10 Fitness Myths That You Might Still Believe

In today’s world, information is at our fingertips.  While this is a blessing, it can also be a lead to a lot of misinformation.  Here are ten fitness myths that you might still believe!

  • Myth #1:  Squatting Is Bad For Your Knees!

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Don’t shy away from doing barbell squats next time you go to the gym!  While many people have said in the past that squats are bad for your knees, that is 100% false.  Doing squats will actually build strong muscles to support your joints rather than causing injury.

  • Myth #2:  Up The Crunches If You Want A Killer Six Pack!

Actually, crunches won’t do you any good in attaining that chiseled look you are going for!  While you may build up ab muscle, those abs will never show unless you have a lower body fat percentage.  Having abs is, in fact, almost entirely a matter of low body fat.  This is followed by genetics, but don’t use genetics as an excuse not to try.

  • Myth #3:  Stretch Before Your Workout

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While stretching after your workout is a great idea to avoid injury and soreness, stretching before your workout could actually cause injury!  That isn’t a guarantee but some studies have shown that doing stretches before you work out actually destabilizes your muscles.  Try doing a warm-up before your workout to get the blood flowing and you will be much better off.

  • Myth #4:  You Can Spot Reduce Fat

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I’ve gotten into (polite)arguments about this all the time, and it is the question I get asked most through my email:  “Can you spot reduce fat?” The answer is no! You may store fat more in some areas due to genetics, but that doesn’t mean crunches can burn off the extra stomach fat.  Try a good resistance training routine, some good cardio, and a great diet to drop your body fat percentage, feel great, and look better!

  • Myth #5:  Test Boosters!

Raise your hand if you are guilty of buying test boosters!  **I guiltily had to raise my hand since I was naive starting out**  There is actually no evidence to support the possibility that natural test boosters actually work!  The only thing I am certain of with test boosters is that they are a waste of money.  Know that you aren’t buying actual prohormones or steroids so they won’t work to raise you testosterone level over natural limits, and if your testosterone is so low you think you absolutely need the help….then you could probably just get a prescription for real testosterone therapy.

  • Myth #6:  Lifting Weights Will Make You Look Like A BodyBuilder

A lot of women don’t want to look weights because they are afraid of looking “bulky”.  Trust me, due to genetics and hormones you won’t get that bulky look.  You’ll look fine unless you start taking steroids and other than that, you’ll be able to control how far you take it in the weight room!  So keep calm, and keep lifting!

  • Myth #7:  Sweating Means You Burned More Calories

Sorry to rain on that sweaty parade of yours…

While sweating can sometimes be a great indicator of a hard day’s work in the gym, it can also mean that it was just really hot.  Sweating is your body’s physiological response to being overheated.  Nevertheless, keep working hard in the gym and keep sweating and you will burn more calories through perseverance.

  • Myth #8:  Running is Bad For Your Knees

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I did a little bit of research on this and found that running actually isn’t that hard on your knees!  The knees of older runners compared to other people of the same age were of no worse condition.  I would like to add that you should probably still wear a nice running shoe and throw in some squats!

  • Myth #9:  Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

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This is just funny!  I read this on someone’s blog post one day and had a real laugh, because I’ve even said this before(and I bet some of you have too):  “Muscle weighs more than fat?”  How though?  How much does a pound of muscle weigh? A pound.  How much does a pound of fat weigh?  A pound.

Muscle is leaner than fat!  But it certainly doesn’t weigh more!

  • Myth #10:  Cardio Will Give You A 48 Hour AfterBurn

The statement itself is true, but you don’t benefit nearly as much from this afterburn as you think.  Some experts say that you will only burn 20 extra calories a day!  Weight training will give a slightly higher afterburn but it still isn’t anything significant.  Therefore, if you really want to lose weight you’ll probably just have to do more cardio or add intensity!  If you still don’t lose weight, then try dropping your calories.

..and there you have it!  Ten fitness myths that you may have still believed!  I hope you benefited from reading this post! 

Train hard and train smart!  Make sure you have some maxed out muscles!

How Stress Can Make You Fat

Yesterday I was working a DJ shift at the radio station where I work part time.  I wanted to read some interesting health news articles and I stumbled upon two that were really relevant to what I talk about on here.

So, I decided to share them with you:

Clearing The Clutter Could Help You Lose Weight

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To read the story, click here.  According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, making a lot of messes and being overweight are linked.  This would be on account of you having the mess due to a stressful life, and the stress affecting your metabolism and causing eating disorders.  She says “Clutter usually represents chaos and confusion.”

