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June 18, 2018

3 Outdated Training Myths You Probably Still Believe

Annie Miller of Fitdesignbyannie

The fitness and health industry is notorious for changing on direction on a dime with what is and isn’t effective. Today I share with you three myths that you need to stop believing YESTERDAY.

#1 If you aren’t sore, you didn’t get a good workout.

NOOOOOOO. Do you even know what muscle soreness is?

Yes lactic acid plays a part. But the main cause of muscle soreness is micro-tears in your muscles. TEARS. IN. YOUR. FREAKING. MUSCLE. FIBERS. Yes, it is okay to be sore after workout. No, you do not need to be sore after workout to build muscle or see results. I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Your weekly training volume per muscle group is more important than your training volume per day on a given muscle group.

Speaking from experience from myself and my clients. Better results can be yielded from training a muscle group multiple times a week at a less taxing overall intensity compared to running that muscle group into the ground once or twice a week. BOTH are effective. But the soreness from the latter is NOT a necessity.

Muscles need progressive overload. I have blogged about this topic before. Read about increasing your workout intensity here. The overload can be an increase in weight, intensity, total reps (volume), tempo, or time under tension. All of these lead to muscle growth without necessarily being sore.

Again, being sore is OKAY. It is allowed. But don’t fall for the myth that if you aren’t sore, you didn’t work hard enough or you aren’t going to see and feel results. #NOTTRUE.

Being sore can also have more to do with how well you recover than the actual workout itself. Your sleep, stress levels, and diet may have more to do with your soreness than the “effectiveness” of your workout.

#2 Not seeing results? Do more, rest less, eat less.

If I may repeat myself…NOOOOOO. Very few people who are working out regularly need to do more, rest less, and eat less.

This is the old, do more cardio and eat less food to get summer ready body. I literally cannot roll my eyes far enough back into my skull.

STAWP IT. If we’re being honest, it is likely you need more rest, and maybe even to eat MORE food. Your food should fuel your workouts. You may be at a plateau with your training because because you need to change up your eating habits.  You may also need to switch up your training. This does not mean DO MORE. This might even mean do less.  If you live in America, your stress levels (cortisol) are likely higher than they should be.  Lowering the intensity of your workouts can help bring these cortisol levels down. This allows your body to reduce bloating and fat storage. It’s truly quite magical. Sleep can do the same. Working out more will 100% NOT do this for you.

So analyze WHY you are not seeing or feeling the results you want. How consistent have you been with lifts, with sleep, with food?  What is your stress level like? Be real with yourself. If you need to take a deload week, or eat more because you’re under-eating, DO IT.

Please do not fall for the old myth that you need to do more or workout harder.


#3 You need to hit a certain number of exercises per session to see results and grow muscle.


I didn’t even know this was a thing until I was introduced to the bodybuilding world.  I’m coming at this from a functional fitness perspective. So please keep that in mind.

I come from training like so: you have a warm up that is inline with whatever lifts you are going to be dong that day.  If I am squatting, the warm up will include some banded squats, and hip opening + ankle mobility movements. If I am pressing overhead, I will do some PVC T-spine opening movements, and core work (keep those ribs pinned down).

After my main lift (squats, deadlift, overhead press, or bench press), I perform 3-4 MAYBE, 5 accessory lifts which are programmed based on complimenting the main lifts and movements patterns as well as reaching aesthetic goals (grow zee booty and shoulders per-say). When I discovered people talking all this, “you need to hit 8 exercises per muscle group to see results and growth” my mind was blown.

Um sir, that’s a negative! I’m going to go ahead and call a hard pass on this one.

Do crossfitters hit 8 exercises per muscle group? Hell no. And they’re jacked out of their minds. This just goes to prove that hitting 6-8 or 10 exercises per muscle group is NOT the only way to build muscle and it DEFINITELY NOT needed. If time is important to you (it is to me), then please, stop wasting it.  Stop using every freaking machine the gym and learn to work more efficiently. PLEASE.

If you’re trying to be a body builder, go on with your badself. If you’re not, then stop training like one, and use your time wisely + get better at moving your body.  4-5 exercises should be MORE than enough to get the job done.

Check out these blog posts if this one resonated with you:

3 best ab exercises + never do a crunch again

5 must know tips for barbell training

10 best booty building exercises


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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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