Consider, if you will, this edition a sequel to my previous newsletter, (see issue #22 in the Newsletter Archives section of holliswashere.com), that could very well spawn enough further installments to possibly rival that of McDonald’s in terms of sheer franchise size. It would seem, in regards to the realm of fitness, that debunking one myth or untruth almost immediately turns up another. And so my work is never done.
And, much like Batman donning his tights and utility belt whilst patrolling his seemingly doomed Gotham City, I sip my protein shake, affix my lifting straps and strap on my weight lifting belt in an effort to gallantly thwart the enemy that is misinformation. My foremost task is in minimizing time spent in the gym while maximizing its results.
Indeed, the gym would seem a likely place that is for many a myriad of opinions passing as fact. After all, there are differing body types to consider, genetics and goals specific to each individual. For example, we all know the guy who can take down an entire 4x4, fries and Neapolitan shake from the local In-N- Out burger and still display prominent abs year-round. Or the girl who has more God-given twists and curves than a Christopher Nolan film, who always looks beyond great, despite her codependence on Pinkberry and wine. In a nutshell, what works for these folks will not work for you and I.
There are however, some definitive truths that exist and apply to even the genetically gifted, or at least to those less blessed, who can truly benefit from the forthcoming knowledge in this newsletter. Consider this a continuation and further deciphering in the eternal war that is, "The Gym Myth!"
1. MYTH - Caloric halting is the best way to lose weight!
FACT- The human body is the ultimate chess match and often knows your move before you do. Refuse to feed it and it will jettison muscle tissue as its primary energy source first and horde its precious fat stores for later. The trick, in leaning up, is to follow a staggered intake approach. That is, low calories one day, medium the next and high on the third. The body, now unable to maintain a state of homeostasis, (constant state of being) will be forced to shed fat as fuel in order to adapt.
2. MYTH - Muscle turns to fat upon cessation of training!
FACT - If one ceases training altogether, but maintains the same caloric intake as while exercising, the result will be smaller muscles, (think of nails removed from a house - the house crumbles), but the quality will be the same as fat cells and muscle cells are two completely different entities and thusly one can not transform into the other. Now, if one were to cease training AND introduce a higher caloric intake, the fat cells would grow. Furthermore, fat cells and muscle cells never multiply as one is born with a finite number of each.
3. MYTH - Weights make me bulky! (Women)
FACT - If only that were the case. If only after years and years of lifting literally tons of weights and consuming enough chicken to make Perdue a very wealthy man, if only just touching a weight would have grown me into the dense 230 behemoth I am today! In truth, what many women perceive to be bulk is actually fat covering their muscles. Weights or resistance are the main stimulus that will keep women firm, while the proper application of cardio and nutrition will melt away the fat, thusly effectively showing their hard-earned musculature.
4. MYTH - Crunches for prominent abs!
FACT - Crunches for functional strength and athletic performance? Absolutely! Crunches for abdominal prominence? No way – not unless this individual’s diet is lean in refined sugars.
5. MYTH - Pre-workout stretching is a must!
FACT - Consider this faulty practice to stretching frozen chicken right out of the freezer – the distinct possibility for a tear rises exponentially. Thaw the body, then stretch both during, and after exercise, in an effort to develop more lean muscle tissue and improve one’s energy levels.
6. MYTH - Pre-workout eating!
FACT - Depends on what today’s workout entails. Are we burning fat via cardiovascular activity and attempting to utilize stored adipose, (fat), as fuel? Empty stomach. Are we about to partake in a resistance workout, raise our lean body mass and rely on stored glycogen, (energy used for anaerobic exercise), for said activity? A meal rich in protein, and moderate in fats and carbs will provide sustained energy for this task.
7. MYTH - Eating at night will make you fat!
FACT - Depends on what you’re eating, how much and one’s physical expenditure during this time. Furthermore, consuming food later in the day, that is higher in protein as opposed to carbohydrates, is less likely, (though not improbable), to be stored as body fat beyond one’s caloric maintenance versus current activity level.
8. MYTH - You have to sweat, and be sore afterward, to have had a productive workout! No pain no gain!
FACT - I don’t know about you, but I choose to not walk around sore and tired from my workouts. What is truly important is temporary muscle failure in the gym; that is, performing a set to positive failure and increasing one’s poundages (in good form), over time. Weight training, by definition, is progressive resistance training. I am not concerned with soreness in a muscle, following my training, for it indicates nothing more than it’s time to pop more Advil. Stimulate, don’t annihilate.
9. MYTH - Machines are more effective than barbells and dumbbells!
FACT - For conducting an easier workout perhaps? For getting less bang for your buck and not training ancillary, (helper), muscles such as the abs during most exercises? The truth is, it requires more force, balance and overall exertion to lift free weights than it does machines and for those of you who train with me know machines are the exception, not the rule.
10. MYTH - One must lose weight from diet before starting resistance training!
FACT - This is one of the most common myths, specifically believed amongst women, whom many ascribe the sheer number of their plummeting body weight to positive results rather than its composition. To many, if the number on the scale is going down, they must be doing something right. In truthful application, the proper combination of aerobics, weight training and a sensible nutritional protocol is far more effective, than by diet alone, which will result in less fat and muscle, as well as a smooth and soft appearance to the touch. Attempting to garner results from diet alone is like driving a long distance with plenty of gas in the tank but not enough oil and other such vital components for the proper running of said vehicle.
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ATTENTION: As of late, I am receiving queries as to persons wishing to utilize my services but distance may have set us apart. Not to worry as I offer ONLINE TRAINING offering your complete training and nutritional needs!
I hope you are all having a fun and healthy summer!