The fitness industry can be an overwhelming thing. There are so many hypes, beliefs and claims out there which makes it very difficult to understand what is right and wrong. At the same time, the fitness industry is failing because more and more people struggle with health and fitness.
We’re at an era which enables us to know more than we ever did before, yet we are failing in that aspect. Why is that?
The fitness industry is a multi billion dollar market. This unfortunately means that there are many individuals and companies out there looking to make a lot of money as quick as possible, without the customer’s interest at heart. This leads to countless false claims and hypes out there, which are unfounded.
At FitGuana, we try to lead by example by:
- Doing many workouts with you to demonstrate that is how we train ourselves, as well as motivate you.
- Be very straightforward. We don’t try to manipulate, hype things up or up sell. We believe in the quality of our service and see that it works, over and over again.
- Explain the science to you. We try to educate and want you to understand what we do and why we do it. Greater understanding leads to better choices.
- Objective analysis and goal setting. Our InBody device enables us to analyze your body composition and set a goal, without any subjective influence.
- Be positive! We much rather show you the way instead of complaining about what everybody is doing wrong. Negativity is a life vampire so we rather move ahead and share what we love dong. Besides, progress is never linear. We continue to learn every day and new studies come out every day so what we believe today may not be current anymore a year from now.
Now in order to understand your fitness, set proper goals and make right choices, it is important to bust some common fitness myths out there. Here are some of the most believed myths you should be aware of.
1. Fasted cardio makes you lose more fat.
Wrong. Whether you fast or not, you will burn the same amount of calories. Fat burn ratio is determined by intensity. Lack of glycogen may force you in a lower intensity zone but your body won’t magically burn more fat.
2. Staying in the “Fat Burn Zone” makes you burn more fat.
Not necessarily. If you train in the lower intensity “fat burning zone”, the ratio of fat will be larger compared to the total calories burnt.
However, if you train at a higher intensity your total calorie burn will be higher. So even though the ratio might be lower, you will burn more fat during as well as afterwards at a higher intensity.
3. If you train this or that way, you will lose 10% body fat!
Not going to happen for us regular humans. Many of us have tried to out train a bad diet. It doesn’t work. Losing weight is mostly done in the kitchen. Yes you can burn many calories during a workout and increase your basal metabolic rate but it all comes down to having a calorie deficit. This is largely the result of the food choices you make.
However, losing body fat should never be your single goal and exercise does play a role. There are so many more benefits to proper training. Remember that definition is caused by significant lean mass in combination with a lower body fat percentage. Lift weights and perform cardio with exercises that will also build you lean mass (high intensity interval or resistance training).
4. Gyms who teach cardio or low resistance classes and don’t offer nutritional advice who claim you will lose 10-15lbs in the first month.
See above - without nutritional guidance and higher resistance training, you can simply not increase your basal metabolic rate or end up in a calorie deficit. Unless the client takes action on their own of course.
Science shows that strength training, high intensity training and proper food choices are the best way to a healthy and well rounded athletic body.
5. Fat burning supplements.
Won’t make a difference and not worth the risk. Get your nutrition right.
6. Supplements to increase human growth hormone.
Statistically do not make a difference. We’re big believers in getting your nutrition right, train correctly and let nature do its thing. Almost all people can reach almost every rational goal and make significant progress by doing the basics right.
Some supplements work. However you should reach your genetic potential first BEFORE you try to improve beyond your potential using certain risky supplements.
We are however fans of some of the proven basics (protein, caffeine, creatine etc.) for the right person and training programs (think about aiding recovery speed).
7. Gyms offering a full service, full body workout or extreme result by using body weight only.
Highly unlikely. Body weight exercises can be advanced and challenging and surely have their spot in the spectrum. However, you will never be able to train to your potential or make the progress you could compared to adding specific tools which increase resistance.
Athletic bodies are very rarely built without any form of weight or other resistance training. That is why you see all fitness competitors as well as pro athletes hit the gym, even endurance athletes.
8. Targeting a specific spot.
We cannot target one part of your body and make it lean. You can strengthen it, firm it up yet if you want to expose it (get leaner), you will have to change your body composition. Which means losing body fat, which is stored, added to or reduced all over.
So no, crunches won’t give you six pack and squats won’t give you a firm butt if your body fat is too high.
9. Lifting weights will make me bulky.
It does not happen that easily. It takes a lifestyle and thousands of actions to become bulky. You will not dislike adding some lean mass and losing body fat - and you won’t become bulky.
Also keep in mind that woman’s testosterone levels are significantly lower than men’s. Therefore, resistance training has a much smaller effect in hypertrophy than is the case with men.
10. No pain no gain.
While we believe in pushing our limits and move our physical boundaries, pain does not have a place. Yes you may be sore at first or from time to time but while that is an acceptable pain, it is not at all an indicator of a proper training session.
Listen to your body and stop when something hurts.
11. The best time to work out is then… or then…
Studies show that while some max lifts may differ based on time of day, quality of training and progress do not have any differences.
12. To lose weight, I should spend time on the treadmill, bike or elliptical.
If that’s what you enjoy, go for it. However please realize that you won’t burn nearly as many calories as other workouts with resistance training mixed in, you may actually lose lean mass due to steady state training and losing body fat is largely caused by your food choices.
Go for a run, walk or ride outside. Spend time in nature. Just realize that your fitness progress will be extremely limited since you are only working on one aspect of fitness.
13. I need sugars before my workout.
Balanced eating habits should provide you with plenty of energy for the vast majority of training sessions. Endurance athletes need additional simple sugars due to their training demands but for most, simple sugars are not needed or desired.
They are not worth the additional calories and would have little or no effect.
14. Your body can only process 15 grams or protein per meal.
Studies are showing this is nonsense. We’re able to process much higher quantities of protein per sitting. That being said, it is beneficial to spread out your protein intake throughout the day.
15. You need to do static stretching before your workout.
Static stretching has been proven to diminish your training efforts if you do it beforehand.
You want to wake up your muscles and increase blood flow. Therefore, dynamic stretching before a training session is recommended (also for injury prevention) and static stretching afterwards.
If you need help, come try out a free week and join us at FitGuana!