Myth: Weight training will make women bulky and manly.
Truth: Nothing could be farther from the truth. First off women and even many men for that matter; simply do not produce enough testosterone to build large bulging muscles. The swollen physiques you see on TV and in magazines are the result of testosterone and protein supplementation over many years. If weight training alone produced such dramatic results then every boy in high school would be waiting in line for the gym to open and protein shake suppliers would have no business. Weight training on a regular basis will however build more fat burning lean muscles and add definition and shape to muscles. The next time you admire a woman’s shape in a movie, sports, or advertisement, be aware that more than likely those round glutes, defined thighs, and shapely back and shoulders were born from weight training and a sound diet, not luck or genetics.
Myth: Cardio and Aerobics are the best way to lose body fat.
Truth: Cardio and Aerobics as an exercise form were invented by the fitness industry in southern California during the 1960’s to fill empty classrooms and add gym memberships. Any exercise involves cardio and aerobic conditioning if done properly and with maximum intensity. Come to my gym at the end of a weight training session and you will see grown men reduced to panting piles of breathless sweat without running a single step.While running long distances on a daily basis will indeed improve your ability to run long distances, it also leads to an unhealthy build-up of Cortisol, a stress hormone in the body. If not combined with a calorie appropriate diet or some other form of exercise to illicit the production of growth hormone and metabolic increase, your body is actually likely to retain fat. The weightloss seen in many long distance runners is actually a reduction of muscle tissue not body fat. If you want to shed body fat then short bouts of maximum effort runs or sprints mixed with slower walking or rest breaks are the best method of torching body fat. These High Intensity Intervals trigger a metabolic reaction in the body similar to weight training wherein your resting metabolism is elevated for up to 48 hours after training. In traditional Steady-state Cardio, your metabolism returns to a restive state within 30 minutes of completing your workout.
Myth: Training everyday will speed up my results and build endurance.
Truth: This is a Catch-22 situation for most people. Training everyday will indeed increase results and build endurance but only for a short while. Afterwards the body quickly achieves a condition of over-training stress. Lack of sleep and not increasing your daily caloric intake only makes it worse. Most people who are bent on weight loss and body re-composition are already on a reduced calorie diet. They just aren’t aware that their body actually needs more calories to perform. In effect they are starving their cells and tissues of vital nutrients needed to repair stressed muscles and cell damage. Additionally a serious workout requires at least 24 hours to recover from; during which time your immune system is compromised. Without rest your body cannot even repair the tissue it already has, let alone build more. Additionally losing body fat requires breaking down fatty acids stored in the body to produce Glucose. This is a very labor intensive process for the body that requires calories itself to complete and periods of inactivity. Never train more than two days at a time without resting. Or if you train throughout the week take the weekends off. Elite athletes may train everyday but they also consume diets in excess of 4000 calories a day, get the best medical care, supplementation, and training money can buy. Also they have conditioned their bodies for active recovery through years if not decades of careful programming and Periodization. As we often said in the military, even Navy Seals started out as teenage recruits.
Myth: A person’s body is the result of genetics and luck.
Truth: I have heard this one comment from more people than any other and it infuriates me. Not long ago I weighed 215lbs had high blood pressure and joint issue; it ran in my family. While it is true that genetics can predispose some to certain conditions it’s not pre-destination. Your family may lean towards the husky side but that doesn’t mean you have to be fat. Claiming that awesome physiques are a result of genetics and luck is incredibly insulting to the athlete and their dedication and discipline. It’s also an escape clause for the lazy and scared. I have yet to meet a model, athlete, or star who did not spend considerable time in the gym each and every day working themselves into a sweaty pile of exhaustion. They are obsessive about what they eat and what habits they indulge. That’s what it takes to be that ripped, toned, and shapely. It’s not a question of money either but one of desire and determination. I have seen 800 pound men and women whittle themselves down to 150lbs through sheer grit, determination, and the refusal to give up or be beaten. Your level and fitness is entirely dependent on your desire to get it done. If you want it bad enough you will overcome the excuses and find a way, end of story.
In the end True Health and Fitness requires only a few things. First of all it requires effort and the willingness to work for what you want. There are no safe shortcuts to fitness and no one can do it for you or give it to you. You must approach your workouts with a plan and execute them with intensity and focus. You came to workout not lounge-out, or talk-out, so work get it done and get on with your day. Finally health is built in a gym. The best physiques in the world are made in the kitchen with a common sense diet and sound eating habits. You must learn to overcome cravings, boredom eating, and over-eating. The concentrate on fueling your body with what it needs and wants. not what adverting tells you, what you want. Your body is like a car; it runs better on clean fuel and clean air. Fill your tank with crap and you will get crap for results.