If you’re no stranger to the gym, i'm sure you’re familiar with this scenario: Stranger comes up to you and offers advice on how you should be performing an exercise, or how many days you should be working out, or how to eat… Is their advice right? Maybe. Is it wrong? Who knows. Is it downright terrible? Quite possibly!
Today I am going to talk about some of the worst (real) advice people have given surrounding the field of health and fitness, and tell you why that advice is horrible!
Lets start with the “Shape your abs in 7-days with these 3 fat blasting moves” type of advice.
First and foremost, this advice would mean that you can “spot train” a certain body part to lose fat. This is 100% a myth, as the body loses fat all over the body at the same time. The ONLY thing that doing ab exercises will do is give you a stronger core (which is still a good thing! But it will not give you a 6-pack or tight abs). Same thing goes for arm exercises to lose arm fat, butt exercises to reduce celulite, etc... In order to shape/tone any body part you need less layers of fat covering your muscle, and you lose those layers of fat through cardiovascular exercise and diet, period. Next.
“You need the newest top of the line clothing and gear”
Butt toning shoes? Thats almost as ridiculous as that belt that zaps your flab into a 6-pack! You also need to own leopard print or brightly colored tight spandex pants… or your legs will not even get a workout! Lastly, If you don’t own a shakeweight, you’re doing fitness wrong. All jokes aside, you really do not need ANY special clothing or gear to get awesome results. Most of these gimmicks are just more examples of people looking for the quick easy fix.
“Females should avoid lifting weights if they don’t want to get bulky”
Covered this one in depth in my previous article, but I feel it's an important one to add here because it is simply horrible advice. Most females do not have the testosterone needed (naturally) to develop huge bulky muscles, hell most men don’t either… which is why so many turn to steroids. Lifting weights will however help you get that toned, lean look that most everyone strives for anyways!
“You should change your workout every single day to keep your muscles guessing”
Guess what this prevents? Progress. You need to stick with the same program for at least some period of time in order for progressive overload to happen (gradually increasing weight/reps/sets of exercises and therefore getting stronger). “Muscle confusion” is not a real thing, and will only limit your potential if you continually switch things up too often. However, it is acceptable to switch it up once you have plateaued (You can’t get get in more reps/sets/weight each time you do the exercise). But if you’re trying to get stronger at a certain exercise, its best to stick with it!
“You need supplements to make progress in the gym”
This one grinds my gears. Supplements are just that… SUPPLEMENTS to a healthy diet, and should only be taken if you find that you are deficient in certain areas of your diet. You absolutely do not NEED one single supplement to make progress in the gym, to get stronger and faster, and to push through a whole workout. People spend hundreds of dollars per month on supplements sometimes, and that boggles my mind.
“You can’t eat after 6pm or it will all get stored as fat!”
Wrong wrong wrong. Calories are the same at any time of the day, and your body processes them the same at any time of the day. What really matters is your total calories and macronutrients (carbs fat and protein) throughout the entire day.
“You should stick with exercise machines to avoid injury”
Sticking to machines can actually have the opposite effect. Machines all have a set path they travel, and therefore your stabilizer muscles do not work as they do when you are using free weights. Stabilizer muscles play a big part in preventing injuries.
“You have to squat below parallel to get a good leg workout”
This is not only not true, but potentially dangerous for certain people. Each person's anatomy is different from the next, and some peoples hip joints simply do not allow them to go “ass to grass.” You still get a killer leg workout from squats even if you make it to just parallel (thighs parallel with the floor). However, if you’re far from parallel still you’ll want to work on your depth, if your form allows.
“You should only train each body part once per week”
You can realistically train each body part as many times as you want per week. You just want to avoid hitting the same body part while its still sore from your previous workout. Anywhere from 1-3 times per week is the standard for each body part, it really depends on your schedule and what you are training for.
“A pump during the workout and soreness following are required for a good workout”
I covered this one in depth in a previous article, but ill repeat… your soreness the following days should not be an indication of a quality workout. As your body becomes accustomed to certain movements you should (and will) become less and less sore each time that movement is performed. That is, unless you continually make progress in the form of more reps, more sets, more weight, less rest, etc… and you should be aiming to do so!
“You’ll lose all your gains if you don’t get protein within 30 minutes after a workout”
This idea of a magic window has really gotten out of hand, and is likely a ploy by supplements companies to make you buy their product because they know that most people won’t be able to get home and cook a meal within 30 minutes. Truth is there is no magic time frame as to when your muscles will start to shrink or disappear… more important is your overall protein consumption throughout the day. Although it is still recommended to get a wholesome meal within an hour or two after training. But you’ll live if you forgot your protein shake and can’t pop it open immediately after your last burpee.
“Fat turns into muscle”
Nope. Your existing fat cells will grow or shrink in size, while muscle fibers tear and are rebuilt bigger + stronger. They are however, separate.
“Squats will give you a huge butt”
This comes down to genetics. Squats will not give everyone a huge butt if your genetics do not allow for it.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot of garbage advice out there. And before you accept any advice as truth I would highly recommend you consult someone on the matter. As you know, I am more than happy to help at any time. If I do not know the answer, I will gladly research it and get back to you! This is only a small sample of the terrible advice out there… if I were to cover it all it would be a 100 page long article! And sorry but I don’t have the time for that :)
Thanks for reading! Until next time, keep it healthy!
Fitness Fusion Easthampton