Hello everyone! I hope you’re doing well and had a great weekend.
This whole fitness thing can be crazy sometimes! When I look around I see all kinds of conflicting information concerning exercise and nutrition. I know how confusing it can be, so today I just want to go over a few of the most popular, and ultimately destructive fitness myths that I still see perpetuated out there.
Women shouldn’t lift heavy weights. This might be the worst fitness myth out there. In many ways women need to lift weight more than men! Let’s break it down a little. Since women produce maybe 10% of the testosterone that men do they don’t have the same natural strength or muscle mass. This leads to the high risk of osteoporosis. Strength training is also incredibly important for just functioning in daily life! It helps:
Immune system function
I know what you might be thinking. Some women are afraid of getting too bulky. Well, that’s probably not going to happen. Women just don’t produce enough testosterone to get very bulky.
The picture below is of 77 year-old Ernestine Shepherd who didn’t even start lifting until she was in her ‘60s. It’s never too late! Studies have shown that strength training can produce results at any age!
You have to do a low-carb diet to lose weight. Low carb diets can be great for losing weight. So can high carb diets and medium carb diets. The bottom line is that calories are what determine weight loss not just carbs. There are many different ways to structure your diet to get you the results you want. The key is to make it work for you and your lifestyle.
I have to be perfect to get results! Let me ask you a quick question. If you’ve been doing great on your diet for several days and then have a piece of birthday cake at an office party what is your reaction?
I ruined it! I was doing so well and now it’s over. I knew I couldn’t do this! I’m such a loser! Oh well, I guess I might as well have more cake and forget this whole thing.
Wow! This cake is delicious! One slice is fine, thanks.
If your reaction is the first one then you’re falling victim to “All-Or-Nothing” thinking. I’ve seen so many people fall victim to the “all-or-nothing” mindset and I can’t tell you how damaging it is. The bottom line is this. You do not have to be perfect to get results. We’re looking for about 85% or so with our diet. That should be good enough to get us some nice results. After all, a piece of cake might have 400 calories. In the long run 400 calories isn’t much of a big deal. If you forget your diet because of it and wind up eating an extra 1000-2000 calories every day, that is a big deal.
You have to do crunches for 6-pack abs. I’m surprised when I still see this fitness myth pop up. First of all, you can do ab work forever and never flatten your abs if you don’t change your diet. That is what determines how flat your stomach is. Those TV infomercials are lying to you.
Second, there are many ways to work your core that are much more effective than crunches. You should realize that our core isn’t just our abs but our whole midsection front, back and sides. The other important thing to understand is the true function of our core. While crunches work the muscles through movement, the true purpose of the core is stability. In other words, it is to provide a base so our extremities can do what they need to do. Taking that into account, the most effective exercises for our core are ones that work on that stability. Planks are a great example although there are many more.
I hope this straightens a few things out for you. Let me know if you have any questions are have any fitness myths you’d like addressed.
Mitch Rothbardt, CPT, PN Level 2 Lean Eating Coach, FMS 2861 Grove Way in Castro Valley 510-754-7113 MitchRFitness@gmail.com Discover Your Strength!