Take any discipline in the world and you’ll have a lot of opinions and ideas about it. Different people have different ideas when it comes to different topics. Two disciplines in particular, nutrition and training are such that each and every individual in this world have different and conflicting views about them. In fact, it is so bad that every other individual’s opinion is taken as fact, and science and facts are often discarded as boring.
Let’s face it, we have all grown up hearing a variety of fitness and nutrition “advice” from different sources in our lives, mostly gym bros and people who actually have no knowledge about either fitness or nutrition; and most of those tips are inaccurate. So, to clear some misconceptions, I have put together a list of tips we need to unlearn starting off in 2019.
1) You Have To Be A Gym Rat
No, you don’t have to go to the gym 6 days a week, 2 hours a day to build a good looking physique. 3-4 days a week with adequate volume and frequency for each muscle group is good enough to build a drool-worthy physique. What builds muscle is progressive overload aka lifting more than what you used to, which in turn means getting stronger in the gym. You can work out 3-4-5-6 and get stronger with time. The amount of time or the number of days a week you spend in the gym is irrelevant if you cannot induce progressive overload.
2) Clean Eating To Lose Fat
No, what dictates fat gain or loss is calories. When you are trying to lose body fat, how much you eat always supersedes what you eat. Having said that you should have a balanced diet comprising 80% of whole natural food sources and the rest of the 20% calories can come from foods that you like to relish like junk or fried food, ice cream etc, given that you are within your caloric limit and your macros in place.
3) Carbs Are Bad
No, carbs are not only not bad, they are good and are necessary, especially if you are interested in athletic performance aka getting fit. Carbohydrates, being the primary and preferred source of energy for your body, help you train more explosively as compared to fat. Complex carbs such as beans and legumes are very good sources of protein and fiber especially for vegetarians. Coming to the myth about gaining weight from carbs, you gain weight if you eat in a caloric surplus, that is, eating more food than what your body needs to maintain its weight, not because of a macronutrient.
4) Food Timings
What makes you store fat is eating more food than what your body needs to maintain its weight. In other words, eating in a caloric surplus. Each and everything you eat has calories in it (except water). Calories are the measuring unit for energy provided by the food you eat. Now, the amount of energy provided by any food is not going to change if you eat that food at a certain time. A calorie is a calorie and it will give you the same amount of energy no matter when you eat it and the only time you get fat is the when you intake more energy(food) than you need to sustain your day to day exercise and activities.
5) Muscle Confusion
Your muscles are not that stupid that they will get confused so easily, your gym trainer on the other hand, most certainly is. Moreover, the muscle confusion does not build muscle, progress overload aka getting stronger in the gym does. No matter how many variations you keep changing week in week out in the hopes of confusing your muscles to build more muscle, it won’t make any difference. It can detrimental though as this practice does let you let practice a particular lift for a long time which in turn will be detrimental when it comes to gaining strength i.e. getting stronger which is what you need to lift more weight to build more muscle. Remember, strength is a skill which you acquire by practicing which you won’t achieve by changing your exercise variations every 4-6 weeks.
Nav Dhillon is an online coach with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company that helps people with fitness goals right from losing weight to competing in bodybuilding shows. He has coached individuals from all forms of life, right from people looking to get in shape in general to national level bodybuilding and physique athletes. You can reach Nav on firstname.lastname@example.org or his Instagram handle if you are looking for professional help with your fitness goals.
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