Debunking the Five Fitness Myths You Still Believe
The health and fitness industry is full of myths and misconceptions. Everyday we are bombarded with ads, Instagram videos, and articles claiming they have discovered the new diet or exercise. There’s so much conflicting information on what we should and shouldn’t do.
As the Director of Fitness and a personal trainer with over 6 years of experience, I find myself having the same conversations with people around recurring themes: Which diet should I follow? What are the best exercises? How can I get rid of my gut? How can I get rid of my arm fat?
And those are just to name a few questions I hear on a daily basis. To help answer some of these questions, here are a few things I’ve learned that should clear up some of the confusion and help you become a healthier, fitter, and (hopefully) better human.
1) Always Looking for That Quick Fix, Shortcut, or Magic Pill
This is the big one so let’s get this one out of the way. There are no quick fixes, shortcuts, or magic pill. There are no hacks, fads, or tricks - just good old fashioned hard work. #sorrynotsorry
Without question, you can speed up the process, avoid injuries and maximize your progress with tried and true methods, but you must do the work. Working hard and being consistent is a prerequisite. Your attitude will be the number one thing when it comes to your results. There is a direct correlation between attitude and success.
2) Believing Getting Older Is An Excuse
Everyone knows we aren’t getting any younger, but the more you decide to keep your unhealthy habits, the harder it will be to break those detrimental habits.
Can i ask you something? Is smoking for 10 years worse than smoking for 5 years? Is not brushing your teeth for 5 years bad for you? Of course, the answer is yes and it has nothing to do with getting older. What you look like now and how fit and capable you are is largely the result of how you eat and move every single day. It comes down to making better lifestyle habits.
3) Believing There is a Perfect Diet
Here’s the honest truth: there is no such thing as a perfect diet. Paleo. Ketogenic. Intermittent Fasting. Atkins. South Beach. All these diets work. How? They focus on restricting your nutritional choices, so you eat fewer calories, more protein, and more veggies.
However, by restricting your usual nutritional choices, you’ll eventfully rebel and want that cheeseburger. This is normal and why it’s essential to adopting a flexible dieting mindset. My definition of flexible dieting is eating right 80% of the time while treating yourself the remaining 20%.
Not everyone has to follow the same eating plan. This is why you need to adopt a flexible eating mindset. At the same time, you need to provide your body with sufficient nutrients to improve your health, fitness, muscle, and have Energizer Buddy levels of energy throughout the day.
4) Cardio is The Only Way To Lose Weight
Resistance training has a multitude of benefits that cardio training just cannot even compete with. Resistance training can greatly improve your everyday movement (i.e. reaching over to tie your shoes or picking your kid off the floor), increases your self-confidence and self-discipline, and immensely improves your energy throughout the day.
Think of resistance training as “automatically” burning calories rather than “manually” burning calories like cardio training. When comparing the two, resistance training speeds up your metabolism, burning additional calories post-work while cardio training causes your metabolism to return to normal post workout.
Building muscle is key to getting lean, toned, and defined. Your metabolism will rocket sky high and you’ll be able to eat more without gaining fat and enjoying your food guilty free.
5) Believing “Carbs” are the enemy
Contrary to popular opinion, carbs are not “bad” or “evil.” Carbs are an essential macronutrient and your body’s preferred energy source. All the training in the world won’t help you lose fat if you are eating poorly.
You can’t outtrain a bad diet. Ever. Period.
That being said, reducing carbohydrate intake is one of the easier means to restricting total caloric intake. This will provide a ton of flexibility, which grants greater food choices options.
Restricting carbs also keeps insulin levels low, which forces the body to utilize protein and dietary fats more AND assist in reducing risk factors associated with Type Two Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.
Instead of cutting out your carbs, focus on eating minimally processed, whole foods. It doesn’t matter if you’re busting your butt in the gym. If you are eating excess foods and/or crappy foods it will be difficult to lose body fat. I am going to say it again, you can’t outtrain a bad diet!
Follow these guidelines:
Stick to mostly foods your grandma would recognize
Shop the perimeter of your grocery store
Get one serving of fruits or veggies (the size of your fist) with each meal (eat the rainbow!)
Get one serving of protein (the size of your palm) with each meal.
Replace all calorie-dense drinks with non-calorie options or water.
The bottom line is this: results don’t happen overnight. Your body doesn’t work like that. Hell, even Arnold freaking Schwarzenegger was a beginner once. Stop thinking you are the genetic anomaly. Sometimes you just have to embrace the grind and have faith in the process. Good things happen to those to wait until they reach the tipping point and, all, a sudden, you’ll reach the breakthrough.
Patience is key to achieving your goals.