Okay, so top 10 lists have been done to death, but everybody still loves a good list right? We can probably thank David Letterman for their popularity, but none the less they are a chance to have some fun and give you some serious knowledge bombs.
I’m not going to delay it long because the headline gives away the gist of this post.
As a trainer who trains and discusses health and fitness everyday with the average person, trends often arise. Trends that are generally wrong, half wrong, or sometimes true, but people don’t understand when.
So in no particular order let’s dive into some of these common myths that I’d rather not have to cringe over anymore. You may know a lot already, or maybe none, either way I hope you learn something from them! (and maybe have a giggle to at my jokes that aren’t actually jokes because I’m dead serious about them)
Ultimately, I sincerely hope they free you of mental struggles from trying to religiously stick to these ideas and get you better results and in turn, a better life.
This is part 2 of this 2 part series, if you missed part 1, then you can check it out here.
MYTH #6: Eating small, frequent meals increases your metabolism
This one seems very logical when you think about it, which is probably why so many people have regurgitated it over the last 10 years. It’s a shame logical doesn’t equal reality.
People like to use the analogy that our metabolism is like a fire. Therefore if we stoke this fire every few hours with a small meal, it will keep running hot.
But if we don’t stoke that fire for too long, then people assume it slows down and we are not burning as many calories as we could be.
As I said, this does seem sort of logical. But in reality, that ‘fire’ will not burn out for a very long period of time. Much longer than 2-3 hours, which is the recommendation for how frequently to eat.
Think of it more as a fire that will burn hotter in direct relation to how much wood you throw on it, not how often you throw the wood on it.
Meaning your metabolism will increase when you eat. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF) and occurs from the extra energy needed to digest and absorb food.
The extent of the TEF however, is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND OF FOOD YOU EAT. NOT HOW FREQUENTLY YOU EAT THAT FOOD.
So if I ate 6 meals, 9 meals or 3 meals in one day, and the total food was the same, my metabolism will have been ‘stoked’ exactly the same.
What’s the take away from this then? Eat as many meals as it fits your lifestyle and eating habits. Simple.
I wrote more in depth about this here if you’d like to learn even more.
MYTH #7: You need to smash yourself every workout and be very sore the next day.
The most common goals of people that come to train with me are dropping body fat, toning up, getting fitter, more energy, getting stronger, improving sports performance or just feeling better in general.
Funnily enough though, no one has come to me and said their goal is to be sore the next day! Or told me they just want to be worked into the ground each session.
So why do we make these things the aim of our exercise and nutrition regime?!
We feel like we haven’t worked hard enough if there isn’t sweat dropping off us or if we can still sit down on the toilet the next day.
This attitude shifts the focus away from what is important, to what is only kind of important.
Now, yes, if you start exercising hard after a while off you will be very sore the next day.
And yes there is definitely a place for gruelling workouts that force you to dig deep and push yourself.
BUT, these aren’t the goals of the program, and should not be constantly chased after. You can certainly be sore as hell the next day, and be training as hard as physically possible, and still NOT progressing to the goals you have.
The truth is, some days you don’t want to push yourself with 110% intensity, some days you shouldn’t end up sore from head to toe the next day.
Every day or at least every week though, you should be moving towards your goal.
Simply ask yourself if you are moving towards that goal, and if you are, then don’t concern yourself with whether you can still move your arms overhead the day after training.
Be aware of people who think you need to destroy yourself every workout.
Don’t confuse soreness for progress.
MYTH #8: Girls who lift weights gain lots of muscle and end up unattractive or ‘bulky’
For the experienced fitness professional, this myth above is possibly the one that’s most worthy of a palm to the face.
No matter how much the word spreads, many girls are still afraid of the weight room in fear of turning into the incredible hulk after their first set of push-ups.
Girls, it is extremely unlikely that you will ever end up overly muscular from weights training.
In my experience, probably 10-20% of all the girls I’ve trained have ended up gradually becoming slightly too muscular for some girls liking.
When I said gradually, it was something you can see slowly occurring, so we adjusted training if we wanted to stop this process.
Of course, this a subjective view anyway, and each person may have a different standard.
But either way, that means if you and 9 other friends all got into some weights training, only 1 or 2 of you would potentially start building more muscle than you’d like.
However, this is my experience with clients and consider that this is when these girls get absolutely focused training from myself who knows how to make girls stronger.
If someone didn’t have such focused training and progression as I encourage with my clients, it is even more unlikely you would ever gain enough muscle to be dissatisfied with your appearance.
‘But what about those super muscular chicks parading around on the stage in bikini’s? They look gross!’
