When it comes to losing weight, getting a six-pack, training for a race, or achieving a certain BMI, there are as many helpful guides out there as there are people who will take advantage of someone on account of their desires in order to make money or create a dependency. As fitness and health occupy the greater part of the collective mindshare, there are more voices engaging about it now than there has ever been before. This makes identifying the good information from the bad all the more difficult, yet all the more imperative.
As with anything that has captured the attention of the greater part of society, myths abound about what is true or untrue, what does or does not work, and what the experts can agree on. Due to the fact that we at Performance One believe in the value of ethical personal training, and know that at any moment a person could get on their computer, search for “gyms near me,” and find us, we feel obliged to identify the most common myths regarding one’s fitness routine and debunk them. There are far too many good paths out there that lead to complete health and wellness that it would be a shame to be led down a bad one due to the wrong information.
Serving as strength and conditioning coaches for many years, we’ve heard it all — all the ways in which one is supposed to achieve a certain type of look or why someone should avoid such and such behavior. If there had to be a theme surrounding these misconceptions, it would be that most people don’t understand entirely how the body works and therefore how to maintain it properly. Some of these myths have been around for decades and are based on poor science; others have just come around in the last few years.
1. Cardio is better than weight lifting if you want to burn fat.
While this sounds correct at first — muscle weighs more than fat and cardio can be sustained for longer periods of time — the fact is that weight lifting promotes fat burning thanks to the building up of muscle tissue which burns the most amount of calories in the body. Oh, and muscles can’t have fat in them, either.
2. Short workouts aren’t effective enough to make an impact.
There are numerous benefits to short workouts, such as it’s easier to find time to do it and one can actually burn more calories in a 15-30 minute high-intensity workout than prolonging a low-intensity workout over an hour or more. As any strength and conditioning coach will tell you, just getting up and moving is far more effective than remaining sedentary, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
3. Calories out/calories in is all that matters in fitness.
While maintaining a deficit is key to losing weight, it is not the magic answer to everything. Pairing that deficit with a workout is crucial; not ignoring one’s mental health is vital. It is important to remember that everyone’s body is different, and some hold onto fat more tenaciously than others. In many ways, the mind must pave the way for the body, so it’s important not to ignore one’s mental fitness.
4. If you want to get in shape, you must change all your habits immediately.
Getting rid of bad habits and replacing them with good ones isn’t just a principle for good health — it’s the secret to a happy life in general. That said, fitness is an iterative process and a lifelong one. Simply cutting back on sedentary behaviors, even a little bit, and finally searching for those “gyms near me” can result in dozens of pounds lost within a year’s time.
5. Fat turns into muscle and vice-versa.
Fat and muscles are two separate things, built from two separate cells. One can not metamorphize a layer of fat into muscle, but can instead burn the fat to allow the muscles to take its place.
As important as any workout is the way one acts in the kitchen. Eating habits and food choices have as big as (if not more of) an impact on one’s health and appearance than being in the gym all day. As such, myths abound regarding nutrition as well. Below are just a few that are the most persistent.
1. Low-calorie food is always better than high-calorie food.
Because the myth of “calories in/calories out” as being the sole factor in weight loss has become the most pervasive of all the fitness myths out there, many think that just eating the food with the fewest calories will lead to a healthier life. It is important to remember that calories are less important than nutrients. We must give our bodies what it needs to run cleanly, instead of starving it for nutrients in favor of calories in/calories out.
2. Breakfast should never be skipped.
Over the last few years, intermittent fasting has become all the rage when it comes to losing weight. For those who can healthily maintain this intermittent fasting (and don’t have dietary needs that would require them to eat more meals), they might skip breakfast altogether. This isn’t a cardinal sin in terms of fitness, and may even spare you from making a bad choice of food to eat, as typically breakfast is the most sugar-rich part of the day.
3. Sugar-free foods can be indulged in without worry.
It is true that processed sugar represents one of the biggest drawbacks to people’s health today. But the rubber band effect on the number of people who think eating sugar-free foods is entirely guilt-free could be setting themselves up for hurt later. Studies show that too many non-nutritive sweeteners can lead to diabetes and other internal issues.
4. There is no need to take supplements if I’m working out and eating right.
Anyone engaged in personal training will tell you that their coach demands they take supplemental products, whether that be vitamins or protein. This is because the body can’t afford to lose any of the nutrients that may fall off due to a change in diet. These supplements can also help boost the effectiveness of the regimen a strength and conditioning coach may put you on.
5. Thin equals healthy.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “skinny-fat.” It refers to people who are thin but unconditioned to exercise and who have poor diets. Because everyone’s body is different, some people don’t manifest much body fat even though they lead very unhealthy lifestyles. Conversely, some heavy people who work out daily and eat well will have far better stamina and strength than their skinny-fat counterparts.
When searching for “gyms near me,” you’ll want to find a place that promotes good health by following science-backed routines, and not one that will reinforce popular myths about fitness. The team at Performance One is most certainly the former, leading classes and personal training that are in accordance with the best practices of health and wellness available.