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!

Go Out And Get What You Are Worth

Yesterday, we talked about how discipline is so much more important than motivation. While motivation is great to get you started on something, discipline is what carries you through the good times and the bad times.

Discipline is getting things done even when you don’t want to, because you know you need to. So I suppose a rational thought is to say if you’re passionate about something, choose to discipline yourself in your pursuit of that passion.

  
Honestly, sometimes I don’t even want to work out and sometimes I don’t want to write posts. However, day after day I still work out and write my posts. This is because I’m disciplining myself. Above is a picture of me in a shirt I bought from brosciencelife and I honestly love the way my physique is shaping out. 

..and I love the way this website is turning out. 

..and in the end, I have a lot of reasons to thank for all this success but the most important is discipline. If I quit, I wouldn’t have received any results. I probably would have fallen into a vicious pattern of complacency.

Which leads me to believe something,

Life runs off momentum. 

So don’t be complacent. Don’t slow down! Have a fire in you that won’t die and keep pushing forward. 

You know that you’re worth something and that you can do great things. Go out and get what you’re worth.

Hard Work Produces Greatness

Yesterday I stated that there is never a bad time period in your life for lifting. When I say that, I don’t mean you can’t take an occasional day off. I am just saying that you should meet all of your challenges with a fight. Have a drive for success and greatness, and you will be there someday.

You will be great.

However, you have to work for it! In fact, no matter what you want to “be” in life you will have to work for it. If you put in the work, it will be worth it. Set your sights high and work hard! So in respects to everyone, including non-lifters, this applies to all of us. Here’s some examples:

  1. Want to be a hard working, family person? Then get a job, work hard at it, save money, meet someone, and invest everything you’ve got into making it work!
  2. Want to be a professional athlete? Then constantly train and exercise, diet, stay away from drugs and alcohol(good tip for everyone), and take your sport seriously.
  3. Want to be the kindest person you can be? Then practice! Keep a smile on your face all the time and treat others with respect. 

Notice that those three things are completely unrelated! But it’s all relevant to the point that you will have to work hard and practice to be the best! 

I come to this point that hard work is the one of the most important things(if not the most) and I want to leave you with another quote by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  
 

When Life Hands You Lemons You Train

Have you ever been sad? Go work out.

Have you been stressed? Go work out.

Need to better yourself? Go work out.

Are you happy, content and lazy? Go work out.

Life will always be hard, but Arnold Schwarzenegger says “The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character.”

  
..image courtesy of lifehack quotes

Keep that in mind. No matter where you are and what you choose to do, life will always be hard. It’s how you choose to deal with that ‘resistance’ that defines you and your strength.

I was thinking earlier..

About all the struggles that brought me into the gym. Before I hit the gym, I was constantly letting life beat me down and I had a bad attitude. I tended to be whiny and felt weak. I was weak.

Sure, a lot had happened and I was sick.

..but everyone has problems. I can’t let life’s resistance define me as a loser and neither can you.

So don’t hope things will be easy! Don’t look for a comfortable life. I’m sure that something comfortable could exist, but it can be taken at any moment. Instead you should live like you are beating all the odds, and eventually you just might.

No matter what anyone says to you, and no matter what life has handed you fight the resistance. You can start by actually training and working out, and allow that persistence and hard work to show in all of your character.

  
..image courtesy of Fortune

Sharing Hard Work Helps Everyone

A lot of the posts on my site have been about passion. Passion is incredibly important because, when you love something, you will probably work harder on it. 

While passion is so important, there is really a lot more to succeeding than having passion. With passion, you’ll need to follow through on your dreams and work hard. Then you’ll have to know how to reveive and share that passion and hard work to others.

I was watching this video from Elliott Hulse on passion and he answered a question titled “Worthless Passion”. As he stated in the video below, Obama isn’t handing out passion checks so we have to work hard to make our dreams happen. Feel free to watch his video and join the conversation in the comments below.
What I noticed right away is how this video impacted me today.

…and just today!

I have been watching his “Yo Elliott!” series for a year now and when he posted this it didn’t impact me. But now, I’ve been pursuing my own passion and sharing with you so I understand.

So on top of the message he made clear in his video, I noticed that it is so cool that he walks the walk. And I’ve walked the walk also! I’m going to stop before my arm gets tired patting myself on the back. 🙂 

Metaphorically, Think about the garden Elliott talked about. If you at least leave something for the world, you’ve been successful. I just noticed that he has hundreds of videos up and that in a sense is his garden. You can pick what video(his work) you need in a specific moment for advice, and then another video when you’ve grown past needing help with the same subject.

So I will continue to try and emulate that mentality. I will continue to write new articles and share content with you so that I can be of some service.  Maybe the things I post today or tomorrow won’t be helpful, but someday you may see the exact article in a related search bar and it may be more relevant to your current situation.

So in conclusion I want to ask you a question:  

What are you doing to pursue your passion? Also, are you helping others?

