We’re back with another list of fitness myths that need to be gone for good. What you thought their were only ten? Please…
Here’s the first list if you’d like to check it out before going through this one.
Anyways, by debunking these myths we’re going to set you on the right path to ultimately attain a fit and attractive body. Bad fitness advice in general wastes your time and ends up doing more harm than good. Correct your misconceptions and you’ll make faster progress because you won’t be trying things that don’t work (or avoiding things that do).
So let’s begin debunking some more fitness myths!
Myth #11 You Can’t Digest More Than 20-30 g of Protein In A Single Meal
This myth arises from a commonly cited study which found that 20g of post workout protein was optimal for building muscle in young men. In other words, eating more than 20g of protein would have no effect on stimulating muscular growth any further than 20g already did. Another study reached a similar conclusion except their “magic” number was 30g.
First of all, not everyone absorbs protein at the same rate. Numerous factors including how muscular you already are, your activity level, your age, and your hormonal balance will all contribute to how much your body needs to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Some people (especially athletes) will need more than the 20-30g of protein promoted by the studies above.
That said, I.F. (intermittent fasting) wouldn’t otherwise work if this myth were true. Condensing your meals into a 4-8 hour feeding window means you won’t be spacing them out through the day and thus should theoretically be wasting all that extra protein.This of course isn’t true and IF remains one of the best ways to building a lean and muscular body.
Overall, your TOTAL protein intake is what really matters not the frequency. Your body will store the extra protein and use it when it needs it so don’t worry about wasting it by eating too much at once.
Myth #12 Supplements & Shakes Are a Replacement For Real Food
A lot of people like to think their multivitamin and protein shake are enough to make up for a real meal. Supplements are just that… supplements. A supplement is meant to complement your diet if you’re deficient in a nutrient or aren’t getting the optimal amount through your food alone. They’re meant to fill in small gaps, not replace all of the nutrients and benefits of real foods. Real food contains fiber, carotenoids, phytochemicals and a variety of other micronutrients you won’t find in a supplement.
As for protein shakes, sure they make it easier to get your daily protein requirement but if you can manage, opt for real food instead to get the added benefits the shake or supplements won’t be able to give you. The key for long-term change is to implement healthy habits — don’t rely on these things to make up for a poor diet. Focus on getting that in check first and then work shakes and supplements in if you really need them.
Myth #13 If I Follow The (Celebrity Name) Workout Program I’ll Get A Body Just Like Them!
Celebrity workout programs get a lot of attention especially after a new movie release shows off an actor’s / actress’s hot body for their new role.
The problem with following these workouts programs (usually talked about in fitness magazines) is that you have a completely different body than the person they were designed for. As much as we don’t like to admit it, genetics play a large role in determining what we look like. Hormonal imbalances, muscle inserts and shape, frame, and bone structure are all different from one person to another.
You can’t expect to follow someone else’s fitness program and expect to look like them. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t try. You’ll be working the same muscles as they did but the end result — what those muscles look like and how they look on your bone structure — will be something completely unique to only you.
Myth #14 If You Aren’t Sore You Didn’t Workout Hard Enough
Using soreness as a yardstick for a quality workouts is a bad idea. Most of the soreness people associate with exercise (especially beginners) is called delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. DOMS is your body reacting to a stress it isn’t used to going through and it usually appears 24-48 hours after exercise. The thing is, once your body becomes accustomed to the stresses of working out regularly you’ll be experiencing soreness less and less often. Your muscles can and will grow without feeling sore after a workout!
So don’t measure your progress by how beat up you feel but by making measurable improvements. Did you drop your body fat percentage? Hit a new PR? Completed your workout in record time? Soreness is an inflammatory response and not an indicator of the progress you’re making.
Myth #15 Your Weight is the Most Important Thing
This myth, like most of the other myth on this list, does have a hint of truth in it. If you fall into the extremes of either side (too heavy or too underweight) then yes that is a sign you need to change something.
But relying on your weight or other measures like BMI to tell you whether your body is healthy is a bad idea. First off, the BMI scale which is supposed to determine a healthy weights relative to your height doesn’t do a good job of taking into account muscularity.Plenty of athletes, bodybuilders, and other everyday folk who lifts weights will likely find themselves on the high end of the scale and would technically be classified as “unhealthy”.