In response to this information, I’d say it’s a great idea to clean up your messy desk and your car.  Clean up those messes and relax!  Maybe then you can avoid unnecessary stress and live a happy, healthy life.

Studies Probe Whether Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Weight

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To read the story, click here.  According to a study shared by ABC News, sleep deprivation and weight gain may have a definite link.  They noticed that overnight shift workers had worse metabolisms and tended to burn more muscle than fat.  The people who slept less than 5 hours a night and were sleep deprived burned more muscle than fat.  Those who were not sleep deprived burned twice as much fat.  Those who sleep less tend to be more stressed, and have less control over their weight.

The article says a lot about the weight gain and how working over night and doing shift work is the problem.  The article suggests that these things are “all in a night’s work.”

In conclusion,

I read these and determined that there is one huge underlying factor:  STRESS!  Keep the stress low and be mindful of your body’s well being, and you can be more fit!  Other than just mental and emotional stress, there is physical stress which you are bound to have if you aren’t getting enough sleep.  Limit all of these forms of stress and pursue a lifetime of health and wellness.

I would like to add that maybe it’s sometimes necessary to work long hours, eat unhealthy because you don’t have time to cook, and sleep less….

but is it worth your health?  Is it worth dying at a younger age?  Count the costs and value yourself!

Drink Away That Extra Tummy Fat And Fight Illness

Today, I had a question from one of my readers and I would like to respond to that question in today’s post without placing their name out there.  I understand how embarrassing some medical conditions can be and if you want your name linked somewhere in this post, simply let me know in the comments below.  Otherwise, I’m simply going to address the question and I hope this is of some service to you.

The question is this(paraphrased, of course):

“I have a heart problem, epilepsy, and diabetes insipidus(water diabetes).  How do I live with these conditions while reducing my tummy?”

First off!

I am assuming you mean you want to get a flat stomach or be somewhat close to having abs?  If not having abs?  This means we have to have a low body fat %.  The body fat percentage must be around 12-14% for a female to have that flat stomach look you are going for; for a male, that would be around 10%.  For the general consensus of people, this must be achieved through three factors(a balance of all three):

Diet:

Your diet must be on point!  You have to play around with your macro-nutrients and calories and see what works best for you.  Without diving too deep on the calories, a web search will reveal that you may need to stick to a 2,000 calorie/day diet for maintaining your weight.  If you are rather heavy, you may lose weight at 2,000 calories/day.  However, for the average woman and someone who is already fairly lean this will simply maintain.  I’d recommend eating about 1700-1800 calories a day.  You can use a fitness app to track these calories or log them online, or on paper.

A general rule of thumb is that your calories should be a 40/40/20 split between protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  Now, remember that protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9.  This means that at a daily caloric intake of 1800 you should be eating about 180 grams of carbohydrates, 180 grams of protein, and 40 grams of fat.  If you don’t agree with the ratio I’ve made, you can get a different result by plugging your weight and “weight loss” into just about any of the nutritional apps.

Resistance Training:

Resistance training is important because it improves the overall strength and endurance of your body.  Also, it is well known that muscle burns more calories than fat for maintenance.

So, simply incorporate a well balanced training routine into your plan for getting that smaller waist and you should start seeing better results.  A good split would be legs one day, chest on another, arms another day, and back/shoulders your last day every week.  If you haven’t lifted at all you will see some good results in less than six months.

Cardio:

You actually mentioned that you’ve been doing some cardio so I would stick to that, and I actually wouldn’t recommend you do much more of it.  You seem to be doing quite a lot already.  I’d say that if you feel comfortable doing what you have done so far, keep it up.  If you don’t see impressive results from the cardio, at least you are doing something to keep busy and it may have better results mixed in with the resistance training.

Now, to address the illnesses!

Everyone is going to have their own challenges in life and I am glad you came here to seek help on your personal dilemma of losing weight while dealing with such a myriad of sicknesses.  The first thing I want to say is good for you!  I am extremely happy for you in the sense that you are fighting the struggles in your own life and trying to do great things with your body despite the problems you are having.  That is really inspiring.

I’m assuming you’ve been living with these illnesses for a while so you should know some of your limits with the heart problems.  I’d say that you are doing great with the cardio, and when you add the weight training, be sure to take it slow since lifting will temporarily increase your blood pressure.  Go slow, and know your limits.  Now as far as the diabetes goes, I see that as something you may not be able to cure but you will be able to treat it with a good diet and lots of fluid.