..and since this is so relevant today,

“Life’s a garden. Dig it,” –Joe Dirt

SMART Goals For Healthier Eating

As I mentioned in an earlier post, SMART goals are used by businesses and many professionals in achieving whatever goal they have set for themselves.  SMART can be used for any goal ranging from fitness to business, and it works well for your accomplishments.  Today, I wanted to focus on something very specific for a post to you but also because that is the first thing you have to do when setting SMART goals.  Without further ado, a SMART goal is this:

  1. Specific – goals are very specific and include detail of what, why, and how the goal should be accomplished.
  2. Measurable – goals should have tangible evidence of how to tell whether you’ve completed them or not.
  3. Achievable – the goals should be very possible and not impossible.  If a goal is impossible it is likely to only discourage someone.  If the goal is obtainable then the person achieving the goal may feel very proud of themselves once they finish.
  4. Results focused – there should be a clear explanation for why you’re completing the goal.  Also, there should be a definite result from completing this goal that can impact you or your work.
  5. Time bound – there should be a set date for when you need to complete this goal.  Your goal should have some urgency involved to its completion.

And today I want to talk about eating healthier to become a healthier, happier version of yourself!

become a healthier, happier version of yourself!

I don’t often hold the idea that you “are what you eat” in a physical sense but I do believe that if you eat awful food all the time you will feel a lot worse than if you eat clean.  With that being said, it’s best to set these SMART goals now so you can enjoy the benefits of clean eating as soon as possible.

First, you will want to map it out like I did above…I will do this again in actual terms of eating healthier and some of you who enjoy fast food will be able to use my SMART goal to become healthier.

Goal:  No longer eat fast food and no delivery.

  1. Specific – Begin avoiding fast food restaurants and delivery places like domino’s in order to lose weight and feel better
  2. Measurable – Each day you should be able to say that you didn’t eat out anywhere.  If by the end of each week your number of fast food trips is going down until it is eventually zero, you are doing great!  Good job!
  3. Achievable – Absolutely achievable.   People give up fast food all the time.  If you want to make sure you can give it up without relapsing, try to replace the fast food with some other kind of healthier option that you enjoy.  If you’d normally buy a cinnabon delight pack at Taco Bell, buy some strawberries at the grocery store.  If you’d normally buy a pizza, buy a chicken breast at the grocery store and put any kind of seasonings on it that you would like!
  4. Results Focused – You are striving to achieve this goal because avoiding fast food will make you healthier, and will also make weight loss easier.  After a few months of clean eating, you should feel incredible!  You should feel like a million bucks in comparison to how you feel eating out!
  5. Time Bound – For the purpose of this goal, you don’t want to set a specific time frame to be “done” with the goal as you would with some of your other projects.  For this, once a month look back at how you are doing by avoiding fast food and eating out, and try to continue in the right direction!

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I encourage you to set SMART goals for yourself and achieve them!  You may not struggle with the example I listed above, but you can always find a new SMART goal to create that could help you boost your success rate by 100%!

Leave Gotham For Gains

Just as Christian Bale left Gotham to undergo serious soul searching and to receive training from Liam Nielson, I have to ditch the hit TV show Gotham to work out more effectively and commit to my own journey.

I think that sometimes we become so wrapped up in fantasy that we don’t live out our lives. It can be fantasy, or some idealistic picture you have in your mind. But the way to make things happen is to ditch the fantasy and make reality happen.

Make reality happen!

I’m not saying you should fight crackheads with your underwear over your pants, but I do think you could ditch the remote and pick up a dumbbell!

  
Image courtesy of joyreactor.cc

Or don’t pick up a dumbbell, but do something. Do something that will ultimately strengthen you and prove resourceful to your own Hero’s Journey.

To those of you who don’t know, The Hero’s Journey is your own call to adventure. It is an outline made of all heroic narratives, like BATMAN!, by Joseph Cambbell. If you’d like to read up on the Hero’s Journey, I found a great webpage on it here

Find Balance To Become More Fit

There is a lot of talk in the fitness world regarding weight training vs cardio, diet vs exercise, and paleo vs vegan!

All of this crazy talk about which side of every fitness debate you should choose, but you should probably try to choose…

All of the above!

Weight Training or Cardio

Weight training is an excellent way to increase strength and can be used for hypertrophy.  By lifting heavy weights and working out consistently over a period of time, you will achieve great results.  Weight training has also been proven to actually strengthen your structural integrity and protect your joints, as long as you are lifting with proper form.

Cardio is an excellent way to increase endurance and burn fat.  By running or walking, or riding a bike consistently over a period of time, you will achieve great results.  I’ve also, personally, noticed that when I go for a run and do some cardio I manage to work out a lot of the stress I have.  It seems that we hold a lot of tension in our bodies and some intense cardio like running could be just what you need to go the extra mile(see what I did there?).

Basically, if you choose to do both for a period of time you can be a strong person with nice, tone muscles with barely any fat and you can be as calm as can be!  What’s not to love about that?  I notice when I’m just lifting weights, I’m often angrier and it isn’t enough activity to keep me from gaining fat at any amount of calories.  If I simply rely on cardio, I become fairly skinny and in the past it caused my joints to suffer.  Here’s a picture of me running cross country my junior year:

Running from all the gains I didn't have ;)

Running from all the gains I didn’t have 😉

Now we have another end of the spectrum

Diet VERSUS Exercise

Should I do a lot of exercise and train frequently or should I just drop my calories below my basal metabolic rate(BMR) and wait patiently for the fat to fall off?

