#1. “I CAN’T LIFT WEIGHTS, I’LL GET BULKY!”
The number one objection women give to opting for cardio over weights is an irrational fear they will somehow miraculously get instantly “bulky.”
It takes years of training and dedication to develop an impressive physique.
Women have 10% of the amount of testosterone that men do. Testosterone is the primary muscle building hormone, so women are going to struggle to naturally gain large amounts of muscle mass. Plus, building muscle requires a calorie SURPLUS – so if you aren’t consistently eating enough you won’t be able to gain muscle.
Lifting weights gives you CURVES.
Endless cardio or endurance training leads to loss of fat AND muscle tissue. In effect, you lower your metabolic rate while losing muscle mass. You might be skinny and weigh less, but you’re increased your body fat percentage!
Welcome to the realms of skinny fat – an imbalance of muscle and fat levels, where you look slim but lack any definition, as you have lost BOTH fat and muscle. It’s also another delightful term the fitness industry has coined to make you feel guilty about your body. But don’t worry I’m sure they also have something they can sell you for that!
#2. YOU CAN SPOT REDUCE FAT! OR TARGET PARTICULAR “FLABBY BITS”!
> Sit ups won’t reduce belly fat!
> Side bends won’t get rid of love handles!
You cannot simply target these particular areas. No amount of crunches in the world is going to get you a six-pack if you are covering it up with a layer of body fat. Likewise all the side bends, and oblique exercise variations you can find will not get rid of your love handles.
Your body is genetically predisposed to store fat in certain locations in a certain order. So, when you start to lose weight, you’ll lose fat in a certain order as well – that might be on your legs first, then your arms, then your stomach. The order depends on your genetic makeup as well as your gender!
No amount of crunches is going to get you that six-pack, because targeted exercises will not reduce fat in that particular area. What will affect fat is your diet. The old adage that abs are made in the kitchen does hold a lot of truth, as diet and calories in is going to be one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to fat loss.
So get rid of the tummy wraps and the ab crunch machines. Combine a better diet with big compound movements rather than small targeted exercises. You will recruit far more muscle to perform those actions, creating more stress upon the body, and requiring more calories to be burned during and after exercise.
#3. YOU HAVE TO DO CARDIO TO LOSE WEIGHT
Ultimately, weight loss is dependent on being in a calorie deficit. It all comes down to energy balance – when we consume more calories than we expend we will gain weight, and when we expend more calories than we take in we will lose weight.
That’s it. No magic or perfect workout formula.
And yet, so many people respond to this with: “yep, I already know that. That’s what I’ve been doing. So what’s the real secret?”
The real secret is you haven’t been doing it. You might “know” or “understand” the principle, but you are not consistently implementing it. And the key to all knowledge is implementation.
What you need to do is find a way to create a deficit that works for you. Maybe you enjoy yoga, Hiit classes, weight training. But maybe you don’t. Maybe you prefer tennis or basketball. Working out doesn’t need to be punishment. You don’t need to slog away on the treadmill for hours every week. In fact, it can often be taking you further away from your goals – combining excessive bouts of cardio with starvation diets only increases metabolic damage.
Fix your diet. Actually implement a moderate calorie deficit, and use exercise you enjoy to help supplement that deficit and you’ll be on your way to sustainable weight loss.
Now, if you do add strength or some form of resistance training to that, you’ll be breaking your muscles down in your workout. Then your body will be building those muscle fibres back up over the next 24-48 hours. The EPOC – or afterburn effect, means your metabolism has to work harder to restore its natural balance, so you’ll be burning more calories for longer post workout, making resistance training a far more effective fat burning workout.
# 4. ONE PLAN WORKS FOR EVERYONE
One of the biggest problems with fitness marketing is not just that it promises unrealistic results, but that it promises THE SAME results for everyone. They take no account for genetic predisposition, past training, diet history, preferences or current environment.
We don’t set meal plans, because we don’t know what you like. And if you don’t enjoy something, you’ll never stick to it.
So don’t waste your time thinking “will this plan get me all the results other plans didn’t?” Ask your self, “can I stick to it, will I enjoy it, and will it fit my lifestyle?”
The biggest determining factor to whether a chosen program works is ADHERANCE. It’s CONSISTENCY THAT COUNTS. Training choice like diet is dependent on personal preference, but if you can consistently follow a program or routine through, you will see progression and results.
# 5. MEN AND WOMEN NEED TO TRAIN DIFFERENTLY
You see many gyms split into the male-dominated weights area and the female-friendly cardio machine area. When, in fact, there is no reason they can’t train the same.
High rep/Light weight dumbbell circuits are only going to build muscular endurance. They won’t build more muscle; they won’t get you a defined or strong look. But they will help you stay looking “skinny fat.”
Thanks to genetic and hormonal differences, men and women can both lift heavy with big compound movements and achieve drastically different results.
Men – if you add in a calorie surplus and progressive overload, you’ll gain muscle mass.
Women – if you lift heavy, you’ll get curves and muscular definition. You won’t be bulky, you’ll be bad ass, while burning fat for far longer.
# 6. A WEIGHT LOSS DIET MEANS LOWER AND LOWER CALORIES
Many people still believe a weight loss diet means surviving on lettuce and dust alone. They believe eating less, then eating less, then eating nothing, is what will make them lose weight.
Unfortunately, this prevalent attitude is what leads most people to rebound/fall off the wagon/get stressed out and binge eat. They force themselves into such an extreme deficit that the stress builds up and they eventually crack, and super overcompensate with binge eating. This leads them to feel de-motivated, drives down self-worth and makes it even harder to even want to think about starting a diet again.
All we create for ourselves is a negative emotional relationship with food, another principle promoted and reinforced by slimming clubs who treat diets as gamification, and award certain foods points or label them “sins.”
Welcome to a negative habit loop. This kind of cycle of continual yo-yo dieting leaves people driving their metabolisms lower and lower, adapting their metabolism to survive on less, forcing their energy levels down as a result, and effectively teaching their bodies that food is scarce, so when they do inevitably binge, their bodies are predetermined to store those extra calories.
Any diet can work for a small amount of time – the problem comes when you stop that diet, since without changing your habits, not only are you going to put back on the weight you lost, but you will gain more, which also means you have to work harder to just get back to where you first started. So many people have starved themselves for so long with fewer and fewer results, that they have become stuck in these negative habit loops. When what they need is the knowledge and support to implement lasting change.
So there’s six popular training and diet myths debunked!
Remember, marketing is just that, there is no quick fix or secret. There is no hack or shortcut to your body composition goals. What there is – is dedication and consistency. The aim needs to be lasting change not a quick fix then a rebound. Knowledge and support are always going to be your best tools. Always question how a program or product fits with your lifestyle and previous training and diet history.
If you want help and advice with training, diet and metabolism get in touch. Our nutrition programs help address metabolic damage, and work to create sustainable healthy eating habits so you never have to struggle with negative emotional attachments to food or feel guilty.