7 Fitness Myths Debunked

1- You need to eat big to get big

How often have you seen someone talking about bulking up and then cutting for summer. Or you need to eat big to get big? Its a common saying which usually comes from the bulky/carbo overloaded guy at the gym who just finished downing 100grams of Maltodextrin with a scoop of whey after a few sets of squats.

The truth is muscle just needs the correct hormonal response to grow. Which comes from triggering a growth hormone release in order to shuttle what you eat into muscles rather than fat stores. How can we do this?

  • Workout fasted
  • Workout with intensity
  • Focus on getting stronger….
  • Feel a burn and use good form with your weight training

This is not to say you will grow with eating like a bird. However if you stick to quality food and eat well 3-4 times a day, what I like to call adequate nutrition. You will be giving your body everything it needs to grow. You also need to take into account other factors when trying to put on size like; Stress levels, Hydration, Genetics and Sleepwhich can all have a huge effect on whether you are developing in the gym.

2- Weights will make you Bulky and Slow

Not if you do them right they won’t. A lot of people especially women think by hitting the gym a few times a week they will look like Arnie in his prime. Little do they know the hard work and dedication it takes to put on serious bulk. The truth is they are missing out, women who start weight training can expect to look like Jessica Biel who is a model of health; athletic toned and slim…..And men who train and eat correctly could build a physique similar to Rio Ferdinand again a picture of an athletic, healthy body.

Stick to compound exercises like Deadlifts, Front Squats, Pullups and Dips and you will build a strong athletic body. Throw in the odd isolation exercise and work on your abs with static holds. Combine this with solid nutrition and you will be on the path to an athletic/lean body rather than a bulky slow physique.

3- You need to do long slow cardio to get lean

Long slow cardio is boring but its a must to get the body you want right? No actually its the way to a deprived and weak body. Long slow cardio will not only bore you to insantiy but it also has a hige impact on your joints causing wear and tear which will catch up with you in the long run.

Don’t get me wrong I love a good hard run but I keep them short and intense. I run hills, throw in some sprints and drop for sets of pushups throughout. All in about 25 minutes max. Getting a lean body comes hand in hand with building muscle and eating right. Look at people like Craig Ballantyne of Turbulence Training who never does slow boring cardio. Just intense weights sessions and he eats a low grain diet. Keep yur cardio to a minimum and focus on resistance training and eating right. If you like running hit the road but keep your session times down and keep things random!

4- Fruit will make you fat

For some reason some people seem to think Fruit makes us fat. Maybe they are confused over the current HFCS debacle and think the fructose from fruit is the same as the nasty syrup being added to our food. No one ever got fat from eating Apple’s. In fact fruit’s are packed with Vitamins and Minerals plus a good dose of antioxidants. They are great to eat with breakfast or snack on with things like peanut butter or almonds.

The beauty of fruit is that they have a perfect combination of fructose and glucose giving them their low GI value. This means the fructose goes to you liver which works as fuel for your brain and the glucose in the fruit either goes into muscle stores or is used as immediate energy around the body. I tend to eat my main fruit post workout and in the mornings. After a substantial dinner I will usually give it a miss. Recently a dessert of summer berries has been a nice meal finisher. Give Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegara go…..

5- Its important to eat 5-6 small meals a day

Apparently we must eat every 2-3 hours in order to get our metabolism ticking along. This couldnt be further from the truth are bodies are simply not meant to be force fed every 2-3 hours. We are hard wired to eat substantial meals when hungry. How can you do this? Simple by eating good high quality Paleo foods at meal times. I usually stick to 2-3 large meals a day and occasionally throw in a snack of fruit and nuts when I feel necessary. The days when I was into body building style nutrition are long gone and so are the full, bloated and uncomfortable days!

Eating More Meals DOES NOT Speed up Your Metabolism…

Have a read of the article above. Eating 6 times a day is unrealistic and not conductive to living a real life, and leads to no long term benefits, putting strain on your digestive system giving it no time to rest.

6- Dips are bad for your shoulders

Dips when done correctly are a superb exercise they can build great delts, traps, triceps and an impressive chest. The problem is they need to be done right. It is so important you maintain good form by leaning your body forward and keeping your elbows tight. It is also imperative you keep the movement controlled and steady. Only once you have mastered BW Dips should you consider loading some weight to a belt as bad form dips with extra weight can wreak havoc on your shoulders.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_7rR3X-gdg

The video above shows ring dips in great form. If you ever have a chance to try out dips on a set of gymnastics rings they are awesome. Some serious stabilization work involved and you will soon know how gymnasts develop horse shoe triceps! So keep form tight and do your dips for an awesome upper body!

7- Running will mess up your knees

This is a true/false myth. I believe long distance running with poor form on concrete surfaces will indeed mess up your knees. However if you keep your running short and sweet (under 40 minutes) and only a few times a week you should have no problems. Another tip is to keep to softer surfaces when you can. For instance if your running in a park always stick to the grass and obviously if your running in a trail you don’t need to worry about pavement pounding as you will have natural surfaces throughout the run.

Should we be running barefoot??

Check out the article above which discusses running and running shoes. Do I think they are nececcary? Nope especially if you don’t run frequently. The truth is running shoes can cause more problems than they are worth. How many times do you hear a long distance runner rocking acsics $120 shoes complain about their knees (lots) and how many times do you hear someone like me who just grabs some Nike cross trainers and hits the road for 20-30 minutes a few times a week complain about knee pain (rarely). I am a huge fan of Nike Free’s and Vibram 5 Fingers for multi purpose training…..

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