Aside from time (which is a b.s. excuse), not knowing what to do is one of the biggest reasons people avoid making the decision to improve their health. Even if they think they know something, odds are that it's turning them even further away from fitness, because the information that was delivered to them was either misrepresented or just plain false. Similar to those nutty Christians on the street corner. It's like "bro, no wonder Christians get a bad rap when you're screaming at people telling them their souls are doomed." Know what I mean? It just drives me crazy. Anyway, I'm here to set the record straight on some of the biggest myths in fitness. Once you've read through this article, you'll have a better idea of how your body operates, and you'll save yourself months (maybe even years) of wandering aimlessly in the gym and in the kitchen.
1. IF I WANT TO LOSE FAT, I JUST NEED TO DO CARDIO AND HIGH REPS, RIGHT?
I put this one first on the list because I hear it most often. "Adam, If I'm trying to lose weight I should just do a bunch of cardio and 15-20 repetitions when I'm lifting, right?" Nope. Not at all.
Don't misunderstand me. Cardio burns fat, and weightlifting burns fat. But you need to understand how both work with the goal of fat loss before you implement them into your program. Let's talk about cardio.
Cardio is very interesting to me because it has a lot of beneficial versatility. While performing cardiovascular exercise over time, your body's ability to use oxygen improves and your body uses different sources of energy to burn calories. Did you pay attention to that? Your body uses different sources of energy to burn calories. Depending on the state of your body, it chooses to use digested energy sources, fat stores, or even muscle tissue as energy. So if our ultimate goal is fat loss, we need to preserve as much muscle as possible and set our bodies up to use stored fat as energy. How do we do this?
Proper nutrition is the answer. When your body is properly fueled with quality sources of carbohydrates before a workout, your body will choose to burn fat stores during and after your workout. If you are depleted of those carbohydrates and glycogen, your body may choose to use muscle tissue as fuel, which isn't good because we want to maintain as much muscle as possible while cutting fat.
In order to properly hold on to that muscle tissue, we must keep them in as much of a growth state as we can for as long as possible. That means low reps for strength, high reps for endurance, and mid-level reps for hypertrophy. Although we are in a "cut" we must treat our resistance training the same by shocking our muscles, tearing them down, and fueling them to properly recover.
2. I can spot-reduce my body fat
There isn't much to explain here. The only way to spot-reduce your fat cells is through liposuction. Depending on you body and it's genetic make-up, it will reduce fat cells from wherever it wants to.
3. cardio before weights burns more fat
Muscle burns fat. Not hours on the treadmill. It is easier for your body to perform intense cardio after weight training than it is for your body to perform intense weight training after cardio. Cardio should always come second to weight lifting. Remember, we want to hold on (maintain) or increase lean muscle tissue because it it helps boost our resting metabolic rate. And, lean muscle looks freaking good, too. I always recommend HIIT (high intensity interval training) with some form of cardio after a resistance training session.
4. All protein powders are the same
Before I go on, let me say this: it is important for women to be taking some sort of post-workout supplement to re-feed muscles. Don't worry, protein powder doesn't make you look like a guy, testosterone does. And you don't have enough flowing through you to look like a guy anyway. So no more fuss.
There are all types of protein powders like soy, egg, casein, bean, whey, and more. I believe that some of the best powders for post-workout nutrition are whey, soy, and egg. They all have great Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Scores. I personally take whey protein as it is absorbed by the muscles at a very fast rate. Other forms of protein (let's say casein for example) are digested much slower and therefore are perfect for a late night treat to feed your muscles overnight.
5. Completely cut out carbs to lose weight
The myth that carbs is the only thing that makes you gain weight has been disproven for such a long time. Anything can make you gain weight. If you eat too much fruit, you'll gain weight. Too much meat, you'll gain weight. It doesn't matter what it is. The truth is that in order to lose weight and cut body fat, you must make conscious, balanced, goal-oriented choices that meet you where you're at. Losing body fat involves a good balance of weight training, cardio, hydration, and good nutrition. It's a very simple process that we often overestimate. This is why all of my clients have custom nutrition guidelines (notice how I said guidelines, not diets or plans). They all come from different walks of life, have different beginnings, as well as different end goals. Are there certain nutritional guidelines that need to be applied to lose weight? Yes, but completely cutting out carbohydrates should never be a part of the question.
There ya go. 5 myths and their truths. My wish is that you take this with you and apply it to your life. If you have any questions regarding fitness, nutrition, great cheat meals, or anything else in life, reach out to me on these platforms or send me an email! Thanks for reading!