Health & Fitness Myths Discussed Part 2

Back in March I discussed some common mythical topics you hear both inside and outside the gym.These topics were.

-Muscle weighs more than fat! 

-Don’t eat after 6! 

-You need to do situps to get a flat stomach! 

-If women lift weights they will bulk up 

Here’s the link in case you missed it.

Health & Fitness Myths Discussed

In today’s blog I’ll cover a few more myths that you may come across in the industry.

– You need to spend over an hour weight training to get results and bigger muscles!

I often hear guys boasting of their 2 hour big sessions and their 10 or so sets of heavy weight on the bench press. The truth is a 45 minute – 60 minute training session is more than enough time for an effective session whilst giving your body a chance to recover and grow afterwards. By putting your body through too much stress over 2 hours you increase your recovery time, which can interrupt muscle growth. It can also mean your sessions are limited by your constant state of soreness and inability to create enough tension to promote muscle growth. In simple keep your sessions to an hour tops, pick effective exercises and maintain a controlled tempo during each movement through the whole movements (Concentric and Eccentric).

– No pain No gain

A controversial statement and one of the most popular gym memes you’ll hear out there. For me I’m not a massive fan of this and never say this to a client. The key is to differentiate between pain and muscle/cardiovascular fatigue when training. If an exercise actually hurts to perform then something isn’t right. For example if my knees hurt when I squat then I either need to look at my technique or see if I am carrying an injury or a tight muscle.  Muscle fatigue is expected during training in addition to the lactic acid build up feeling, however it’s important that you know the difference. If an exercise is causing you too much pain and even though your form is good, then stop immediately. Likewise if you’re constantly feeling sore or in pain afte each workout then they are signs that you need to adapt your lifestyle to avoid long term injuries.

Carbs are bad for you!

When discussing food with a lot of individuals at the gym, the general consensus is that carbs are bad for us and are cause for weight management problems. The truth is is that we need a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats in our lifestyle no matter what our goal. On rare occasions when cutting for a bodybuilding competition then your carb requirement be very minimal but that’s an extreme situation. 

Carbohydrates are one of the 3 main macronutrients that give our body’s energy.

They can be classified as:

Complex (longer chain): Energy is released slower over a period of time (brown rice, bread, oats, sweet potatoes).

Simple (Short chain): These foods are broken down quickly releasing energy fast to the body (fruit, sports drinks, sugar, confectionery)

Fibrous: These foods are mainly plant based and contain more fibre (Green vegetables). Some complex carbs can be in this bracket too.

Carbs generally get their bad name due to their effect on elevated blood sugar levels leading to fat storage. Whenever we eat carbs insulin is released from the pancreas causing our blood sugar levels to spike. Depending on what type of carbs and how often we have them will dictate how much our blood sugar levels are spiked. The higher and more regular your blood sugar levels stay the more likely you are to store bodyfat.

Complex carbs: Gradual spike and drop in blood sugar levels.

Simple carbs: A quick spike and fast,big drop in blood sugar levels.

Fibrous carbs: Like complex carbs a gradual spike and drop in blood sugar levels, depending on the source.

With the above explanation of carbs we should now understand that they are not bad. Benefits of including a balance level of carbs are:

– Quick release of energy when necessary 

– A good source of our daily fibre, which aids digestion

– A good source of slower release energy.

Depending on age, activity level, gender and body type this can also dictate levels and types of different carbs recommend for an individual but that’s another conversation for a different day!

 The Truth About Carbohydrates: Dispelling The Myths! – Herve Duche

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