grab my 7-Day Get Active challenge for beginners right in your inbox! No equipment necessary. Only 30 minutes of your time everyday.
Although you think that your productivity and drive to workout are based on your environment, let me tell you that you can have the same drive to workout at home too.
You can truly take your workouts anywhere, not just at the gym. Sure the environment helps you get in the mood, but don’t let that stop you from trying different ways of working out.
But, keep in mind, the point is to get your body moving and you can do that just about anywhere!
6. “Cardio is the only way I can lose weight”
[Insert Jeopardy red buzzer here]. For so long I had been best friends with the treadmill and the ellipticals that I dared not glance at anything else.
I was already a runner so running was the only way I thought could get my heart pumping. #False
We think that only running will make us lose weight but there are multiple ways to achieve your goals. Yes, cardio helps you lose weight, but it isn’t the only way!
In fact, even runners don’t just run. They have strength training days which allow them to grow muscles so that they can perform better.
The point is: the beauty in exercise because there are so many types of physical activities! Branch out and try different thing to see what sticks to you.
Chances are if you truly find the type of activity that is for you, you will stick with it. This is the key of consistency. So choose what works best for you and your lifestyle and begin to see your life change slowly.
9. “Lifting weights will make me bulky”
Ahhh, I cringe at this every time a sister tells me this. For so long, I was scared of lifting weights too. I thought it was only for boys. I saw a lot of muscular women and I told myself I didn’t want to look like that so I refused to lift even one pound.
But the reality is those women are usually body builders and it takes a lot—like a LOT of time and efforts and sometimes additional supplements to get to that point.
And I was not going to put that much efforts in it. So listen, weights are not the enemies here, ladies. Lifting weights has not only has boosted my confidence but it has helped me get more toned and leaner and that is the point of it.
Plus, it is super rewarding to see your improvement overtime. For example, going from lifting 5lbs to 10lbs the next week. It’s incroyable! It feels like fireworks when the “heavy” weights you used last week now feels like a piece of feather in your hands.
Bottom line is: You will most likely not get bulky from lifting weights, unless you are trying REALLY hard for it. The American Council Exercise (ACE) says it is harder for some women to build muscles depending on their genetics.
However, if building muscles is your goal, girl go for it!
7. “Using modifications means I am weak”
Ouch, this one hurts. The amount of times I have done lunges in the wrong form, or “BS’ed” crunches because I didn’t want to look like I wasn’t strong enough is actually hurtful to my soul.
Your workout should be about you– not about impressing the person next to you. Use the modification and make sure that you do it well before moving to the next level.
Using an easier version to start builds a good foundation that you can add on to later. Don’t put so much emphasis on what you’ll look like, instead focus on working your way up with good form.
Remember this is between the “yesterday you” and the “you of today” (I just made this up). Remember, you are strong.
You are capable and you are better because of it. And rest assured that getting the basic down is way more important than the aesthetic.
So, don’t be afraid to lift weight because it might just be the thing that boost your confidence and who knows?! Maybe you’ll end up eventually loving it.
8. “I need good clothes in order to feel confident and go to the gym”
The truth is nice clothes will bring you joy, yes but in just for an instant, which you will quickly get over. You need to feel confident in your own body before any clothes are put on. True confidence come from within.
When I first started going to the gym, I was easily influenced by fitness gurus on Instagram with all the matching set, which looked gorgeous by the way.
As a result, I wanted matching sets too. I thought those outfits would bring me happiness and make me more confident at the gym and it did—for a bit, but then when I took them off… I still had a flappy stomach hidden behind those high waisted leggings.
I was still the unhappy, self-conscious girl behind those clothes.
But then I learned that clothes will never give me the real confidence that I needed. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather prefer to be confident in my own body first.
Treat myself to a nice outfit when you hit one of your fitness goals. For this reason, you will be more motivated to stay on track in your journey.
Nice clothes might make you feel confident in the moment but really rethink your priorities if you are basing your worth on clothes rather than who you are as a person.
10. “I will start my fitness journey when I have more time”
Just no. There will never be a time when you feel ready to start. Life is full of unexpected every day. We have a last-minute quiz we have to study for, we have to get grocery at the store, we need to go to our part-time job.
This is why we have all these tasks that we are managing every day and new ones keep adding up.
if you don’t take care of you first, you will start to crumble.
Maybe you’re waiting until January to make your new year goals, but the excitement in January 1st dies down pretty quickly.
The smarter way to get started is just to start somewhere. Start even when you don’t feel ready because you will surprise yourself in many ways.
Have a coach or someone knowledgeable help you. Slowly, you will find out how to modify it to find your style. There is no exact guideline on how to start, just jump in.
Remember this is your journey, you are the one who makes it.
Let’s recap the 10 lies about fitness you need to stop believing
- “I need to do at least an hour workout every day to stay fit”
- “I need to have a flat stomach 100% of the times”
- “I need to go overdrive to achieve your results”
- “I just need to lose fat in my abs, thighs, arms, etc.”
- “Home workouts aren’t for me”
- “Using modifications means I am weak”
- “Using modifications means I am weak”
- “I need good clothes in order to feel confident and go to the gym”
- “Lifting weights will make me bulky”
- “I will start my fitness journey when I have more time”
In all, you need to do an internal work before you can achieve an external transformation. The lies you believe about yourself or around fitness has got to be turned over in order for you to get the result you want.
There are many opinions on the internet, but you need to focus on what works for you. Do what feel good for your body and most importantly, find out what you enjoy by trying a few different things. Remember that beauty comes from within, not from outward appearance.