Friday 13th September, 2013 (Day 33 ??? keep losing where I’m up to)
Well being Friday the 13th had be thinking about myths and urban legends so I thought I’d have a look at this closer. There are soooo many fitness myths that we’ve all heard that it’s seriously laughable. These are my top 10.
1) I’m a girl, I don’t want to do weights because I’ll look like Arnie – You won’t, end of story, you do not have the same amount of testosterone rolling around in your body like men (who have between 10-30% more). If you start looking like Arnie, call me, I want to know how you did it !!!
2) Carbs are bad – Your body needs carbs to function, they are your primary source of energy…. But this does not include an entire loaf of garlic bread with a giant side of pasta an hour before you’re going to bed :(, simple carbs aren’t a very good choice here. Good complex carbs (oats, grains, nuts) of low GI take longer for the body to break down and give you a more even release of energy over a longer period of time (and keep you fuller longer). Unlike simple carbs like sugar, pasta, refined white bread and rice, they do not make your insulin levels take a giant spike and then a giant fall making you want more more more !!!
3) Spot reducing (like doing lower body weights only to reduce the booty) – Think about it. No matter what you do your body will do it’s own thing and take fat from where ever it feels to convert it to energy to support your exercise, no matter what exercise…running, weights, step, pump, walking, squats etc etc doesn’t matter, body needs energy, it will burn what it needs.
4) I weighed a kilo more this week, it must be muscle !!! – Well this does certainly change per person as a lot of factors like genetics, type of training, diet, gender and age have a play in this. Some people can notice gains quite quickly, others a lot longer, but generally it takes a relatively long time to build significant muscle like a kilo and it takes proper muscle building training and nutrition as well to facilitate major gains in a short period. With targeted exercise you could generally expect to see some changes in a 6-8 week period again depending on your body type. One website I visited (aworkoutroutine.com) has written an average up (the person writing the article that I read had 10+ years first hand experience (and observations) and has spoken with trainers/coaches) and they published the following guide for an average expectation of how quick you could gain muscle (and in my personal experience I think it’s about right, well for my personal story any way).
Average Natural MAN: between 113grams – 226grams of muscle per week (or about 450gms – 900gms of muscle gained per month).
Average Natural WOMAN: between 54grams – 113grams of muscle per week (or about 226grams – 450grams of muscle gained per month).
5) Fresh Fruit/Veg is better than frozen – With shipping and storage, fresh fruit can often sit around for as long as two weeks before it hits your supermarket. In contrast, frozen fruit is often picked and frozen at the peak of freshness.
6) I want abs so I’ll do heaps of crunches – Good ole crunches (or any other forms of ab exercises) will in fact help you build mean muscly abs….. but you will not actually see them if you aren’t lean enough. I know when I first started weights I could literally feel how hard my abs were, but they were well hidden under fat and it was only after I started to lean up that I could actually see them and the leaning up had nothing to do with doing ab exercises in particular, it was my overall nutrition and varied training.
7) I need to take supplements to get into shape – As the name implies, they are to supplement your nutrition. To pick you up in areas that may be lacking, like protein for bodybuilders as an example when they need to up their intake, or you may not be able to eat fish and can’t get enough Omega-3’s from other avenues…. But you do not need to just have shakes, pills and powders because you are now getting into shape…. They have their place to help you and you should seek advice on what would be best for you or beneficial to you.
8) I ate crap food, but it’s ok I’ll train longer – One of my favourite sayings, ‘you can’t out-train bad nutrition”. It’s not just the energy in and energy out, all the ingredients can have their part to play, for example the fact that sugar is the ultimate enemy for stopping weight/fat loss. Your body will burn that sugar BEFORE anything else. So dig into your chocolate, and then the first hour or so of training (the more you’ve had obviously the longer you have to train) is WASTED burning off that sugar instead of your stored fat….
9) I need to basically live on lettuce leaves and starve to lose weight – The idea is a balanced, healthy and proportionate nutrition plan. You do not have to starve or be a rabbit. The reason most educated people reach for the salad bag when they are serious about losing weight and starting a healthy lifestyle is that you can have an entire bag of mixed veggies or salad leaves which will have more nutritional bang for your energy (calorie/kilojoules) buck than say a quarter of a mars bar. Your tummy will be fuller longer from the fibre…. Geez there are so many reasons for reaching for some greens when you want to lead a more healthy lifestyle and starving is not one of them. Yes you do need to lower your energy input to lose weight, but this shouldn’t mean that you have air for snacks instead of good wholesome food. Basically you can fit a bucket load of healthy choice food on your plate for the same calories as a small amount crap food.
10) I have to do cardio to lose weight – ALL EXERCISE WILL HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT, energy in, energy out. Nutrition has a large part to play in your weight loss journey. Simples.
WOW – thinking of 10 was actually harder than I thought, but there are quite a few myths about and all you need to do is listen. We believe so many untruths because a) they are told and say them ourselves time and time again without even checking if it’s true and b) they suit us and make us feel better about ourselves, eg gaining a kilo in a week and telling yourself it’s just muscle is far more acceptable mentally than truthfully looking at your nutrition and exercise or even other reasons like “that time of the month” or water retention etc. Well I’m all typed out after all that, so stay healthy.