I get it, there are certainly girls out their way too muscular for most girls liking, and it’s easy to let that scare you from ever touching a dumbbell.
But you must consider a few things:
- Those girls have the GOAL of being that muscular. Their goal is not to just look lean and toned, they are trying to be quite muscular as that’s the aim of the competition they compete in.
- Due to the above point, they eat to gain muscle, and do not adjust their training when that muscle comes on. As opposed to the average girl who wants to be lean and toned, who would eat for that goal and can train accordingly.
- They have been lifting weights for many, many years. This took a lot of time to get to and certainly doesn’t happen overnight.
- They could well be taking illicit substances to get there. Don’t think it’s only guys who are borrowing syringes from the local medical centre.
For all those reasons, your fears of ripping your shirts with cannonball like shoulders are unwarranted.
Weights training will make you look more toned, give your body shape, increase your metabolism, build confidence and feel better for everyday life.
So, go get stuck into some weights training and show the meatheads they don’t own the gym.
MYTH #9: ‘I just need to find that magic program. You know, the perfect diet and exercise protocol. Then I’ll be fine.’
This myth may not be said with the exact quote above, but the idea is this.
Constantly going around ‘searching’ for the perfect diet, training program, supplement regime or any combo of those is not going to get you long-term results.
You will get short-term results from unsustainable fads, trends and outright ridiculous programs and methods.
This thought process leads to mindless program hopping, and falling prey to any new fad that comes around.
A mentality of chasing a perfect program that will get you unbelievably quick results is sabotage. Assuming that it will also then land in your lap is even more sabotaging, as it robs you of putting in the work.
It is not going to happen for you, it will take some effort on your part.
The effort I speak of is this, and it’s only slightly different to the myth above. You need to focus on building knowledge and habits in regards to your health and body, so you can maintain long-term progress and results.
This doesn’t mean you don’t try new things, far from it. Experimenting is key, it’s just how you do it.
Your focus when you try something new needs to be ‘what can I learn from this? What good habits can I develop from this?’
Instead of ‘I really hope this crazy program finally gets rid of my love handles’
If you gradually build a good base of knowledge, construct your lifestyle to make solid habits a must not a maybe, you will lose those love handles.
Now you will begin to know what programs are a fad and a marketing ploy, versus what actually helps you make progress. You will set in stone some foundational habits that means when progress is a bit slow you don’t fall off the bandwagon and pull out the nearest tub of ice cream.
Health, fitness, daily energy; these are all very large parts of your life, so I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a worth while investment in building some knowledge and habits surrounding them.
Begin to learn what foods are higher in protein, what exercises you enjoy and work the muscles you want to or get into a habit of daily exercise no matter what it is. These are small examples but they will add up to your long-term results.
So stop jumping from one trend to the next with your fingers crossed. Understand it’s a longer-term process that doesn’t have an end point.
You keep getting a little wiser, keep developing your lifestyle, and before you know it every program will work like a ‘magic’ program.
MYTH #10: Sit-ups and crunches are the key to a flat tummy
This one makes sense too; I want to see my stomach muscles so therefore I work them.
Unfortunately, for a lot of us we hold the majority of our body fat around that exact area. Meaning that unless we chip away at that body fat, we won’t be seeing the result of those sit-ups and crunches any time soon.
As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen. The best abs exercise is 3 sets of putting down the fork.
Now that was a figure of speech, don’t think you have to stop eating totally to ever have a nice flat stomach. But to get rid of that muffin top, you’ll probably need to eat a few less muffins!
Only once you have your nutrition under control can you dive into some abs exercises. But even still, they shouldn’t make up much of your overall training program.
Full body, compound exercises will do more for overall calorie burning and lean muscle building than crunches and sit-ups.
So focus on those exercises, and then you can allow a few sit-ups, crunches or other Ab exercises toward the end of a workout so you can get a satisfying stomach burn.
But remember, your eating and the rest of your training is what will get you that firm stomach, not those endless hours sitting up and back down.
There you have it, this with part 1 makes 10 of the most common myths debunked.
Hope you took some notes and definitely share this with a few friends who might be struggling with some of those challenges above.
If you liked this and want to keep up with our other fitness content, then like us on Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/thebodyshapers1?ref=hl
Until then, take control of your body.
David – The Body Shapers
PS – We are running our next intake of our incredible 4 Week Fat Furnace Program very soon!
If you have been held back in the past by these myths and don’t have a body you are truly proud of, then it’s time to end that. Find out more about our 4 week program and if you fit the criteria, then don’t hesitate to apply! You can click on the photo below, or check it out here http://www.thebodyshapers.com.au/four-week-fat-furnace/