Myth: There are such things as bad exercises.

See, there is no such thing as a bad exercise (unless you seriously consider lifting the remote, pizza and beer to your face reps). There IS such a thing as bad form. There IS such a thing as doing advanced exercises before your body is ready for them. There ARE such things as dumb exercises (like trying to do really heavy squats on a BOSU….or standing on a full balance ball trying to do reps of any kind). There IS NOT, however, a bad exercise. {if you have a flexible chest, strong non-injured rotator cuffs, experience in lifting for shoulders and staying within the 12-15 rep range so your weights are light, behind-the-neck shoulder presses are okay} {kipping pull-ups are an art form; there is a rhyme and reason to the way they are done; they are not bad form} {full glutes-to-the-ground squats, if the weight is light and the person’s quads are flexible, are okay}

Point is, if executed correctly and at the proper time, all exercise is good.

Myth: Cardio is best for weight loss.

Partially. (have I addressed this before? it’s a strong prevailing myth that needs to be busted once and for all!) Listen up Cardio Bunnies: sweating away might make the scale go down temporarily, and yes cardio is best for gotta-lose-it-now weight. However, weight-training—including calisthenics and plyometrics—builds muscle. Muscle uses more energy at rest, raising your resting metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories all day long. Intense cardio sessions do have an after-burn effect, which is why combining the two is best.

Myth: Females lifting weights will look like men.

I do believe I am a very rare form of female. My body does a phenomenal job of responding to weight training, immediately. I pack on muscle like nobody’s business. My whole family’s very athletic-looking, with strong frames and short muscles. I figured I better learn to work what I have. So large muscles is what I worked for.

Most females are not quite like this. It would take a lot of extra food and a lot of heavy lifting to bulk up. And even then, ladies, most of us have lady-like levels of testosterone in our bodies so you will not build muscle like a man would. Stop being a Cardio Queen! Become a Sister in Iron! Benefits: more compact, toned figure; faster metabolism; ability to carry massive amounts of groceries and shopping bags around; ability to move furniture and boxes as desired; fit figures are attractive.

Myth: Men don’t need yoga.

Okay, not everyone needs to hop on the yoga-train. But EVERYONE needs to stretch! Flexibility is important in every sport. If you can’t take your muscles through their full range of motion (ROM), chances are you are short-charging your potential. And, tight joints means an increased risk of injury (ever pulled a groin, guys?).

But, give yoga a try, because….

Myth: I can ignore my mental training and just focus on my physical training.

The body does what the mind tells it to. Think it, do it. Don’t think it, it may happen but by accident and most certainly not to the fullest it could be.

Athletes know that to bring their all to a competition, their mind has to be in the right place. They have to be focused. How do you prepare to fight from the bottom? How do you block out distractions—-a loud crowd, a boo, a catcall? How do you not think about tonight’s plans, or the work that didn’t get done, or the work that still needs to be done? How do you handle the pressure?

Mental training.

A resilient mind forges a resilient body.

That’s why I mentioned yoga. It stretches, yes, but it also forces you to block out distractions (focus only on your breath, when a thought comes to mind, acknowledge it but send it away and return to just focusing on your breath), it teaches you to be aware (notice where there is tension in your body, breathe into it, release the tension with your exhalation), it teaches you to be calm yet strong (holding Warrior I takes strength while it enlongates your hips, back and legs) and it hones your focus (the point of yoga, after all, is awareness).

But don’t think yoga is the only mental training there is. Journaling helps you realize your goals, gets out blocked negativity and can set your plans into motion. Rehearsing—when you fully experience the race/game/activity, the sights, smells, the bodily sensations, your performance, the crowds, the sounds…all in your mind—trains you as if you had actually performed (your mind can’t tell the difference between reality and vividly imaging).

Myth: Go hard or go home.

Well…something is better than nothing. There are days when you just don’t want to ___________. There are days when you just don’t have the energy to _______________. But a half-azzed workout is 100 times better than a missed workout. A walk is always better than sitting on the couch. Going hard is great, but not always necessary. Just go, then go home.

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