5 Fitness Myths, Busted

As someone who knows very little about working out, I have a lot of assumptions about fitness. Jana Webb—Creator of JOGA, founder of JOGA House, and one of Reebok Canada’s latest ambassadors—uses her expertise to correct my misguided ideas about fitness. From crunches to chocolate milk, here are a few of your favourite fitness myths, busted.

You should always stretch before you work out.

If you stretch your muscles before you warm them up properly, you can actually cause more harm and damage. Now, warming up your muscles in the proper way is great, but if you over stretch them you could potentially cause injury.”

Chocolate milk is the best post-workout snack.

“It’s a good thing if there’s no other option. It’s full of sugar, which is not necessarily the thing you want after a workout. You want to fill your body with things that are going to repair the muscle tissue. A better option would be eggs, or any type of protien, something to synthesize and refurbish the muscles and/or bring some sort of alkaline to the body. For example, something green. When you work out you create a bunch of toxicity in your body, so something green to bring alkaline to your body.”

You need to do at least 20 minutes of cardio for it to be worth your while.

“Anything that gets your metabolism going or your heart rate going is beneficial for your body. So if you go for a ten-minute walk after you eat, that’s better than eating and lying on the couch. Anything to move nutrients through your body and process that transaction is great.”

Crunches are the best way to get a six-pack.

“It’s not functional. You might get those little bumps on your stomach, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a functional body. The best way to train your core is in positions that are functional to how we move as human beings. I would say the plank position, where gravity wants to pull your abdominal wall to the floor and you have to contract those muscles to stabilize, is far more effective and functional than lying on your back and doing crunches.”

Strength training means you have to use big, bulky weight machines.

“You can get just as effective results by body weight training. If you look at trapeze artists or gymnasts, they don’t lift weights. They’re constantly using their body weight to strengthen. I’ve had clients who can bench 200 lbs., and they can’t even lift a baby off the floor.”