Within the mish-mosh of self-proclaimed fitness gurus and so called “experts” in the fitness community, too much bullshit has been floating around and being forced to seep into our minds.
Well, not our minds, but certainly some amiable minds that don’t take the time to do their research. Some people hope there is some magical, easy solution to fitness success, but there isn’t. It’s laughable, we know, but the stigma does exist. We wanna break that shit wide open!
Lee Boyce, a certified strength trainer and ex-athlete, has a very informative article called Unapologetically Debunking the Top 7 Exercise Myths.
Why this article is awesome is because it plainly and concisely lists the exercise myths that are most likely to be floating around in your gyms, your minds, and in the deepest darkest chasms of your soul (OK that last one might be a little overboard, but you get the drift).
Top 7 Exercise Myths Shattered!
You can’t expect much more from the training world, when there are so many people involved in it to make a quick dollar. In essence, it takes advantage of the ill-informed client (or potential client) who doesn’t know any better.
These shady personal trainers and snake-oil salesmen are predators! Excuse our coarse language, but the Gone Liftin’ Team detest these assholes who try and take advantage of people who don’t know as much as they should about fitness.
Instead of trying to help them with information that will actually benefit their bodies and minds, they instead choose the route of scumbaggery. These folks try to deteriorate their “clients” pockets. Hopefully we can open your eyes to some common exercise myths and maybe you’ll know a little better of what’s what, as far as strength training goes…
1. Spot Reduction
A huge mistake!
Spot reduction is the idea that if you work on a certain area of your body over and over again, that specific area will lose fat and get toned. Just saying it makes us facepalm and shake our heads in disgust. C’mon guys – unless you’re 8 years old, you should in no way, shape, or form, believe something so ludicrous. You want to lose fat, you gotta lose calories, buddy!
You can train a specific area as much as you want, but if your intention is for your body to appear leaner in that area, you’re wasting your time.
Your body doesn’t usually “choose” where it’ll drop fat once it’s been triggered to do so. However, it makes sense to use compound movements and train in a multi-joint fashion in order to stimulate the hormone release and caloric burn that can trigger fat loss. When coupling this with a clean diet, you’ll be amazed at your results.
2. Certain Exercises Can Shape And Tone Muscles
You are probably thinking, “what the hell are you guys talking about with this one?! This ain’t no myth!” Well, yes it is.
When it comes to your body, and your life in general, genetics play a huge role; a massive role!
We are stuck with what we got, and we have to play the cards we are dealt. Not every athlete and bodybuilder look the same, therefore it cannot be said that certain exercises can shape and tone muscles to a point, otherwise we’d all look identical, right?
Unfortunately, due to a blessing and a curse called genetics, we’re stuck with what we’re stuck with in this department. There are no exercises that will add “shape” to the chest, “smooth out” the shoulders and hamstrings, or “tone” the triceps. If this was all true, all pro bodybuilders would essentially look the same, choosing exercises to get the exact “shape” and symmetry that is viewed as perfect.
Thank you, Lee! Our bodies are all built differently, and the only thing we humans can control about that, is the best and most efficient way to increase our muscle size and definition.
It’s relatively safe to conclude that everyone who wants a better looking body would prefer to carry higher amounts of muscle and lower amounts of body fat. To get this to happen, you shouldn’t ever exclude weight training, and definitely shouldn’t exclude heavier lifting in choice movements. Build a foundation, build muscle, and worry about eating the right way to facilitate the fat loss you’re looking for. Voila.
3. If You Want To Burn Fat, Do More Cardio. If You Want To Bulk Up, Lift More Weights
Another one of those “what the hell?!” myths, eh?
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights should be your number one goal when questing for a leaner body.
Granted, Gone Liftin’ doesn’t subscribe 100% to this theory, as cardiovascular exercises such as boxing training will cut you to shreds in a way you never thought possible.
Boxing, however, is anaerobic in nature, so including it in an example of cardiovascular exercises might not make too much sense. (We’ll certainly have articles written about the unbelievably tremendous effects of training like a fighter, but that’s for later).
When talking about the myth of cardio as the best way to lose weight, Lee Boyce, as well as Gone Liftin’, believe the cardio most are referring to are those countless minutes on the treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical, etc. Slow, steady-state cardio is NOT what you should be aiming for when searching for a leaner, muscular body.
Doing 45 minutes of steady state cardio may be a very difficult and taxing feat at the beginning (I know it would be for me!). But if you do 45 minutes of cardio per day, for 3 months – and we’ve all seen these folks at the gym – with the intention of being substantially leaner after that time period, you’re wasting precious time, and probably burning precious muscle in the process.
That covers the first part of Myth Debunking.
Carry on to Myth Debunking Part 2 of our article and learn the rest…