Ever had that feeling when you told yourself it’s Day 1 and suddenly you become all ravenous to get all the information you need to reach your fitness goal?
Like when you tell yourself you want to lose fat, you go on Instagram, search the hashtag #weightloss or go to fitness accounts scraping every bit of info you can.
Or you go on Google to search for meal plans and attempt to make a grocery list so you can start your “healthy living” stories on social media.
If you’re bulking, you go on Instagram too, search the hashtag #bulking and make “bulking” a mantra that you whisper to yourself every 5 minutes…
Eat a loaf of bread… bulking.
Eat a whole live chicken… bulking.
Yep, we’ve all been there including yours truly.
It is during this frenzy that we start to blur the lines between the realistic and the plain crazy. Little do we know, we are already starting to destroy our journey by absorbing and believing everything and anything we watch or read. Because that’s gonna be confusing for sure!
As early as now, I want to tell you that things debunked in this article may also not be the absolute truth. If it doesn’t work for you, stop, let go and move on to the next. I’m just asking for an open mind.
If you feel you need more information, please feel free to Google it or to contact me. If you want to rebut, please go ahead and do so via my contact page too.
These 5 concepts are what I have believed in over the years, and you may have believed them too.
The fitness industry is jampacked with power words, insane marketing standards and never-ending promises of getting the perfect body!
Have you ever seen a fitness product with a minimalist design? What about a gym that doesn’t include the words ripped, shredded, and my most hated word: toned? (more on this later.)
Y’all laugh at people who waste time on infomercials while you are spending so much time, money and effort on these “perfect body promises” that don’t make sense sometimes. It doesn’t make you any different.
The 5 Lies About Fitness That You Might Have Believed In
1. Sweat is fat crying.
My absolute favorite in this list. I’m not being a jerk but this is just ridiculous.
I can’t count how many summer status updates I’ve seen all saying the same thing:
“Sobrang init sa Pilipinas. Natutunaw na yung fats ko! #pawispamore”
Look: Fat does not convert to sweat. And sweat is not some form of liquefied fat that comes out of your pores. (repeat 5x)
Fat isn’t the same as sebum that causes your oily face. Please tell me you do not think that this is fat… please.
So how does fat leave the body? For the sake of simplicity, we’re not going to do a throwback to your Biology class about the electron transport chain, citric acid cycle, ATP etc. Unless you want me to? 😁
This is how it works: when you start to be more active and work with a calorie deficit, a hormone called lipase starts to pound on your stored fat. Imagine a clogged pipe and you trying to clear it. The clog in that pipe is the “stored fat” and you are like lipase.
Once lipase is finished pounding on the fat, your organs, like your liver, process the fat so it can be used as energy by the body. This process produces some carbon dioxide, water, heat, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which are then expelled by your body via sweat, urine, and the maintenance of your body temperature.
You can say that during the exertion of physical activity or a deficit in calories, some fat is expelled via sweat but most of it will be expelled elsewhere.
Ever wondered how they say burn the fat? That’s where this term comes from.
But the bottom line is the same: Sweating does not always equate to fat loss. Fat loss is brought about by a reasonable caloric deficit and some form of activity. Involuntary sweating is not the same as sweating due to exerting effort for your activities.
2. Whey Protein will make you gain muscle.
My next favorite. When I started training and posting flexing pics before, somebody started to spread this rumor that the only reason I gained muscle is that I had money to buy whey protein and other supplements.
What this person did not know is that I was eating at a caloric surplus, meal planning, training 4x a week in the gym, sleeping at least 8 hours and having appropriate R&R whenever I can.
Easy answer: Whey does not make you gain muscle. Consistent training, years of experience, excellent recovery, great nutrition and mind-muscle connection all builds muscle.
3. If I train like (name of fitness person), I will look like (name of fitness person) eventually.
I’ve told you before that I’ve trained like Arnold. I’ve also tried Jay Cutler’s routine and Kai Greene, I think. All in the name of trying to bulk up and become huge. WRONG.
It just messed things up because my nervous system was not primed for the type of work that they do. These guys train for a living. I’m part of the normal workforce if that’s how you call us mortals.
And these guys have dedicated their lives to know what works for them. Arnold swears by wide grip bench presses; I don’t respond well to the bench press. Jay Cutler is all about volume and giant sets; I respond well to 3 to 4 sets only. Not to mention these guys are jacked…if you know what I mean.
It’s great to set these guys as inspiration but don’t attempt to copy them because your body works differently from the rest of the world. This whole journey is a learning process and pretty soon, you will discover what works for you.
4. Building muscle is for men, TONING is for women
This is the actually the most irritating lie. Irritating because it confuses people on what to do and what not to do. I hate the word “toning” because the fitness industry has deliberately used it to misinform.
Products for men will always be marketed as products to get ripped, shredded, monstrously strong, absolutely massive! Any female hearing this would imagine themselves as The Hulk and shy away. Check these posters out. Right?
Programming for men would be heavy, high volume with barbells barbells barbells. It would be men with red faces screaming to bring that weight up or coaches yelling at their client to get that last rep!!! Absolutely unappealing to women who just want to be more active.
Thus the birth of supplements and methods for women.
Those in pink with graceful designs and metallic embellishments or programs with women showing off their butt. Only their butt. Programs focused on squats with high reps, arm workouts with little pink dumbbells.
Personally, while women may not be anatomically-fit for some moves, that’s not an excuse not to train just as hard. And let this be put out there: women do not become rock hard in a snap. Women lack testosterone to be as huge as men. There are specific training protocols to achieve this but for the woman who just wants to get in the gym…
GIRL! Work the weights! Own the weights.
And stop using the word “tone”.
Toning is exactly the same as Building Muscle. Period.
5. Doing 1000 crunches is the solution to get abs.
I will end this article on a very short note. Everybody has abs. Everybody has fat covering the abs. So you need to burn the fat to see the abs. Not kill yourself on crunches.
If you have read everything on this blog and still believe that crunches will get you there, then my website will just irritate the hell out of you because I will say it again.
CRUNCHES WILL NOT MAKE YOUR ABS SHOW. A caloric deficit will.