Let’s face it: There’s tons of information out there related to training, fitness, and health. So much so that it can be difficult to tease out what’s fact and what’s fiction. To save you some time, we’re shedding light on a few of the most common fitness myths we’ve seen over the years.
4 Fitness Myths to Scrap from Your Mind
1. Myth: Carbs make you fat.
We agree now that eating fat doesn’t make you fat, and sugar is the main culprit in all sorts of chronic diseases, like obesity, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Unfortunately, this evidence-based data has made carb-phobics out of a lot of us.
While ketogenic and low-carb diets do optimize the rate of fat loss for most people, this doesn’t mean you have to swear off carbs completely (especially ones rich in micronutrients like fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins). Besides, unless you’re deep into a ketogenic diet and your body is truly fat-adapted, then you need carbs to support the amount of exercise you do.
So, enjoy in moderation things like sweet potatoes, fruit, and whole grains, eat as many veggies as possible and minimize or eliminate refined carbohydrates like cereals, pasta, and most energy bars. And if you’re really working on restoring a healthy relationship with carbohydrates, feel free to time your carb intake by eating most of them right after your workout when your body is optimally primed for them (see point 4).
2. Myth: To get in good shape, you have to workout every single day and always at SUPER JUMBO WICKED HIGH INTENSITY.
First things first: you need your rest days. Why? Because you don’t get strong during your workout; you get strong during the recovery period between your workouts when your body repairs itself.
Secondly, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) really is the bees-knees when it comes to exercise, but that doesn’t mean you should completely ignore steady-state and longer duration aerobic-based activity, since it also can help with fat burning, cardiovascular health, etc.
The Point: schedule rest days and active recovery days where the goal is to just get your blood flowing. It’ll help maximize outcomes and can prevent injury and issues associated with over-training. And aim to get in 1-3 sessions per week of a longer duration, moderate intensity workout in addition to your resistance training and HIIT sessions.
3. Myth: Lifting weights make women look too buff and bulky.
Whether your goal is to lose body fat, get strong, improve your health, or perform better at a sport, you need to be lifting weights regularly—resistance training is good for just about everyone. And unless you choose to take performance enhancing drugs which artificially mess with your hormones, you’re not going to end up looking bulky. We promise!
4. Myth: You need to drink sports drink after a workout.
You need sugary sports drinks like you need a blister on both feet. Commercial sports drinks are loaded with artificial ingredients and, to our view, aren’t all that cost-effective, either.
The reality is, consuming some carbs and protein within 30-45 minutes after your workout can optimize recovery and strength gains since these macronutrients help replenish glycogen in your muscles (fuel) and stimulate protein synthesis (muscle repair). But instead of chugging a sports drink, try about 20-40 grams of protein and around 20-60 grams of a mix of high-glycemic and low-glycemic carbs (e.g., a protein shake, a banana, and a cup of oatmeal).
Keep in mind the exact amount you need of carbs will vary depending on your goals and the intensity or duration of your training session. When in doubt, talk to one of our experienced personal trainers. We’re happy to help!