Five workout rules to break
Flora Beverley is a fitness model, blogger and social media consultant based in London. She is passionate about healthy living and loves to take part in physical challenges throughout the year, recently completing the Tokyo marathon, an Ultra Marathon, two boxing fights and part of ‘the world’s toughest island race’, TRIBE Run For Love. When not outdoors, Flora creates food, fitness and sustainability content for her Instagram, blog and YouTube, and writes for various publications including the W Edit.
Alongside her love of food and fitness, Flora speaks passionately about sustainability and mental health, using her platform to disseminate information and myth bust, encouraging others to speak up too. Using her background in Biology, she aims to back up everything she writes with scientific evidence and reduce the amount of misinformation online.
1If you don’t hurt, it’s not working
It’s common for muscles to feel sore after a workout (called DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness), but there’s a common misconception that if you don’t feel DOMS after a workout, then you didn’t workout hard enough. Firstly, everyone is different, so a good workout that causes DOMS in one person may not cause it in another. Chasing muscle soreness (essentially inflammation from the repair of microscopic tears in the muscle) can lead to injury. So while DOMS is a common side-effect of a hard workout (especially one that is new to your body), it’s not necessary to feel sore afterward to know that it’s working!
2Heavier weight equals better workout
Strength training in any workout provides resistance to your muscles. This is great for bone density and muscle growth, but the workouts don’t need to be in the form of heavy weights or resistance machines – smaller weights, kettlebells and medicine balls can be used with similar effect. Don't have any weights? Gravity, resistance bands and your own body weight are great alternatives. Read why everyone should lift weights.
3You can get abs by working your core
This is a loaded one because what exactly do we mean by ''get abs''? We all have core muscles even when you can’t see them. Most people who want to get abs mean see ab definition, which is a different ballgame. The common misconception is that if someone works out their abs intensely, they will develop a defined stomach area. Because spot fat reduction is not a thing (you won’t lose fat specifically on one part of your body but not the rest), simply focusing training on your abs won’t help you “get abs”. The better option is to pair full-body functional training (which uses your core a lot) with a healthy diet. The result? A stronger core and lower overall body fat percentage, which could lead to a defined core. Please also bear in mind that due to variation in genetics, some people will find it more difficult to achieve definition.
4Every workout should leave you a sweaty mess
I absolutely love sweaty workouts. The more out of breath the better, which is why I sometimes struggle with slower, more functional workouts. However, different workouts have different sweat factors, so lifting weights might not leave you as sweaty as a boxing session but that doesn’t mean it was any less valuable to you. In fact, it is important to mix up your training as workouts that leave you 100 per cent exhausted and a sweaty mess every time can lead to burnout and injury. Mix it up and don’t think of sweatiness as a marker of a good workout.
5The more workouts the better
Obviously, consistency is great when it comes to working out, and getting moving regularly is an important part of keeping healthy. However, there is such thing as working out too much and so more is not necessarily better. Recovery is at least as important as your training and well-placed recovery days can help your muscles repair better, leading to greater improvements in your fitness and muscle strength.
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