by Vinny Russo, Team Grenade Athlete.
In the world of fitness and nutrition, there is almost TOO much information to handle, some good, a lot bad! As well as this so-called ‘information’, there is even more ‘Bro-science’. Time to put all that to bed and straighten up some of the most common fitness myths out there.
7.) Eating fat leads to getting fat:
When you hear the word ‘fat’, do you associate it with bad health? If you do, then you decided to make a left at the fork in the road when you should have veered right. Let’s retrace our steps and discover why fats should be associated with good health. Although there is some truth to your thought process, some fats are needed, to where other fats need to be discarded. Here is some science about the good in fats.
Fats, which tend to be widely over-looked, help with nutrient absorption (vitamins such as A, D, E, and K), nerve transmission, and maintaining cell membrane integrity. They provide raw materials for synthesis of many compounds and are crucial for providing EFA (essential fatty acids) that the body cannot produce on its own. These fats provide the body with energy during endurance exercise, in between meals, and in times of starvation. This energy is insulin-free energy which means your get the long lasting surge of energy without the crash! They are, furthermore, the indispensable constituent of cell membranes. You have to understand that the body needs a supply of polyunsaturated fats to assist in assembling cell membranes that are strong, functional and elastic. Fat also provides a great service by keeping hormone levels in check and regulate blood-glucose levels and insulin response. Unsaturated fats (good fats) decrease the risk of heart disease. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol as wells as LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). These fats are mainly found in vegetable oils, salad dressings and various margarines made from vegetable oils. They can be found in avocadoes, various seed and nuts as well as fish, such as salmon. Another good fat, mainly associated with fish, are the Omega 3/6/9 fatty acids. The Omegas play an important role in improving mood, vision, skin, recovery, immune system function, and joint health.
6.) NO DAYS OFF BRO!
Ok, just like our mind needs rest with sleep, our body needs rest after being worked. Taking some intermediate time off after a 2 month overhaul is a good idea so you don’t become over-trained. Also, those 1-2 days off during the week is great to help your workout split so you’re not over-training particular muscle groups. See, a workout is a catabolic activity used to stimulate growth. This is because anabolism (growth) is stimulated by catabolism (breakdown). This “negative-feedback loop” is the body’s way of saying “We need to grow to push more weight.” From there, the body goes to work repairing, compensating, and then overcompensating for the damage done. This leads to the Peak Overcompensation Point or POP. POP is the period of time where your muscles have fully recovered and can be trained again. If one waits too long after the POP, the muscles will start to atrophy, whereas, if one doesn’t wait long enough for the muscle to fully recover then that’s where the muscle becomes overworked. To find the right time to train the muscle again, you can wait until the soreness has gone and feel it out that way, or you can lift the muscle group again and see if you are able to push more weight then you did the previous workout. If more weight can be pushed the you found your time period for the particular muscle group, if you are weaker or just about the same, try adding another rest day or two to the pervious amount of rest days. The process of recovery and growth starts to kick in after the workout!
5.) If women lift heavy, or like men, they will get bulky:
This is a classic myth that needed to be put in here. Women like to use the excuse that if you choose to lift heavy, or like a man, you will get bulky. That’s a bunch of BS, and is used on a daily basis so people can stay in their comfort zone! First, a body full of lean muscle tissue is sculpted out of hard resistance training. Hitting 1 set of 50 reps with 10lb dumbbells is a waste of time. Push yourself out of the comfort zone and train with 110% intensity with weights that cause a strain and recruit the most muscle fibers for optimal growth. Secondly, women do not have the amount of testosterone running through their veins to produce that bulky look like men do. So hit the weights ladies; a lean body is a sexy body.
4.) I will drastically cut my caloric intake to shred up for the summer
Calorie reduction is a great way to rev-up the fat loss process, but the problem lies in how many calories to reduce at once. Many people want the quick fix so they will drastically cut their calories to see quick results. This drastic reduction in calories not only makes you feel lethargic since there is less fuel to provide energy, but it sets a starvation response in motion. The body sees it as being “in-danger” and on the verge of starving, so it will hold on to fat to be used as a backup plan. It will also slow down your metabolism as it realizes that it shouldn’t waste so much energy on daily requirements, “just in case.” This, in turn, will actually burn lean muscle tissue! This loss in muscle tissue will degrade the metabolism even further. Lean muscle tissue is very metabolic which means the more muscle you have on your body the more metabolically active your body becomes and the more calories are burned per day. This is why lean people tend to stay lean a lot easier then someone who isn’t as lean. When you lose this lean muscle tissue, your body doesn’t need to keep feeding that tissue anymore so the body slows down its metabolism and this degradation of the metabolism increases your overall body fat percentage. So the trick is to stimulate the body to burn fat without setting of an alarm. A small cut in calories will help you stay energetic (giving you the energy to still kill it in the gym) and keep your metabolism revved up. A reduction at about 10% of your daily caloric intake should start the fat loss process in motion.
Thats the first bunch of myths DEBUNKED! Hopefully this helps clear up some of the confusion that can be caused through information overload! Stay tuned for the next 3 myths coming soon…