You should do both!  Some of us are just genetically wired for losing weight to be difficult.  I know that I put on weight somewhat easily.  If you drop your calories a little bit, and add some form of exercise you will lose weight and you will lose it faster.  I also mentioned earlier that I experienced cardio as something that was therapeutic for me in the sense that it reduced stress.  Those benefits are also great and I think that having reduced stress due to some form of exercise will help you stay positive during all the trials and tribulations associated with losing fat.

Paleo vs Vegan

This one was more of a joke! (haha) Anyways, I don’t really see the need in following any kind of fad diet unless you really believe it has some sort of profound effect on you.

If you choose not to eat meat and dairy because of ethical or dietary reasons, go vegan and be happy! If you choose the exact opposite route and want to eat bacon and cheese, go ahead cavemen!

Do what makes you happy with yourself when it comes to dieting and do your research.  If it’s anything extreme just make sure you follow a doctor’s advice and get your blood work done.

But with dieting, as well as the rest of this post, just find balance.  I don’t see the need to cut out anything I like as far as food goes, and neither should you.  To join in on the conversation with dieting, click here.

Overall, find balance in your life with fitness and nutrition and you may become a happier, more healthy version of you.

Adding Cardio To Help Cut Down

Sometimes you may cheat on your diet or you may be struggling to lose some extra weight, so cardio is a great method to burn off extra calories and burn fat!

A lot of people in the fitness industry have fear mongered and made people fear that they would lose muscle if they did a lot of cardio.

and that just isn’t true!  Here is a video by Elliott Hulse explaining why cardio burning muscle is a complete myth!

Health and Wellness Through Hydration and Clean Eating

If you’ve been following Maxed Out Muscles for any period of time then you probably know that I have Crohn’s Disease and that it has been the contributing factor in a lot of hospital visits.  I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since I was 15 and over the past 6 years I have learned some ways to keep the symptoms in remission.

I also answered a question from one of my readers, yesterday, about a condition she had called water diabetes.  She was wondering how she could reduce tummy fat while having the condition.  I told her the basic advice of eating healthy, weight training, and cardio.

However, we have to dig a little more in depth when it comes to our health and wellness.  I think a lot of times our problems may come from malnutrition.  From my experience, this is the case.  I also believed that this is the case for the girl who asked me the question.  Here are two things that I think are most important when it comes to diet:

Water:

Drink enough water!  If you drink a lot of soda, beer, or orange juice it doesn’t count.  Be strict with yourself to ensure that you are drinking enough water and hydrating your body.  I know this seems odd, because

How can something as simple as drinking more water actually help put a disease in remission?”

It may not by itself!  But you would be surprised how much dehydration can damage your body when you are suffering from any kind of chronic inflammatory disease.  Even if you aren’t suffering from some form of illness, studies have shown that 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated.  That’s a huge percentage of Americans.  If you have a condition that makes it easier to become dehydrated, then that is pouring gasoline on the fire.

Think of it this way:  Just like a car needs gas to run, your body needs water.  Drink plenty of water, and stay hydrated.

Eat Clean:

Last year, around this time, I had recovered from a severe Crohn’s flareup and I decided that I would try the Paleo Diet.  In no time at all my Crohn’s Disease symptoms were gone, I was shedding body fat, and I felt happier than I ever had before.  I was on top of the world!  However, it wasn’t very sustainable.  I had a few nights where I went off track, and over time I fell back into my junk food addiction and started having symptoms again.

So now that I am a year wiser and I am starting to eat clean again I have some advice for you.  Don’t fall into the trapping that I did in proclaiming some miracle diet and focusing on it so much.  There were days where I was miserable because I couldn’t have something starchy.  Just eat cleanly and perhaps as strictly as a Paleo or Vegan diet starting out and then reintroduce foods to find what works best for you.  If you can eat certain things without getting sick, more power to you.

Those are what I believe to be the only aspects of dieting and the only ideas you should really have to keep in mind while finding what works for you nutrition wise.  You can do additional research if you want to find how many calories you should be eating or what macros, but as far as illnesses go I’d say I covered it.

Now I have covered nutrition based off of my experiences with Crohn’s.  I’d like to add some other honorable mentions such as weight lifting, cardio, and maintaining your stress levels.

With a lot of sicknesses, keeping a low stress level is about as important as having a healthy diet.  Thankfully, we can branch a low stress level together with weight lifting and cardio.  For me, the gym is what relieves my stress so when I couple that with a good diet I have virtually no symptoms at all.

If that doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest also looking into some meditation and yoga.

Work on maintaining a low stress level, lift weights, do cardio, focus on diet, and find what works best for you.  We are all different and it can be easy to compare ourselves to other people.  Simply breathe, relax, and think about what is the most beneficial for you.

Remember, you can live healthy and happy!

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