There are a lot of controversies surrounding fitness, exercise and bodybuilding many have been in the spotlight and other are hidden away. The majority of controversies surround drugs and supplements, with major ones being fat loss pills such as ephedrine and caffeine which may increase thermogenesis and therefore speed up metabolism. However whilst these chemical risks are well documented there are other risks and training habits that could be as dangerous and limit general life, we decide to put the spotlight on these dangerous gym habits.  

Lack of stretching

Stretching comes under a lot of stigma, many believe it to be a mere waste of time that just wastes energy before a workout, however science does tell us that stretching does in fact help prevent muscle tears and joint damage, so why would we want to skip it. When we stretch we are actually allowing our muscles to prepare for the workout ahead, stretching can:

  • Help prevent injury
  • Increase range of movement (ROM)
  • Improve posture
  • Maintain joint integrity

Failing to stretch will surely lead to an injury down the line especially in those involved with ballistic type exercise. Try and stretch for 15 minutes before a workout and 15 minutes after a workout as well as in between sets.

Bad form

Weightlifting is full of those who lift right and those who lift badly! And lifting bad is not great for our bodies. The major exercises and examples of bad form are:

The Biceps Curl : (everyone’s favourite) the clue is in the name, this is a biceps exercise but on many occasions many believe it may be a lower back exercise. If you are struggling to get form then stand with your back against a wall, use a bench with the back fully up or get a PT to help you sort out the form.
Bench Press : two examples of bad form here and both are on either ends of the scale, lifting far too heavy and only doing a half rep at best to impress your mates is not going to build your chest muscles and bouncing a weight of your chest will not make your sternum cartilage very happy.
Deadlift : well there is a mass amount of problems with this excellent compound exercise, we recommend going to see a PT or coach if you want to learn how to deadlift correctly.

Lifting too much

Upping the amount we lift in the gym is one of the simplest ways in which we can increase intensity, of common exercises. However it may end up being counterproductive especially if it means you begin to lose form of the exercise, which as we mentioned before will lead to injuries to joints, tendons, ligaments and muscle. Only increase weight when you can control the weight you are lifting, if you cannot maintain correct form throughout the exercise then lowering the weight or reps is required. Why not try other methods of training to increase intensity instead of increasing the weight lifted, try some supersets or drop sets to add extra intensity. myInnerGo SPORT helps you to avoid mistakes and work with your body and not against it. 

Dehydrating

This is mainly a bodybuilding and combat sport problem, many of these athletes attempt to sweat out an extra few pounds to fit into a weight class. Many insane methods include riding stationary bikes in saunas, taking diuretics, ceasing drink for 24 hours pre weigh in, to drinking alcohol which dehydrates the body further. Dehydration is a serious and fatal condition which leads to cramping of muscles which has been noted in certain bodybuilding competitions where a bodybuilder had to be stretchered off due to completely freezing up on stage because a full body cramp. Dehydration places monumental pressure upon the kidneys and the brain. Athletes have died attempting to meet weights for events, and whilst we understand that the majority of individuals who do these protocols understand the risks associated we just wanted to highlight how important proper hydration is.

Not getting enough food (pre workout)

Many people still think it’s a smart move to train on an empty stomach as it has been purported to burn more fat tissue than training post meal. However in reality this a pretty illogical assumption and a very superficial science. In truth our bodies use carbohydrates as the main energy source for the majority of exercise, and you will have enough glycogen stored that your body will just ignore the fact that you didn’t eat a meal and use up your glycogen stores.

If you decide to still train on an empty stomach you risk training with a lower intensity, becoming dizzy and even fainting. It just does not make sense to follow that protocol so get yourself eating 30-60 mins before training with a small meal comprising of slow digesting carbs, fibre and protein.

Overtraining

Too much of a good thing is definitely bad in this situation, becoming obsessed with exercise is a common theme that occurs, even to people that don’t believe they could become obsessed with exercise. Whilst exercise is good too much can lead to fatigue, depression, supressed appetite, nausea and anxiety. These symptoms normally go hand in hand with constant pain with a slow recovery time and an increase in the amount and severity of common infections. Overtraining if left untreated can lead to severe mental impairment and a dramatic fall in exercise performance. myInnerGo SPORT shows how much time you need for recovery and how quickly you can recuperate after intense bouts of excercise. Knowing these factors helps you to prevent overtraining and it`s negative effects on you.

