When it comes to workouts, there’s a wealth of information and instruction out there. From Instagram #fitspo to online training programs to magazine articles, it’s more confusing than ever to navigate what might be good for you, and what’s…less good for you. That’s why we’re setting the record straight once and for all by asking two accomplished trainers to get to the bottom of some of the most common misconceptions about working out and staying fit.
Grant McCartney is known as #islandninja, and travels the world performing daring stunts. He specializes in board sports, and you can find him surfing, skateboarding, or performing action roles in the entertainment industry.
Janell Haney is a stuntwoman whose impressive work can be seen in countless films. Watch the video above to see McCartney and Haney in action!
McCartney and Haney gave us the inside scoop on what myths we should and shouldn’t be listening to. Check out their responses below!
Myth #1: "It takes at least two weeks to get out of shape"
Grant: “No, I don't think you get out of shape. People want to use that as an excuse. They go on vacation and they're like, 'Oh now I'm out of shape.' It's like, 'Well, how good of shape were you in before you went on your vacation then?' I don't think you can fall out of shape in two weeks.”
Myth #2: "Squats are bad for your knees"
Grant: “No. Improper squats are bad for your knees, but just look at babies. Babies are in constant squat mode. They sit in a resting position on their heels when they squat down. We have the range of motion and I think that we actually move away from that as we get older. We forget to do things the proper way. So instead of squatting down like we should, that's good for our body mechanics, we bend at the hip and just reach with our arm because we don't want to get our legs burning."
Janell: “Myth. I think that improper squats are bad for your knees, but if you're doing the correct form and you know how to position your body correctly, I don't think that it is harmful. If you have certain issues, then maybe that needs to be taken into account. But as a whole, I don't think they're bad for your knees.”
Myth #3: “No pain, no gain”
Grant: “In terms of advancing your physical abilities through training, I would say something more like sacrifice equals gain. For example, if you are injured, there's going to be pain but you're not gaining anything working out on a broken leg. But sometimes, sacrifice is painful. To choose to not do something you want, or do something you don't, can feel somewhat painful to people. You have to do that to gain. You have to decide instead of slowing down this last mile, you’re going to keep up this pace."
Janell: “No pain, no gain. I agree with that. 100 percent. I don't see how you can grow or change your body, or change anything about yourself, how you can get better without going through some pain or discomfort, or being pushed out of your comfort zone.”
Myth #4: "Sit-ups are the best ab workout"
Janell: “Sit-ups are great to use for building your abs. Everybody is different. For me personally, I feel my abs work best when I'm continually throwing them off, doing planks and Russian twists where you're holding a hollow body and then moving side to side and incorporating that with high intensity interval training. For me, abs don't work on their own. I have to be getting my heart rate up and down.”
Myth #5: "Reduce calorie intake to lose weight"
Grant: “Instead, you could just increase your calorie output or the calories burned in exercise. It doesn't have to be diet down, and it depends on what's harder for you. If you like working out like me, then I don't change my diet. I up my workout."
Myth #6: "Just doing cardio will help you lose weight"
Janell: “I would say false, just by my personal experience and what I've seen in others. I used to run probably 10 to 15 hours a week. I was heavier then than I am now and it was because I was just doing straight cardio. I think our body needs to be thrown off in interval training and weight training. It's a big factor in losing weight and shredding fat.”
Myth #7: “You only need to work out once or twice per week to stay in shape”
Grant:“Instead of telling yourself 'I only need to work out this much,' just go and do it. Make workouts a part of your life. I love working out through surfing and running. I don't count that as my workout. The only time I ever call it a 'workout' is when I'm trying to progress in an actual physical movement. I think when we think about it as a workout, it becomes this thing you have to do versus that you get to do and to just enjoy."
Myth #8: “Weightlifting is dangerous”
Grant: “It’s unfortunate that people are scared to lift. Anything is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Learn how to drive a car before you get on the interstate. Same thing about lifting weights.”
- Janell: “No, this is wrong. I think that everyone needs to be aware of the weight that they're lifting. Be safe with them. There's a way to be safe."
Shop the Speed TR Flexweave that Grant and Janell are wearing in the video above.