Guy: Working in the fitness industry for almost 10 years, I would get exposed to hundreds of people each week. It was during this time that I got to understand the public perception of the exercise and fitness world.
Being in the firing line every day I got to cut through the noise, confusion and misconceptions of it all and felt inspired to write this post. So if you find yourself practicing any of the below, maybe it’s time to rethink your strategy.
1. Sit-ups Burn Belly Fat
I can’t tell you how many people would be doing sit-ups, medicine ball twists and crunches because they wanted their stomach and obliques (side ab’s) flat and toned. I know many athletes and weightlifters that have abs popping without doing a single sit-up. Why is this you may ask? Drum roll please… It’s because they understand nutrition, know how to reduce inflammation and work with fundamental exercises that activate the core. Crunches give you strong abdominals, the body fat that sits on top of that is a whole different story.
2. Running for Weight Loss
It’s a common sight, people pounding the streets or spending hours on the treadmill with weight loss as their goal. At first glance this seems like the right thing to do, but the simple answer is this – if you are running for weight loss, your diet is wrong.
So with this golden nugget of information, the first place you should start is the kitchen. Don’t believe me? Watch this short clip with Professor of Exercise and Sports Science, Tim Noakes, as we ask him what he thinks about running for weight loss.
3. Lifting Weights Make You Bulky
This is the greatest fear with women but I would see it with men occasionally too who don’t want bulky thighs and giant biceps! If only it was that easy. Lifting weights is one of the best strategies for increasing metabolism, toning the body, stabilising blood sugars and burning body fat. Did you know fat occupies 4 to 5 times more space than muscle? If you exchanged 5kg of body fat for 5kg of muscle you would reduce your body size and have a more toned definition. This is why weighing scales should only be used to weigh your suitcase when you are going on holidays. Learn more reasons why weights are awesome here.
4. You Need to Carb Load
This is the strategy we are taught as fitness trainers and is even more applicable to endurance athletes. Ramp up those carb’s to get you through your workout. The short answer to this is that there are many studies showing that fat adapted athletes respond better than carb loaders. Carbs are reduced and natural fats are increased with some of the benefits of delivering quicker recovery times, reduced inflammation, less injuries, steady long lasting energy and reduced excess body fat. If you want the more scientific answer, listen to our full interview with running legend Professor Tim Noakes here.
5. Spend Hours in the Gym to Get Fit & Buff
There’s a big perception that more exercise means more results, whether it be muscle building or weight loss. That is so simplistic it’s not funny as there are so many variables at play. There really is a minimum effective dose when it comes to results, and with the multitude of factors in place like nutrition (yes that means eating real foods and avoiding marketing fads), intensity, variation, recovery periods, sleep, type of exercise etc, you must have a clear understanding of all of these to realise your own true potential. They say a six pack is made in the kitchen, and I tend to agree with this. If you understand and implement all the other factors you’ll be the envy of all your friends in half the time 🙂
6. The Single Best Exercise for Weight Loss
This kind of marketing drives me nuts. I’m all for educating people and simplifying things so it’s digestible and easier to understand, but TV and dodgy advertising tends to skew the message. I would get constantly asked what the best exercise for weight loss was, and my answer would always be the same… ‘do you want the fluffy chocolate covered strawberry answer, or do you want the facts? Sorry to tell you that there is no single best exercise for weight loss… But if you want just the straight facts then watch this short video (2 ½ mins) with us and Australian Institute of Kettlebells founder Dan Henderson.
7. Yoga is only for Women, Vegan’s & Tree Huggers
Being a male yoga fan, I had to include this one as I swear some of my mates think that I’m the only guy (pun intended) in the class breathing through one nostril and visualising flowers. To all the people out there who are reading this, get in there as you are missing out! Especially if you take your exercise seriously, as I’ve seen many people greatly improve their flexibility and mobility. I personally practice two to three times a week and my flexibility has gone through the roof. Physically and mentally I’ve found this the perfect counter-balance to the intensive training I do and it compliments it perfectly. There is also magic to be found in a Yin style class (I’m addicted), and I would urge anyone with high workout routines to check them out too. Did I mention that yoga can help with your sleep quality too?