We’ve all heard those trite, overly used, and increasingly annoying exercise and nutrition clichés that are tossed about with reckless abandon. Unfortunately, the more we hear them, the more likely we are to take them as fact, which is counterproductive to achieving our goals.
It’s time to set the record straight – I’ve picked several of my favorites and explained them below. Enjoy!
Muscle weighs more than Fat:
No it doesn’t. Muscle has a greater density, while fat has a higher volume. If your body weight doesn’t change very much, but your clothes become loose, you have lost body volume (fat) but become slightly more dense (muscle). This is a good thing!
Pain is weakness leaving the body:
Alternatively, it could just be pain. And you may want to pay attention to it; sometimes pain means you need to slow down or stop what you’re doing to avoid serious injury.
I firmly believe that the best ability is availability. If you’re hurt you can’t work out. If you’re not working out you’re not progressing toward your goals.
No points are awarded for pushing through an injury or ignoring the body’s need to rest. We make gains when we recover and keep nagging problems from becoming debilitating ones.
Scientifically proven (when associated with a supplement or other product):
Really? By whom? How many studies were conducted, and how were they designed? How many people participated? Where those individuals trained or untrained? Did they serve as their own control? Are there conflicting results?
These are just some of the questions that are worth asking before blindly accepting a product’s claims. Most available “fitness” products and frankenfoods are driven by good marketing, not good science.
Your core is more than just your abs. Anything that attaches to the pelvis and spine is a “core” muscle and must be mobilized and strengthened for improved posture, functionality and reduced risk of injury. More to the point, doing 1000 sit-ups everyday will not define or reveal your abs. That comes with a very targeted approach to your diet.
Carbs are bad:
No they are not. Carbs provide an important source of fuel, especially for your brain. Cutting them excessively leads to impaired memory and fatigue. Focus on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables (which are also packed with fiber) while limiting processed carbs and simple sugars. The latter tend to be more calorie dense and easy to overeat.
Remember, excess caloric intake leads to weight gain, regardless of where those calories are coming from. Eating too much is the enemy, not carbs.
“Stubborn” belly fat:
The adipose tissue around your midsection does not have a defiant personality. Achieving a lean look requires a disciplined approach to nutrition and exercise (no, I’m not talking about 7-minute abs).
Unfortunately, your abdominal fat is usually the last to go. That doesn’t mean you need special supplements or a new program, rather, it means you need to stay the course, consistently work out, eat healthy and be patient.
Bear in mind that there is a cost to being ultra-lean and you must decide if you’re willing to pay it. For many, exercising and employing moderation is enough. After all, if you can’t occasionally enjoy the things you really like, is it worth it?
Train in the “fat burning zone”:
While it’s true that a higher percentage of fat is burned at lower intensities, your workout will have a much lower total energy cost. Working harder burns more total calories and, ultimately, more fat. Just know your limitations when considering how hard to exercise. As an added bonus you’ll improve your cardiovascular conditioning by training at higher intensities.
Finally, when your available work out time is short, increasing the intensity is a great way to compensate.
Turn fat into Muscle (or vice versa):
Fat and muscle are comprised of different cells, and they do not interchange with one another. We lose body fat because the individual fat cells shrink in size, but they never actually disappear. As this happens, the underlying muscle becomes exposed, giving us the “toned” look we often desire.
Strength training is the best way to preserve and increase muscle mass. If you’re following a diet and exercise program designed to help with fat loss, it should have lots of lean protein, veggies and healthy carbs, combined plenty of squats, deadlifts and pull-ups. That’s how you lose weight and look good!
It’s easy to be attracted to the bright shiny object, the catchy cliché and the advice that we want to hear. Unfortunately, most of the time you’ll be lead further away from you goals. Don’t let false promises derail your progress.
With so much information out there, it can be difficult to tell the good from the bad. If you’ve got questions, we’re here to help provide clarity, direction and guidance. Simply contact us with your questions or to join the Vitalifit Coaching Program that is right for you. I promise, we won’t lead you astray!