When it comes to fitness, there is no shortage of conflicting information. In an attempt to set the record straight, Body & Soul tackles some of the most common polarizing topics here:
- Low vs. High Repetitions: Lower reps (less than 6) favour increases in muscular strength. Higher reps (more than 15) favour muscular endurance improvements. The range of 6 to 15 gives the best balance of muscular strength and endurance. Improvements are best when fatigue is achieved upon completion. This is why the eight to twelve reps range has been adopted as a safe way for people to strength train.
- Compound vs. Isolation Exercises: A compound exercise is one that requires the use of multiple muscle groups to carry out a movement. These exercises are beneficial for individuals who may not have time to go to the gym more than three times a week as they allow the individual to work out many muscle groups in a shorter period of time. That said, certain muscles benefit more from isolation exercise (i.e. hamstrings and biceps) as these muscles don’t change length significantly during compound lifts.
- Static vs. Dynamic Stretching: Stretching can help improve posture, reduce stress and improve mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance, but should you be doing static (involving no motion) or dynamic (involving motion) stretching before and after your workout? Dynamic stretches are typically done before you begin exercising and are a great way to help warm up the body and prepare it for the upcoming workout; static stretches are great for after a workout as they may reduce post workout stiffness.