p: In our previous post we spoke about how to start training, now let’s talk about the common myths we learnt on our fitness journeys. A quick summary by a fitness YouTuber on training, Soheefit, that we both admire.
SPOT REDUCTION IS REAL
P: Hands up if you thought this was real. No judgment. I learnt it on my journey as well. During my initial days scrolling through youtube, I came across video titles, “lose hip fat in 10 days,” “burn your waist in 15 minutes”, “abs in 10 minutes.” I must admit, I fell for it & did the workouts as well. Only much later did we realise how harmful it was to our mind & body.
If you have been following our blog series for a while you would know we are a fan of Justina Ercole,a NASM certified fitness trainer & influencer from the US. Her latest youtube video is titled, “Fitness Yotubers are lying to you”. In that, I quote her saying,
“We are so used to living in a world where everything is fast-paced, that we no longer have patience for such a process:”
So if someone as experienced as her, fell for that gimmick, well then it’s high time we realise that these are after all marketing gimmicks. When we fall into the trap of wanting an outcome, titles like the ones I mentioned above will lure us in. Remember that all these people care about is getting your attention – not about your physical and mental health!
You’ll get abs by WORKING OUT WITH SO& SO..
p: I found busting this myth was the most powerful one. We associate so much of our time and energy with this particular body part. So much so that we might even neglect other parts just to train this in the hope to get “abs”.
I fell prey to this, in my defence, I didn’t know better, whatever information I consumed was done blindly. Over the past year, I have learnt from many fitness influencers online that anyone claiming to have a certain pill to get you abs in 30 days is lying to your face.
We all have abs, we just need to shred the icing on top! It’s a combination of factors such as workout programs, your diet, your body fat percentage, genes etc. To make the journey more enjoyable, and realistic since we have no control over where we lose fat from, a healthier perspective would be to look at overall fat loss, toning each muscle. That’s why it’s great to work full body and add abs as well!
k: After following several certified fitness professionals, I’ve actually learned that they don’t give ‘abs’ as much importance as you’d think. The most effective way to train your core and make it stronger (which is important for your entire body, by the way) is to perform compound movements in addition to your existing programming.
Only cardio exercises help you reduce body fat
k: While it is true that cardiovascular exercises raise your heart rate more than other kinds of movement, and this, in turn, leads to greater calories being burned, this does not mean that your routine should only include cardio. Yes, cardio is extremely important, but you also need to incorporate other forms of training like doing weighted exercises to ensure that your body is being trained holistically and your metabolism doesn’t suffer from overtraining.
P: Muscles help burn body fat, the more muscle you have, the higher the metabolism. So dearie, when you hear someone say this, be proud of your knowledge and willingness to learn on the journey.
Doing a certain exercise will make you lose weight
k: Let me just start this one by saying that losing weight is not always everyone’s goal (if you put on significant muscle mass your scale weight might even go up), and framing it in terms of body fat loss is more conducive to consistency.
If there is one thing you need to know about reducing body fat, it is this: there is only one way to do it, and that is when you burn more calories than you consume. No running on the treadmill like crazy to burn 500 calories or drinking detox teas, just plain and simple physics.
There are many different ways of being in a calorie deficit – this can be increasing your daily activity (including adding ANY FORM of exercise to your routine), changing up your nutrition, or a combination of both – which is usually what works best for people in the long term.
.Recovery is optional
P: That’s how I felt when I initially started working out. I had no concept of warm-ups or cooldowns. I would just hop in and hop off the mat. As my workout progressed I moved to including stretching as a form of recovery. That’s when I found my current online personal trainer Sydney Cummings, she has over 157 stretches on her youtube channel that is absolutely free. She only asks you to give your time & effort while working out with her.
k: When I started incorporating stretching into my routine, I thought her 20-minute stretches were too long, but it was magical and my body craved more. From here, I learnt recovery is as important as your workout.
As someone who hates sitting still, training my mind to look forward to recovery was difficult. My body was craving it, but there was a huge mental block. It was only after I suffered the consequences (namely, soreness that just wouldn’t go away), that I realised that not paying attention to stretching and recovery was setting me back.
WOMEN SHOULDN’T USE HEAVIER WEIGHTS
k: The patriarchy and the norms it lays out for how women should look and behave are so deeply embedded in our lives, so it’s only natural that they make an appearance when it comes to fitness too. Women have historically been discouraged from lifting heavy weights because ‘it might make them bulky’. Firstly, if it was that easy to become bulky, professional bodybuilders wouldn’t be spending all of that time in the gym. Secondly, there’s really nothing wrong with being big and muscular – it is a testament to your strength and effort! Strength training has massive benefits for women and eschewing it by buying into myths like this only do you a disservice.
p: I have come across some women on youtube that propagates the myth that women shouldn’t be lifting heavyweights. In two lines -Women dont have testosterone to become big & bulky. It’s literally not in our genes. So ladies pick up whatever you like!
You have to cut out certain food groups to be healthy
P: I think this is so important from the standpoint that to get a great workout in you must put in as much. So dont eat less, eat more good food. Eat your greens, your lean proteins (eggs, meat, poultry), keep hydrating. Our bodies need carbs for energy and fats helps store that energy. Eating a balanced diet is most essential.
I have heard in a podcast from Kinetic living that people would stop eating carbs after 6 pm. When we negate adding carbs or fats in our diet, we are missing out on all the macro & micronutrients it provides such as vitamins & minerals. Food fuels your body, and make sure you add foods to your diet that make you feel good!
k: You do not have to track or count your calories to achieve your goals. This method might work for some people, but it is definitely not mandatory. The Delhi Girl and I both practice something called intuitive eating, where we strike a balance between nutritionally dense foods and foods that might be considered as ‘indulgent’. It’s all about eating mindfully and not restricting yourself in any way!
Do let me know in the comments if you have heard any of the above options and what are your thoughts. I’d honestly love to hear them. and if you have anything new, do drop that as well.
IN THE NEXT POST WE WILL TALK ABOUT HOW WE CAN REACH OUR GOALS WHILE DEVELOPING A POSITIVE SELF TALK!
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