I keep debating with myself about starting my own health & fitness business. Essentially it would focus on education, not allowing any client to stay on longer than one year. The first 30 days would be free, where the client would work their ass off to progress followed by 11 months paid working with me and other like-minded trainers who would have to earn that pay through education and equipping for a lifelong healthy lifestyle. Anyway, I digress.
I hate the fitness industry for many reasons. I rant often about it. In the spirit of Monday posts, I’m going to focus on only a few of those reasons today.
YOUR EXERCISE SHOULD BURN AS MANY CALORIES AS POSSIBLE
While it’s true we need a caloric deficit to lose weight, that should be accomplished by proper nutrition, not by wasting hours burning calories on Cardio machines or in Cardio classes. That’s not why we train. We train to build strength and muscles, improve our hormone profiles, improve our movement capacity, fitness and bone density.
DOING CARDIO IS THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE FAT
Quite simply, no. Weight training has actually proven more effective at losing fat than Cardio. Why? It’s simple really. Your body is a fat burning furnace. Weight training increases lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle you have, the more your furnace burns, resulting in fat melting not only while you train, but while you eat, sleep, live.
YOUR WORKOUT SHOULD BE LONG TO MAXIMIZE FAT LOSS
Spending an hour on a treadmill is simply not fun. Dont’ pretend otherwise, even if you are a distance runner. Besides not being fun, it simply isn’t the most efficient way to burn fat. High Intensity Interval Training, Tabata, other interval style approaches to exercise have proven much more efficient. Essentially, incredible spikes of exertion followed by small breaks. It kind of sounds like weight training, doesn’t it? Of course, you don’t need weights for efficient interval training.
If you’ve seen my 4 Minutes of Hell videos on YouTube you will notice that I can help you burn a bucket load of calories in a much shorter time than Cardio at a steady pace.
WOMEN DOING HEAVY WEIGHTS WILL MAKE THEM BULKY
This myth never seems to die. A woman has approximately one-third of the testosterone of a man. Unless she is on anabolic steroids, growth hormone or other enhancing drugs, a woman will never achieve the muscular size of a man. However, she can get a degree of muscularity that makes her lean, toned and tight. Mmmmm, sexy.
MUSCLE WEIGHS MORE THAN FAT
Seriously? If you have one pound of fat and one pound of muscle, which weighs more? Neither obviously as they are both one pound. The difference is in total volume. If one pound of muscle looked like a baseball; one pound of fat would be three times the size and look like a squiggly bowl of Jello.
EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT
Healthy fats are essential. Fats are used in the body for a lot of different functions, including , but not limited to, boosting the immune system, nervous system, repairing of cells, brain health, eye health, improved hormonal functioning, and obviously, for energy.
If you’re in a caloric deficit and understand when and what healthy fats to eat, you’ll actually end up eating more fat to lose fat! 60% of my own meals are protein and fat each and every day.
BREAD IS HEALTHY
You’ve seen this food pyramid right? The one that has the base of breads, pastas, rice, grains? Yeah. This pyramid is part of the reason we have such an obesity epidemic, starting with our children.
If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this – go out of your way to eat less gluten and sugar in your day (and bread is full of both of them). To make matters worse, most bread is devoid of any nutritional content. That means that there is absolutely no up side to eating bread.
While bread is often touted as a healthy option for breakfast or lunch, it is suitable for neither.
LOTS OF AB WORK IS THE KEY TO A SIX PACK
Know why you can’t see your abs? It’s that layer of fat hiding them. Think doing 1,000 crunches every day is going to change that? If you do, you’re wrong. Abs are made in the kitchen. For the average adult male, a six pack doesn’t begin to show until you hit the 10% body fat mark.
Don’t get me wrong, abs are important. A stronger core is the key to being able to lift heavier weights. Heavier weights means more muscle development. More muscle development means more fat burning in the furnace which means losing more body fat.
EAT SMALLER MEALS MORE FREQUENTLY FOR FAT LOSS
I’ve been guilty of this one personally because there is a LOT of support for this. It’s what the fitness experts truly believed for decades. Now, with the science behind Intermittent Fasting and other alternatives for those with digestive troubles, we’re finding out that this tried approach is simply not always true.
MACHINES ARE SAFER THAN FREE WEIGHTS
Sure, while you’re at the gym it might seem safer, but when you try to use machine-built muscles in the real world, you’re actually at higher risk of injury. Know why? It’s because machines force your muscles through a fixed plane of motion which quite simply is not natural whereas free weights force your body to use stabilizing muscles to support the main work which results in a stronger foundation overall.
It all comes back to proper form. If you don’t have it, get someone you trust to teach it to you.
YOU CAN TONE A MUSCLE
No self-respecting man should ever say his goal is to tone up. It’s a made up term that women usually use so please, don’t make me revoke your membership to the guy club.
There is no such thing as toning a muscle. What people mean when they say that they want to tone up is that they want more definition in their muscle, without it getting overly big.
To do this you need to build muscle, and lose fat. If you ever have a trainer that talks to you about toning up, point at them, laugh loudly for all the other men to see, then walk away. Don’t look back. Keep laughing as you leave.
BMI IS A GOOD MEASURE OF HEALTH AND HOW LEAN YOU ARE
BMI is severely limited as far as a tool for effectively measuring how overweight, or obese, someone is; this is especially true if you deviate from the norms that “they” have created, even if only slightly.
Trying to fit all populations into a standard mould based upon height and weight, without taking into account body composition, was always destined to fail yet somehow has survived. The test has a particular bias to anyone who has strength trained for a while, and improved their lean muscle mass.
Many muscular men that are under 10% bodyfat would be considered as obese according to BMI.
If you’re anywhere beyond the standard person as far as muscular development is concerned, then you should not look at BMI as a reliable source of how healthy you are. Instead, opt for getting your skinfolds measured, or go and get a DEXA scan.
There are many more lies fed to us by the fitness industry. What are some more you would like other readers to see with this post?