This has been on my mind for quite some time.
Â You know what I hate?
Â Besides out of shape people telling ME how to train
Â I HATE training and diet myths people believe because itâ€™s easier to reaffirm in their mind what they already believe or have been told by the masses (even if its not only STUPID, its flat out wrong or with minimal supporting evidence) instead of opening their minds to what could possibly be better and efficientâ€¦and wellâ€¦backed by research.
Â As trainers, we have an obligatory duty to not only give our clients results, we must do it in a time-efficient, sensible, safe, and effective manner.
Â How is that done?
Â In the most logical way possible which is to read, research, and apply. If it works for YOU, keep it for YOU. It doesnâ€™t mean it works for EVERYONE. If it doesnâ€™t work, cross it off the list and continue finding what works best for you and your clients.
Â When I speak to members of the gym, including my very own clients, itâ€™s INCREDIBLY frustrating when I hear people (who have a particular goal in mind) do what they THINK or TELL ME what needs to be done because their broâ€™s told them and â€œit works man, thatâ€™s how its done.â€
Â If your way worked or if â€œthatâ€™s how itâ€™s doneâ€ would you have come to a trainer? Probably not because THAT WAY DOESNâ€™T WORK FOR YOU.
Â It gets increasingly frustrating for me personally when I have people at the gym:
Â #1: Spend forever on a treadmill, stair master, or elliptical â€œto lose weight/fatâ€ because â€œthatâ€™s how its doneâ€ when in fact, THAT IS FAR FROM HOW ITâ€™S DONE.
Â #2: Tell me they need to lose weight before they see a trainer. ::dead:: You wouldnâ€™t work on your car for months THEN bring it to the mechanic, would you? That is absurd.
Â #3: Tell me about (insert diet fad) and how itâ€™s the best thing around and thatâ€™s how itâ€™s a great lifestyle change.
Â #4: Tell me about muscle confusion and that programs need to be changed every 4 weeks.
Â Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve heard more than that but this is what I hear most often in my area.
Â Iâ€™m going to bring you readers in on a little realityâ€¦
Â #1: Losing weight and losing fat are essentially two entities. Lets start with â€œlosing weightâ€. FOR COMPARISON PURPOSES ONLY (as I know there are PLENTY OF TIMES losing WEIGHT is NEEDED), losing weight is a necessity in sports like boxing, wrestling, MMA where one needs to cut weight. Majority of the time, itâ€™s water weight which is gained back shortly after weigh in. Another way to think about it is this (Pretty much stole this from Tony Gentilcore): cut your legs off, you weigh less. Donâ€™t eat or drink for 24 hours, you weigh less. Body fat % stays the same this there are NO BODY COMPOSITION CHANGESâ€¦well except the missing limbs.
Â However, losing BODY FAT is why most people want to work out. They want to look better in their wedding dress, tux, and birthday suit. Truth of the matter is, when it comes to fat loss, itâ€™s a very simple concept that people make way to far complex. In this order, fat loss is determined by:
Â -1: NUTRITION (among other variables that can hinder this such as hormones) â€“ One must be in a caloric deficit (less calories consumed then burned) or at least caloric maintenance (what your body needs to maintain itâ€™s current body structure) to lose fat. That said, the deficit is MINIMAL.
Â -2: Strength Training: It boggles my mind to China and back how people expect to LOSE FAT and look like they flippinâ€™ lift and forget to STRENGTH TRAIN. PICK SOME HEAVY SHIT UP AND LIFT IT! GET STRONG! Itâ€™s why itâ€™s called STRENGTH TRAINING. Itâ€™s not called Let Me Sit On My Ass With 5LBS Dumbbells And Not Get Strong Training. When you strength train and recruit maximal muscle, the body responds by utilizing maximal energy aka calories.Â On top of this, it helps by boosting metabolic rate (your metabolism) so yes what? As you recoup from your excellent training day, your body is using more calories from FAT (because aerobic metabolism is how reach normal body function) thus burning more body fat. Moral of the storyâ€¦LIFT (total body, upper/lower splits, circuit training, complexes, intervals on the air dyne bike/rower, PUSH THE PROWLER)
Â #2: This is just absurd. I have to be brutally honest. I empathize with those who feel like this and Iâ€™m sure many others do as I (and you) try to educate on why this is the wrong approach but there are people who cling to this concept. What you may have looked like in high school or junior high is noticeably different than you do now in your late 20â€™s and 30â€™s (and trust me, with the right guidance, you can get back to that or even better). Some look better, some look worse. Obviously, if you know you WANT/NEED coaching and help, why would you bypass help to do it your way, which is more than likely less efficient if not inefficient, and let the proper professional guide you? Understandably itâ€™s a huge commitment not only financially but emotionally, so with that said, if you are one of these people and have thought about training, my advice to you is to ask around, speak to your local gym about their trainers, use tools like Facebook to connect with those who you feel you connect with, and let someone help you on your journey. There is nothing worse than doing it your way, knowing itâ€™s failing, and then still doing it. You will only bring your confidence down. Contrary to the feelings you may have, strength training is supposed to uplift you and your spirit, not make you resent all you want to do.
