The new year is rapidly approaching, and with it comes the hordes of men and women deciding that 2022 is the year they get into shape. January is a boom for the fitness industry as the resolute begin their fitness journeys. Expect the gyms to be packed with lines for treadmills and weight machines. Then, almost as soon as it began, the same people there in October will be the ones still standing in February.
If you happen to be one of the resolute, or maybe even a regular at the gym, it can be challenging to weed through the facts and myths about fitness. We get bombarded by the claims of famous trainers and fitness gurus with the best methods, products, and gimmicks to get fit fast.
In a world full of Shake Weights, 6-Minute Abs, protein powders, and testosterone boosting pills, perhaps the best defense against failure is good information. What’s the truth, and what are the myths?
Myth #1: Exercise will help me lose weight quickly
This myth is the number one reason why people give up on working out. No doubt exercise can help you lose weight, but the results don’t just appear overnight. You didn’t gain fifty pounds in a month, so why do you expect to lose it that quickly?
The dirty secret in the fitness industry is that working out leads to weight loss. In fact, most experts will tell you that losing weight is roughly 80% diet and 20% exercise.
Myth #2: No pain, no gain
Though it’s entirely true that you should extend your limits of endurance and push yourself when you exercise, the belief that the best workouts are the ones that leave you feeling sore and in pain the next day is simply wrong. You will feel discomfort as it’s natural, but pain not at all. If you experience pain during or after exercises, it’s usually an indication you have suffered an injury. However, some muscle soreness is unavoidable, specifically if you are new to exercising.
Myth #3: Crunches give you a 6-pack
You can do all the crunches humanly possible, but if you have a layer of belly fat covering your abdominal muscles, nobody will ever see them. That fitness model on the cover of a magazine at checkout isn’t eating any of the items on those racks.
Most experts believe that a man’s body fat needs to be below 8% for the abs to become visible. Everyone has abs, but most of us hide them with fat.
Myth #4: Eating fat causes us to become fat
This myth is a common mistake most people make in their diets. At some point in the last 50 years, marketers convinced us that eating the skin on chicken or the fat on beef was unhealthy. The invention of fat-free foods can be directly linked to the explosion of chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, cancer, and coronary artery disease.
Fat consumption is vital to effectively process vitamins and preserve healthy hormone levels in our bodies. If you avoid fat altogether, your body will not create the environment needed for muscle growth. In simple words, without fat, your fitness goals are nearly impossible.
Myth #5: Protein shakes are necessary for building muscle
Protein is a macronutrient vital for making and repairing substances throughout the body, including hormones, muscles, skin, hair, and nails. But unlike carbohydrates and fat, protein can’t be stored in the body for later use. If you eat more than you need, you’ll convert it to fat or flush it down the toilet.
Plus, many protein shakes and bars are chock full of sugar, leading to fat storage and weight gain.
Myth #6: Sports drinks help replenish us after a workout
If you’re a triathlete or an NFL running back, sports drinks might help you avoid cramping and stay hydrated. Only athletes engaging in high-intensity workouts benefit from consuming sports drinks.
Sports drinks are a marketing behemoth, raking in over $26 billion in revenues worldwide in 2020. These brands convinced us that we need hydration from glow-in-the-dark concoctions full of chemicals and sugar. What your body really needs is plain old water.
Myth #7: I’m too old to lift weights
Once we hit our 40s and 50s, most men transition from strength training to cardio because we believe weights are for young people. But, strength training becomes even more critical as we age.
Strength training counteracts the loss of muscle mass and bone density in older adults. We lose as much as 3 to 5% of muscle mass per decade.
Do your research
One thing that too many of us do nowadays is take the word of somebody who appears to have knowledge on a subject. The best defense in the fight against advertising and agenda-promoting gurus is doing our own research.
We live in a world full of information about any subject imaginable. Instead of listening to the guy walking around the gym in way-too-tight shorts, use the information at your fingertips. Watch videos of the proper form for exercises, Google reviews of so-called health foods, or listen to podcasts from trusted experts and find the best workout for you.
Remember that the bigger the claim, the less likely it is to work. Fitness is a journey, and we shouldn’t expect miracles.
Take care, even down there.
Share this Post