“Go hard and push through your pain.”
While slight soreness is acceptable, you should stop when it leads to pain. Don't ignore your workout pains. When an exercise hurts, stop doing it and alter your form. Or, move on to another exercise. Plowing right on through can cause irreparable damage to your body. You can always find an alternative exercise that doesn't cause pain. For example, opt for dumbbells or pushups if the bench press hurts your shoulders.
“Go all out or don't go at all.”
This one really is a bald-faced lie. Minimal exercise, even as light as walking, can do your body good. Exercising isn't about lifting more than others or impressing someone. It's about taking care of your body. Go at a comfortable pace and be content with incremental gains. Focus on your form instead of your reps. Stop when you can no longer execute the perfect rep. Only move up to heavier weights when you complete your goal reps with flawless form.
“Never rest in between your sets.”
This is some of the worst fitness advice. When you lift weights, your muscle fibers twitch at a fast rate. The result is fatigue. Fatigued muscles that aren't given ample time to recover in between sets won't be worked to their max. The result is fewer gains and a heightened risk of an injury. Don't focus on working out until you are tired. Focus on making actual gains. This means taking breaks, even if they are only 30 seconds in length. Those of you who lift very heavy weights should take longer breaks in between sets than those who opt for more reps with less weight.
“You can protect your spine with situps and crunches.”
These exercises will work your abs, but they also boost your risk of a back strain. While some trainers recommend situps and crunches, they are actually increasing the chances of a back injury. Opt for stability exercises instead. They'll work your core while protecting your spine.
Instead of trying to wade through all of the exercise mantras on your own, lean on the expertise of a personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. Our fitness experts will teach you how to exercise in a manner that keeps your body safe. You'll also enjoy access to our basketball gym, massage therapy, cycling studio, racquetball courts and fully stocked locker rooms.