Anyone who’s trying to get fit has probably been given advice by somebody about what to do or not do.

People get a lot of misinformation and then they either end up getting injured or give up because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing or don’t see great results.

The person offering the advice may be an expert at one thing, but there is no set plan that works for everybody.

Take a pass if someone offers you any of these five common pieces of bad advice.

No pain, no gain

This old saying never seems to go away. 

It’s true that building muscle requires a degree of tiny tears in muscle tissue, which then heals to make you stronger. That can lead to delayed muscle soreness that usually goes away quickly, but it depends on the makeup of your muscle fibres.

However, pain is not a necessary part of improvement. You can still get results without that constant hurting after a particular workout. And remember, people have different levels of pain tolerance.  

Running or deep squats ruin your knees

It’s not those movements that hurt your knees, it’s improper form while doing them.

Most people have muscular imbalances that cause them to do those exercises the wrong way, often leading to sore knees, hips or back.

Ask a Goodlife Fitness professional to assess your movements or videotape yourself doing them so you can see your form. There are apps available that show the correct form for a variety of exercises so you can compare yourself and make adjustments.

Not eating before a workout burns more fat

Working out on an empty stomach does not burn more fat. Plus, there is the potential for ramifications that are unhealthy, and sometimes dangerous. Blood sugar levels may drop during the workout, causing a person to feel lightheaded and possibly pass out.

Your body will also break down muscle to get energy from amino acids and protein, ultimately leading to a less-defined physique and slower fat burn on a day-to-day basis.

The bottom line is everyone requires different types of nutrition. Some people need to eat 10 minutes before a workout, others 45 minutes. Try different things to figure out what works best for you.

Women should avoid heavy weights

This warning stems from the assumption that women will bulk up too much if they pump heavy weights.

The fact is women don’t have the same hormone profile as men, so it’s extremely unlikely they’ll achieve similar muscle mass.

Working with heavier weights actually has benefits for women such as increasing metabolism that boosts fat burn and improving bone density, posture and stamina.

You have to lift to failure

Always forcing yourself to do as many reps as you can until you can’t do anymore is a bad approach because there’s a big chance you’ll break down your technique and increase your risk of injury. 

Granted, training until failure can be a tool to maximize muscle growth, but it needs to be used strategically in periodized workouts. Seek professional guidance and always have a spotter if you’re planning to lift to failure.

Be realistic
The next time you get some fitness advice, make sure you look at the big picture – what makes your body work and what does it need based on your current stress level, age and injury history?

You’re not the cross trainer you see in the gym or the bodybuilder on the Internet or the celebrity in a magazine. 

Do what you enjoy, have a proper plan and don’t be afraid to get help and ask questions so you can stay on track – your track.