Don’t Do That

June 26, 2011

Don’t do that—I’m sure you’ve heard that many times before. Mom telling you not to do it. Maybe a teacher, a coach, etc. I’m sure you’ve also heard it plenty of times coming into a fitness center. “Doing that will make you bulky” or “Squatting hurts your knees” and on and on.

I guess maybe the better question is how often do you actually listen when you’re told these things? Why do people spread these mistruths anyway? I just have to shudder sometimes when I read things online or hear things in the gym because so much of it is wrong. On the other hand, some of the research is actually starting to disprove some of the exercises so many people partake each day. But oftentimes people are quick to shed that advice because “they’re researchers; not users.”

One example from work yesterday: I was showing a new member around the gym and she and I were talking about some different exercises. She said she had done crunches on the decline bench the day before and that it hurt her back during and after the activity. Well, research is now basically throwing out the crunch as a good exercise because it has minimal benefit and wreaks havoc on the lumbar spine. Personally I’m glad to see the research shoot it down—I hated crunches anyway!

So next time somebody tells you not to do a certain exercise, don’t be afraid to ask them WHY! If they don’t have an answer, maybe their advice is not credible..

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