It is imperative that you listen to your bodies needs and react fast when you start to feel that you may be training to hard. It is imperative that allow your body to rest and that you take in the required nutrient to help your body repair the muscle damage caused when training hard. 

Not eating enough food (general)

In general many who train fail to eat enough food to feed their bodies, if you are looking to build muscle then you require food to feed your goals. This does not just mean high amounts of protein, but complex carbohydrates, good saturated fat and health unsaturated fats are needed to build a muscular physique. A good method is to up calories intake by 500kcal a day with a breakdown based on your genetics. Find more with myInnerGo Weight.

Failure to eat the correct nourishment will lead to a slow recovery from exercise and may lead to overtraining.

Too much protein

Protein intake for bodybuilders is commonly 2g per Kg of body weight on off season and 3-4g of protein per KG on season, whilst it makes sense to increase protein intake when training to help the body receive the required nutrient, protein intake when too high for too long can have negative side effects such as an increase homocysteine which may lead to heart disease later down the line, and there are the usual reports that high protein intake may lead to kidney damage. In general many of us who train without hormonal agents do not require any more protein then 0.5-1g per kg of body weight, many performance nutritionists state that 2g per kg of bodyweight is really the upper limit and should not be done all year round for anyone involved with training regardless of level.

Stimulants

There are many stimulants out there, many are touted as weight loss agents or pre-workout aids. The most common of these is the stimulant ephedrine which has a long list of negative side effects including:

  • Heart attack    
  • Stroke
  • Palpitations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Twitching
  • Breathing problems
  • Death

Whilst it is easy to pick on ephedrine as being the naughty one, many ephedrine free supplements contain similar supplements such as caffeine and natural forms of ephedrine (Ma Huang), in small amounts these stimulants do have some benefits and when used correctly they can have effects that are beneficial to. However they do have potential dangerous side effects if taken without proper care and restraint. Try and avoid unnecessary ephedrine consumption, names on ingredient lists that it goes as are:

  • Ma Huang
  • Bitter Orange
  • Ephedra
  • Ephedrine

 It is always a better option to go for a caffeine based stimulant than ephedrine if you must take some form of stimulant. Why not try some pre-workout food instead, why not try this little recipe below:

1 wholemeal bagel, sliced medium banana and some dark honey = good pre-workout snack. Check  our Recipes section we have there more to offer.

Combining drugs

Whilst we recommended against taking stimulants we really recommend that you refrain from mixing stimulant with depressant type drugs. This normally occurs on nights out where two common drugs go hand in hand, the common energy drink and alcohol combo is not great for the heart. Certain herbs are used by fitness and health enthusiasts to help with anxiety and stress, these include kava kava and St. Johns wart, whilst these help with metal stress and anxiety they both have their own side effects and combing these with a stimulant will not lead to any beneficial health effects and can lead to fatal cardiac consequences.

Steroids

The law in the UK is a bit funny when it comes to steroids, it seems perfectly legal to import these drugs for personal usage but selling them in the UK is classed as illegal. Steroids enhance muscle tissue growth by stimulating protein synthesis. Different steroids cause different side effects and effects and individual differences also vary these effects. Common side effects include:

  • Acne
  • Purple discolorations
  • Swelling
  • Halitosis
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Liver damage
  • Joint problems
  • Burning urination
  • Gynecomastia
  • Nausea
  • Impotence

As you can see, these side effects are not really going to help any budding fitness enthusiast or bodybuilder. Whilst there are a myriad of methods to help fight these side effects, steroids should never be taken by anyone with limited experience and knowledge in the area.

There are many reasons to train, the health benefits are endless but training incorrectly is damaging to the body and it is about time that this was brought to light at how dangerous some practices can be.  Always set goals that relate to you, always progress at your own pace. Whilst competition is great and healthy in the sporting and exercise and environment trying to emulate or beat someone else who has years of training ahead of you will only lead in injury. To really hit your best you should have sit down with a trainer who can plan realistic and achievable goals.

Want to discover more about your body and know how your genetic plays important role in your training?  myInnerGo helps you to make right choices.

 


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