Also, get rid of the notion that the lower you weight the better looking you will be. A pound of muscle is significantly smaller than a pound of fat. Someone who’s 170 pounds but lean with muscle will likely have a much more attractive body than someone at 155 but skinny fat.
This is why you shouldn’t give up if you’ve started going to the gym and don’t see your weight falling. With resistance training, you’ll gain some muscle even while you’re trying to lose fat. This is a good thing. You might not weigh less but you WILL look better (and be healthier).
Myth #16 Low weight / High volume Workouts Are For Definition & Hypertrophy
The idea that lifting light weights (relative to your strength) for an endless amount of reps is the path to a lean or “toned” body is completely flawed. You won’t get that defined look unless you actually have muscle mass on you and are at a low enough body fat percentage. In order to get those muscles in the first place you need to lift heavy weights (again relative to your strength) because that’s the only way to put enough stress on them to force them to grow.
If you’re knocking down 20+ reps with a weight without breaking a sweat it’s time to start using something a little heavier otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
Myth #17 All You Need For Weight Loss is Cardio
Cardio will help you lose weight but on its own it’s not the best way to go about doing so.
Besides the fact that your diet also needs to be in check, doing some form of resistance training whether it’s calisthenics or lifting weights alongside cardio will get you better results (aka a slimmer and attractive body) much quicker than doing cardio alone.
Resistance training burns more calories in the hours after you finish a workout than cardio does. In fact, it can boost your metabolism for up to 36 hours. This means you’ll burn more calories even when you aren’t doing anything!
And it’s not just a short-term boost. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns while at rest. Muscle needs more energy to maintain itself and it’s why most guys can eat plenty of food and not put on any fat while women have a harder time keeping it off — guys have more muscle!
Lastly, resistance training will help reshape your body much more effectively. With cardio your weight loss will come in combination of fat and muscle (assuming you aren’t eating an optimal diet). Weightlifting encourages your body to preserve muscle even while you’re at a caloric deficit meaning you won’t get “skinny fat” and instead have a lean and toned body!
Myth #18 Carbs Are Evil
With the Paleo diet’s explosion in popularity and other fad diets following suit, carbs have become what fats used to be a couple decades ago — the go-to bogeyman to blame for all of our health problems and increasing waistlines.
Here’s the deal. Low carb diets really are in fact probably the BEST way to lose weight for the average, sedentary person who likely has an office job and doesn’t get to move around much. But anyone who regularly works out (we hope this is you) will need to eat carbs. Working out without carbs makes people feel more stressed and less energetic.
Furthermore, some carbs are better than others. Muffins, cake, white bread, white rice… not good. Vegetables, fruits, oats and whole grains? Much better. Complex carbs which take time to digest > simple carbs which immediately spike your blood sugar.
So yes, most people eat way too many carbs and can benefit from cutting back / eating more protein. But to say carbs are completely unnecessary part of a diet… is just plain wrong.
Myth #19 The More You Sweat The More You Gain
You might not feel satisfied with your workout until you’re completely spent, nearly throwing up, and can barely stand but is training until failure worth it? Not necessarily. Yes your workouts should be intense and actually testing your body but going all out fries your central nervous system making recovery more difficult and injuries likelier to happen.
That said, you shouldn’t gauge how hard you’re working by how much you’re sweating. Sweat is simply how the body handles heat and cools itself. It’s not a good indicator of how intense your workout actually is, how much progress you’re making, or a sign that you’re “melting away” fat (although it is a good sign for the most part.)
Myth #20 Cardio Kills Gains
Are you afraid of doing any cardio in fear of muscle breakdown? You shouldn’t be. While too much cardio is in fact a bad thing the right amount is fine and will improve your health. Studies have found that the optimal cardio session is done after a weight lifting and lasts no longer than half an hour. When done 2-3 times per week, it will have little if any effect on your muscle building efforts. Just remember to eat more food to make up for the calories you burn. Protein and carbs are both important for preserving muscle.
Here’s our article about the proper way of incorporating cardio into a weightlifting routine.
Have any of your own fitness myths you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!