I did a little bit of research on water diabetes and to my knowledge it makes you have to use the restroom a lot due to the body not producing enough ADH(antidiuretic hormone).  Here is a information I am directly quoting from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(NIDDK):

  • Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare disease that causes frequent urination and excessive thirst.
  • DI is not related to diabetes mellitus (DM).
  • Central DI is caused by damage to the pituitary gland and is treated with a synthetic hormone called desmopressin, which prevents water excretion.
  • Nephrogenic DI is caused by drugs or kidney disease and is treated with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), indomethacin, or a combination of HCTZ and amiloride.
  • Scientists have not yet discovered an effective treatment for dipsogenic DI, which is caused by a defect in the thirst mechanism.
  • Most forms of gestational DI can be treated with desmopressin.
  • A doctor must determine which type of DI is involved before proper treatment can begin.

Due to the nature of this illness, I suggest that you drink more water.  I don’t know how much you are drinking currently, but some research has shown that the majority of people are dehydrated.  I just read an article saying that a survey done on 3,003 Americans showed that 75% of those studied were chronically dehydrated.  This may be, in part, due to high sodium diets and even the weather.  However, with your condition coupled with a statistic like that I would say a safe bet is to drink more water.

Also, on the topic of water, there have been many studies showing evidence that drinking a lot of cold water can increase your metabolism by 30%.  Think of the fact that your water diabetes makes it very easy to become dehydrated, along with the fact that many Americans are dehydrated, and the likelihood that drinking water can raise your metabolism.

I would say that you should possibly try drinking 2.5 to 3.0 liters a day.  Possibly more, depending on how severe your water diabetes is..

In conclusion!

I recommend to you the classic advice of diet, weight training, and cardio!  But I also invite you to start tracking your water intake!  Make sure you are drinking plenty of cold water and let me know if this helps.

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Cut The Easy Calories Out First

I don’t like the idea of doing a full on cut or a full on bulk. There’s obviously maintenance cycles also, and you could do different moderation a of a maintenance and cut/bulk.

That opinion of mine is not set in stone. If you’re a bodybuilder and do diets all out like that for competition, more power to you. However, for the average person I’d suggest doing something closer to what I’m doing.

Cutting out one thing at a time. If you want to lose fat or just have a healthier lifestyle(and fat loss would be a byproduct of that), then just cut one unclean thing from your diet every week or two weeks. Maybe even make changes once a month.

An immediate change of your whole diet would be a lot harder to keep than one simple change once in a while.

For example, simply cut out soda as a start. Stop drinking soda tomorrow, if you want to, and don’t drink it again. Next month you could go a step further and drop candy and ice cream, or fast food.

So you won’t be doing an immediate change, but a gradual change that will help you make better choices and aid in lifelong fitness. It’s all a matter of preference, though. Have a great night!

Bulk or Cut First? What Might Be The Best Transition

A lot of people like to cut their body fat down before going into a bulk buy I’ve done it the opposite way, sort of. I’ve eaten slightly above maintenance calories with all the grams of protein I need, and have noticed a dramatic change of weight all while dropping my body fat percentage. 
That’s not too say I actually lost fat, but the percentage of fat making up my total mass is much smaller due to having a lot more muscle.

During this “bulk”, I’ve noticed something that is just great and it’s helped me a lot. 

I didn’t have to make huge changes in my diet to support the huge change taking place. All I had to do was work out and exercise, and eat just a little more. It’s been a huge change and I can be comfortable with myself because I know that change is sustainable.

When I do finally cut in November, it won’t be a full on change. It will be something minor as just lowering my calories slightly below maintenance. 
Doing this bulk first and just focusing on gaining quality mass has helped me make the full lifestyle change I’ll need, but in baby steps so I’ve been learning better habits one at a time.

I can’t promise that this would work the same for you or that you would like it as much as doing a cut but that is just my testimony. This worked for me. Thanks for reading.

Kick Your Last Month’s Butt

If you can set for yourself at least one goal each month and succeed at that goal, then you are taking baby steps that will add up to giant achievements in the future. Take the time to track your results, be consistent in your training, have a plan, and do your very best while not getting discouraged if you fall of the wagon now and then. You can, and will succeed. Get it done. Beat your old records and make improvements every month.

Here is my body fat chart. I update it every sixth day of the month. Here are my results. You can do the same, maybe better. Again, I’ll say it this way, believe you can do something and do it. Get it done 😉