Â #3: 17-day diet, 30-day diet, Atkins, keto, Paleo, Twinkies, juicing, vegan, vegetarian, and the list goes on and on and on. Iâ€™ve heard it all and quite frankly, my feelings on them can be summed up in one statement:
Â DO NOT take on a â€œdietâ€ because you read it is the best thing out or youâ€™ll lose weight faster or youâ€™ll turn in to Superman. Do these diets have positives associated with them? Yes. For the most part. Are there negatives associated with them? ABSOLUTELY. People are so fixated on the next best thing that they donâ€™t realize the BEST THING is BALANCE. Try that out. The Balance Diet which is one with adequate amounts of protein, carbs, and fat for YOUR BODY and YOUR TRAINING GOALS.Â If you are on the heavier side, maybe a high fat/low carb diet will work better for you as the heavier you are, you may tend to be more insulin resistant. If you are on the leaner side, a moderate carb/fat or high carb/low fat plan might be better goal dependent. Do not get stuck on this â€œI need to eat like thisâ€ or â€œIâ€™m cutting out all carbsâ€ because lets keep it realâ€¦youâ€™ll binge in a weekâ€¦if not on bread then liquid bread AKA BEER or WINE. Yes, those are carbs. Gluten? Lets not get started. Juicing, cleanses (which are a crock of shitâ€¦all of them)â€¦theyâ€™re equivalent to get rich quick schemesâ€¦you keep throwing away your money and not getting ANYTHING on the return. â€œI did a cleanse a few years ago. It workedâ€â€¦ok, was it sustainableâ€¦â€::awkward silence::â€. Find what works best for you, your principles, what you stand for, and which is a SUSTAINABLE WAY OF LIVING AND EATING.
Â #4: Point blank, programs do not need to be changed often. Put simply, there is no such thing as muscle confusion. Want to confuse the muscle? Add another 5lbs to the bar. Bang out an extra rep. Bang out an extra set. As Erik from Lean Bodies Consulting has stated,
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â “Training ADD is one of the biggest reasons people donâ€™t get better results from their programs; theyâ€™re changing them before they even have a chance to do anything for them. Benefits from a program are not acute, they manifest over time, and yet we see many people operating on this nonsensical bodybuilding myth of muscle confusion or â€˜shocking the bodyâ€™ or any other such silliness. And then they wonder why progress is less than stellar.”
Â These are just some of the things I hear on a daily. It pains me that people still cling to ideas or methods that they cannot give substantial and applicable reasons as to why they do it. Usually itâ€™s, â€œitâ€™s what I read onlineâ€ or â€œthis is what (insert famous instagram model) is doingâ€ or â€œthatâ€™s what I was told.â€ Moral of this entirely long post is one thing:
Read, research, and apply.
Â If it doesnâ€™t work, youâ€™re doing it wrong or youre doing it right and doesnâ€™t work for you.
Â Work for you? Great! Keep it up. If it doesnâ€™t? Itâ€™s back to the drawing board. Donâ€™t give reasons with substantial backing and then of course, be upset with lack of results because it didnâ€™t go how you thought it would. No one is ahead of research, not even the broâ€™s so they are the last people you want to listen to…oh and Tracy Anderson and Dr. Ozâ€¦because wtf, seriously.