MYTH #1 – Fasted cardio makes you lose more fat – This myth has been going around for quite some time now and I once bought into the claims for a period of time. Fasted cardio is doing cardio right when you wake up in the morning. You would perform the cardio before eating any food which would leave your body in a fasted state. The claim is that you burn more fat because your glycogen stores have been depleted overnight. It is true that you burn a higher percentage of fat calories during low intensity exercises, like walking, but you do not burn a significant amount of calories. In order to burn the most amount of calories, you would need to perform high intensity exercise and this type of exercise has optimal performance in a fed state (after eating). Soon to be PhD Brad Schoenfeld, says that, “the body continually adjusts its use of fat and carbohydrate for fuel depending on a variety of factors. As a general rule, if you burn more carbohydrate while exercising, you’ll ultimately burn more fat in the post-workout period and vice versa.” He concludes with, “at best, the effects on body composition won’t be any better than if you trained in a fed state; at worst, you’ll lose muscle and reduce total fat loss.” http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-myth-of-cardio-before-breakfast-debunked.html
MYTH #2 – Toning your body – Although the misconceptions of toning your body is typically from the female population, there are also guys who don’t want to get “bulky.” If putting on tons of muscle was as simple as lifting 5 pound dumbbells multiple times, every guy or girl in the gym that goes regularly would be jacked. Please read this very carefully, YOU CANNOT TONE A MUSCLE. Muscles do not get hard or soft or gain or lose “tone.” Muscles do one of two things… they get bigger or they get smaller… The act of toning is gaining muscle and losing body fat. Remember my blog about the media?? Yeah they screwed this up too. The media has told you that in order to get toned, you need to do high repetitions of various exercises with very light weights. Does this look familiar?If this is what you are doing to “tone” your muscles, I am sorry to tell you that you’ve been lied to and you’ve essentially been wasting your time. The fear of the unknown is a scary thing sometimes, but it’s time to put your fear of getting “bulky” aside and start building the body you’ve been trying to get. You will not look like a man by lifting heavy weights. Here’s a quote I stole from Reddit that sums up my point. “You have between 10 to 20 times less of the hormone profile required to build muscle mass than a man. If a man has 10 to 20 times more of the hormones required to build muscle and every male in the gym is not big and muscular, what makes you think you’re ACCIDENTALLY going to get big and muscular?” Ladies, you are simply not made to look huge and ripped and the only way women achieve the look you’re scared of is by taking drugs or by training for bodybuilding competitions for years upon years.
This picture is a continuation of a point from my previous blog post. You can be skinny but still not have a toned look. That would be something called skinny fat which is a build up of fat in the body, or a high percentage of fat in the body. You can be light on the scales and flabby due to a low muscle composition and a relatively high body fat composition. A girl with 18% body fat can weigh the same as a girl with 25% body fat. And a guy with 10% body fat can weigh the same as a guy with 20-30% body fat. This is due to the difference in the amount of muscle and amount of fat each person has.
More Muscle + Less Fat = Tight and Toned Body
If you want to get the “toned” body look, you need to lift a weight heavy enough that will make you fail between 3 and 15 reps. If you want to change the actual shape of your body in the fastest way possible, focus on compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, lunges, overhead press, pull-ups, chin-ups, bench press, barbell / dumbbell rows) and high intensity interval training (sprints, sled-pushes, battle ropes, stairs, tire flips, jump-rope, tuck jumps, broad jumps) instead of slaving away on the treadmill or elliptical.
MAJOR DISCLAIMER – I am not saying you have to look a certain way or do certain types of exercise. However, I do think you need to do some form of physical activity daily just for the sake of your general health and well being. If you don’t exercise at all, I do believe you should find something active that you enjoy and do it a couple of times per week. It can literally be any activity (volleyball, basketball, soccer, any other sport, running, rock climbing, boxing, yoga, jump-rope, the options are endless). I encourage you to first love the body you have. If you are accepting of your body image and want to improve your body composition for the sake of a challenge and being healthier, then I would encourage you to start lifting weights. I am a big believer in being the best YOU, you can be. To me, part of that means pushing my body to it’s limits because I love seeing everything that the human body is capable of doing. If you have trouble accepting yourself for who you are or have trouble with comparing yourself to others, read my blog about body image, the media, and comparison. https://thetylifeblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/body-image-self-worth/
MYTH #3 – long duration cardio is the best way to lose weight/fat – before I go over why this is incorrect, I want to first say that I am not bashing on endurance athletes. If you like running, rowing, swimming, or biking for endurance, that’s awesome and congrats to you because I just can’t do it. Marathoners, tri-athletes, and swimmers definitely have my respect for the amount of training that is required for their respective event. But for the sake of fat loss and weight loss, there is a far better approach that needs to be shared. Fat loss and weight loss is not as hard as people make it seem. However, it is one the most complex subjects involved in society. You can lose weight simply by reducing calories. But if you restrict your calories too much, you’ll eventually stop losing weight or even have a weight regain… You can start running and lose weight. But your body will adapt to the amount of time you run and your weight loss will plateau or you’ll eventually gain weight unless you run longer… OK TY JUST TELL ME HOW TO LOSE THESE LAST 5 POUNDS. Geeze I’m getting to the point calm down… The best way to lose weight and to lose fat is… lifting weights and performing high intensity interval training. Once a workout is over and you’re back in your daily routine, your body’s metabolism can continue to burn more calories than when at complete rest. This physiological effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. Research has shown that resistance training can provide a greater EPOC effect than running at a steady speed. Greater EPOC effect = More Calories burned = More weight loss. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective way to stimulate the EPOC effect. HIIT is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. HIIT workouts are generally performed with exercises lasting from 3-60 seconds with various rest intervals and the total workout is 20-30 minutes in duration. HIIT workouts are very effective for fat loss, performance, and general health but are very taxing on the body and therefore should be performed at a maximum, every other day. But 2-3 times a week is more than enough to get the benefits and results you’re looking for. Men, do you ever wonder why NFL players and track athletes are so big and ripped? Look at this picture for a comparison of a sprinter and a marathon runner.
Now obviously these are two extreme scenarios, an Olympic sprinter and an Olympic marathon runner, but the point is that the way you train has a significant impact on the way you look. For you guys who are trying to take your training to the next level, check out this article by strength coach, Eric Bach.
MYTH #4 – Carbs Make You Fat – another myth I once bought into until I looked into the research. I don’t want to go into all the details because it’s really not worth the time but if you question this myth, let me know and we can have the discussion. Carbs are the number one preferred fuel source for the body. Carbs greatly enhance athletic performance and help with recovery. And carbs are freaking delicious.
Carbs do NOT make you fat, over eating and lack of physical activity makes you fat. Are carbs delicious and easy to over eat on? Yes. Are they the reason for you being overweight or for gaining fat? Not entirely. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, weight loss and weight gain happens from the equation of calories in vs. calories out. In general, if you eat more calories than your body needs to maintain its weight, you’ll gain weight. If you eat less, you’ll lose weight. It is recommended that 45-65% of your diet come from carbohydrates. If you can learn to control portion sizes, you can eat any food you want, even that donut or cupcake. Just make sure it’s only one or two and not the whole box and that you’re eating those fruits and veggies throughout the day for health benefits.
This concludes the 4 common exercise and nutrition myths. I hope you guys, and girls, have learned something and have something to take away from this post. As always, if you have any questions regarding anything I talked about just let me know. Also if you wouldn’t mind sharing this, please do. If you benefitted from it, chances are someone else can too. I hope you all have a great week!
Psalm 16:8 “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 46:1-3 “1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”