With any industry there is always people trying to sell you snake oil. The fitness industry is no different. A lot of people are trying to scam you into buying supplements, buying their workouts or buying their “breakthrough” fitness equipment. They are preying on your insecurities and lack of knowledge.
Thankfully for me, people are tired of getting jerked around by the fitness industry. So instead of buying that workout program from some actor with muscles you saw at 2 in the morning, you’re coming to places like Nerd Fitness and Aesthetic Physiques for your information. You smart S.O.B.’s you.
I fell prey to the industry for a while. I’d buy fat burners, supplements I didn’t need and tried every way to “optimize” my diet. Of course none of this worked. I just wasted time and money. But, I was in my twenties and money grew on trees, right?
YOU NEED TO CARB UP BEFORE A WORKOUT
Saying you need to have carbs before a workout is like saying you need to smoke weed to be creative. It might be helpful, but chances are you’d be fine on your own. For intense exercise (Crossfit WODS, obstacles course races or an entire HIIT workout) your body uses carbs for energy. But, if you are just lifting weights the main fuel source is fat. The topic of which fuel sources your body uses and when could be a whole post on its own.
To simplify things, follow Charles Poliquin’s advice – earn your carbs.
YOU NEED CARBS IN GENERAL
There are no such thing as essential carbs despite how you feel about pasta. There are essential amino acids and there are essential fats which are required for your body to function. Carbs are used for bursts of energy, like sprinting or playing basketball.
I know you tried to go low carb for 2 days and you were cranky and exhausted the entire time but your body is smarter than to have one source of energy for your brain.
When you lower carbs you get more efficient at using the glucose you have and you become insulin sensitive. If you get really low, your brain uses ketones for energy – like in a ketogenic diet. Long story short; you don’t need carbs. See Charles’ advice above.
The only carbs you really need on a daily basis are vegetables.
PROTEIN AT NIGHT
Let me preface this one. I have nothing against casein or protein – I love them both. I do have a problem with saying you need protein before you go to bed so buy my product.
If you take a step back and look at your entire day and the surplus of protein you are consuming rather than the tiny window right before bed, you’ll understand my point. You are, or at least should be, constantly eating and digesting protein throughout the day. So the protein you eat at noon will generally hit your blood stream and muscles a few hours later along with all the residual amino acids you still have floating around. As long as you ingest more protein that you need in the course of the day, you’ll always be in an anabolic (muscle building) state.
THIS IS THE BEST WORKOUT OR DIET
There is no universal diet or workout that will work for everyone. We are all unique and special just like our moms told us when we were kids. But I’ll let you in on a secret, the best diet is the diet you’ll stick with. The same goes for workouts.
Don’t like bodybuilding? Then try one of the 900 different boutique fitness business’ popping up every 10 minutes.
Can’t do a low carb diet? Then try IIFYM. That’s the great thing about the internet, there are endless options you never thought of. Find something that you would enjoy and go with it.
Or go with the tried and true method of just making better choices. Instead of getting a candy bar at a gas station filled with empty calories and regret, opt for beef jerky. It’s low carb, high protein and you look like a savage ripping into a piece.
DIET DOESN’T MATTER
Whenever someone asks me to help them lose weight I hear the same thing. I just need a workout, I’m all set with diet. This is like saying I’m going to buy this $300k Lamborghini, drive it hard and put cheap gas in it.
Losing weight doesn’t need a workout plan. Simply choosing better foods and limiting the crap will get you 80% of the results without even picking up a weight. I know because my dad lost 40 pounds and the closest he’s gotten to a workout is when he drives by a gym.
The other way around will just get you stronger with the same layer of blubber over your hard work. You can’t outwork a crappy diet.
YOU NEED TO EAT EVERY 3-4 HOURS
I was aboard this bro-science train for way too long. If you are eating small meals, then yes in 3-4 hours you should be eating again. However, if your portions are big enough there is no need. As long as you can eat enough calories for your goal it doesn’t matter if it comes in 6 meals or 2 meals. Check out Intermittent fasting if you are interested in just eating 2 meals.
It all comes down to what works for you. I know I can’t eat really large meals; my stomach just can’t handle it and I get sleepy. I stick to the smaller meals more frequently. Experiment both ways and see which one works for you.
THIS PILL WILL MAKE YOU LOSE WEIGHT
There is no pill/supplement that will take the hard work of losing weight. If there was, that person would have Bill Gates money in between his couch cushions.
I don’t care what the people peddling supplements tell you about this study or the research, there is nothing that makes losing weight any easier than a good old fashion clean eating.
Supplement are additives to an already existing working diet. Taking a supplement to lose fat while not eating clean is like trying to drain the ocean one cup at a time. Rather than trying to take a something that is “promised” to help you lose fat, try redirecting that energy into making better decisions about what you eat.
Sometimes the person reading the research puts their own interpretation on things. For instance, the study that showed sitting is the worst thing since Ebola was not entirely portrayed as intended. The researcher’s intent wasn’t for us to stand all day. He wanted people to move more. Since you can easily manufacture standing desks the results became everyone needs to stand at work.
I was hooked on this bandwagon for a long time. Too long if you ask me. That was until I looked at the ingredients. In looking at the ingredients of different preworkouts, there were anywhere from 12-15 different stimulants besides caffeine. I’m lucky my nervous system still functions.
I know the lifting community is built on the hardcore mindset but 12-15 stimulants?!? If you need a kick in the pants before the gym – drink a cup or 2 of black coffee. At least you can get some health benefits from the coffee. If you need more than that you should really take a look at solving other problems in your life, like sleep or diet.
WOMEN SHOULD ONLY LIFT PINK WEIGHTS
This one enrages me more than anything. I want to go full-on Hulk Smash when I hear this. Not wanting to lift heavy weights for fear of “looking like a man” is essentially spitting in the face of every man that lifted weights. Unless you are supplementing on the side and purposely lifting to gain man-like features you’ll be OK. I promise. If you are really worried about this, then I would advise turning in your license because you will probably become a NASCAR driver.
Yes, there are some women that take it to the n-th degree and get muscles that would make men jealous, but it’s how she goes about lifting that does that. If you don’t want to get bulky, then don’t train to get bulky. Strength does not directly correlate to size.
Lifting heavy weights will not bulk you up like a powerlifter. Eating like a powerlifter will make you look like a powerlifter. The health benefits of lifting heavy weights for women are ridiculous; especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis. But maybe you want to succumb to brittle bones in your 60’s.
YOU NEED THIS SPECIALIZED EQUIPMENT TO GET JACKED
The Shake Weight really? How does defiling an elephant help you get jacked? How is it strengthening muscles not in your arms? Yeah it’s great having a defined set of guns but not when it’s coupled with a beer gut.
The old fashion way of lifting heavy objects is the only way to get jacked 100% of the time. The only down side for business is you can’t sell a work ethic.
What are some fitness things you’d like to see gone?
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