Fitness industry is full of myths and misconceptions, which often grow out of misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Professional sports and recreational fitness are two very different things but they are closely tied and sometimes the things that are true for athletes can be difficult or even impossible for lay gym goers. So here are a few things you should really stop worrying about unless you want to hit the stage and get a pro card in fitness/bodybuilding.
Fitness Myths Dispelled
For people who aren’t in the theme simple things like macros and splits can be overwhelming and confusing. Some may get confused about whether they need to exclude dairy because many fit people don’t eat it or maybe they should go full on paleo. And then there are these myths.
You Lose Tons of Muscle When You Cut
It seems like whatever you do you’ll lose muscle. Besides the muscle loss occuring with age you also can’t do more than 30 minutes of cardio a day, train longer than 90 minutes a day, do fasted cardio, or eat less than 500 grams of protein each day. Or so they say. In reality what people usually lose when they are trying to shed fat and reveal their muscle definition they’ve been working on for the past six months is mostly water, fat, and glycogen. Muscle loss occurs under the extreme conditions. So if you’re exercising and eating with reasonable restrictions you’ll be fine. Unless you are training for a real marathon (42k) you can do as much cardio as you like. Or none at all if it works for you.
Cardio Hinders Muscle Gain
Cardio has gotten a weird rap. It’s kinda good for your heart but it’s bad for your gains. In fact all of those studies that find runners experience muscle loss and heart issues were done on runners. On athletes who run long distances for long periods of time. A lay gym goer will benefit from doing cardio. In fact it will increase their fitness level and will help burn fat faster. Cardio can too in fact build muscle. Honestly look at professional athletes who do various sports and say they don’t have muscle. It’s just more functional.
Closing an anabolic window till recently was considered a must. Now there’s research showing that as long as your protein intake is adequate to your activity level muscle building will occur and the timing is not important. You can still drink a shake after your workout if it’s convenient but you don’t have to.
Squats Build Butts
Squats are great for building legs. This knee-dominant exercise works quadriceps like no other and also involves hamstrings, glutes, and calves. That is why many women who try to build that coveted butt are baffled when their quads are growing instead of their rears. Some of them don’t even feel their glutes working during an exercise at all or as much. And yet still many people zelously believe that nothing but squats will build or have built them a butt. While squats are great for overall workout and muscle building it’s important to throw in some other exercises to make sure your movement is targeting the glute muscles.
You Have to Wear Belt
You don’t have to wear a lifting belt unless you are competing. That’s it. You don’t need it. It may prevent you from learning the right technique by providing a false sense of security and support, leave your core and back weak, and increase intra-abdominal pressure, which poses certain health risks in people with heart conditions and back problems.
And if you still think that lifting weights will make you look bulky, well, it’s not as easy as you think regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman. First of all, women’s physiology isn’t designed to carry as much muscle as men’s, second, you most probably won’t be training as a professional and third, if you don’t go for chemical enhancements you will not look bulky and if you train up to a certain point you can always stop increasing weights and just maintain whatever results you are happy with.