It seems that everyone is now into getting fit, eating healthy and posting pictures about it over social media. And that's great, we are the fattest we have ever been, eating such vast quantities of rubbish food and sitting at a desk all day, taking the leap and getting fitter is a great idea. But did you know many of the things you see and do don't actually work at all. So make sure you don't do any of these things.
Originally on Cracked
Six packs are the pinnacle of fitness
If you ask anyone what a perfect male abdomen looks like they will say a six pack, even with dad bod rage at the moment. And it makes sense right, it means you've got rid of every last bit of flab fat on your stomach and replaced it with pure muscle. But when it comes to health they mean nothing, in fact they probably mean you're unhealthy.
You see the body is designed to have about 8% - 19% fat, and to have sculpted abs you need to go below 8%. This can cause a bad immune-system, genital problems, heart problems, messes with your nervous system, shrinking of your internal organs and death.
You need to work out for at least 30 minutes
So a while ago some scientists worked out the minimum amount of time we needed to work out to see changes in our body. The concluded that was 30 minutes. But actually it's all about how you use the time and not how much time you work out. All you need is a few minutes here and there and do it on a regular basis.
And with our lives busier than ever, and more Netflix to watch and binge on, our precious time has to be used wisely. So high intensity interval workouts are king, you work out really hard for a few minutes, then you slow down again.
Oh and some more scientists worked out how long you need to exercise before you can tell people you work out, and that's one minute.
Grunting while lifting doesn't help
We've all seen it and heard it. At the gym a guy is lifting some weights and he keeps making those awful grunting sounds to show off and say look at me I'm lifting weights. But if this was the case why do the female tennis players do it? Or Olympic champions?
Well scientists have shown that grunting can make you stronger. Research shows that letting out a noise whilst straining yourself can increase your strength by a good 10%. They're not sure why it works, but it seems to give you an adrenalin rush, possibly because the noise activates your flight or fight response. It's basically natural doping.
Aerobic exercise is a completely different thing
When you start working out one of the first things you learn is aerobic and anaerobic exercise. They are two completely different things and you must do two completely different workouts for these things and they cannot be combined.
Well actually... They can be combined. It's not very nice and is exceptionally hard work, but it can be done. You may have heard of one type of this workout called Tabata training. So speedskaters training included clusters of short intense sprints which are anaerobic in nature. But they found that they had a marked improvement in their cardiorespiratory function, a benefit in aerobic exercise. In fact it looked like they had done hours of conventional aerobic exercise, when really it was only a short 4 minute burst. Tabata then adapted this into a training programme of hell.
Each training session consists of up to eight 20-second bike sprints separated by 10 seconds of rest -- every motion performed with the kind of intensity normally reserved for fighting off a gang of starry-eyed prison rapists. A session is over in just four minutes or so, but they're described as the longest minutes you can encounter. Tabata training can also be done with moves like situps, pushups, squats and rows, none of which is any less hellish than the other. The experience is said to leave you "dead" and "meeting God," and first-timers should not attempt it without supervision.
Yoga is a relaxing, safe way to get fit
Through a variety of poses and stretches yoga has been seen as a great way to work out for those who can't do a traditional exercise regime. With it's low impact on joints and huge boost to your health, yoga looks like the perfect answer.
The problem with yoga isn't so much the exercise, but how unregulated it is. Anyone can teach yoga. DO a quick course online and you can become a yoga instructor. That's where it can become dangerous, doing poses and stretches that are just plain dangerous. And true yoga is actually pretty damn hard.