Rule # 1: Stick to machines to prevent injury
How it started: Exercise machine manufacturers, obviously!
Break the rule: Exercise machines work by isolating target muscles, thereby promising better results. But this also prevents natural body movement, which may actually increase the risk of injury. On the other hand, when you use free weights, your body makes natural adjustments throughout the exercise’s range of motions. This also works out smaller muscle groups and makes the exercise even more effective
Rule # 2: ‘Shock’ your muscles for best results
How it started: Bodybuilders who noticed how a new workout routine helped them achieve better results.
Break the rule: Switching exercises, sets and reps is one thing, but purposely overloading your system is a sure precursor to injury. Contrary to popular belief, being completely fatigued after your evening workout isn’t a sign of a good exercise session. In fact, exercise stimulates the senses, and a good post-workout meal later, you should be raring to paint the town red.
Rule # 3: There’s nothing like the treadmill to lose weight
How it started: Novice gym-goers who found that the treadmill was the only machine they were confident of using.
Break the rule: Cardio is the best “old-fashioned way” of losing weight. Remember, when you’re running for X amount of time, you’re burning calories only during that period. On the other hand, lifting weights (even light ones) and putting on a bit of muscle mass torches fat 24x7.
(Jamal Shaikh is Editor, Men’s Health)