Top 3 Fitness Myths Busted!

It is almost the end of the year 2018. It is best to reflect what did you achieve this year and think of a new goal for the year 2019!  Do you know the number one goal or resolution every year is to “Improve my Health”?  You may want to lose weight, go to the gym more often, and eat healthier. More and more people realise the importance of being healthy. The young and old people alike are now focused on health and fitness more than ever before!

Modern Vision Team. Fitness
Let`s be fit for the year 2019!

If getting fit is going to be your New Year’s goal for 2019, GREAT!! You should start now! Write it down on paper and focus on your fitness goal. You can find out more on goal setting here. It is about discipline and consistency every single day. However, there are myths about fitness out there. Especially, when we have access to the internet anytime and anywhere with no filter. Therefore, it’s important to know the truth from a reliable source. I am going to share the top three myth and the truth!

1. Myth: You can reduce fat in one area of your body.

The first myth is the fat reduction in one area of your body. The typical questions most people may ask, ”How can I reduce the size of my stomach?”, How can I reduce the size of my thigh?”, “How can I reduce my arm size?” and the list goes on. There is no such thing as fat spot reduction because it is just a myth.

THE TRUTH: First of all, no matter how many sit up you do, someone with 30% body fat will never have visible abs like someone with 5% body fat.  This is due to the body fat percentage. You need to reduce your body fat percentage to make your abs visible. When your body develops fat, they are not producing more fat cells. Instead, the existing fat cells are storing more lipids and becoming larger which contribute to your fat percentage. Where your body stores fat, depends on multiple factors. The factors due to gender, hormones, genetics, and insulin sensitivity. It all depends on how your complex body system responds to your lifestyle.

Fat reduction happens in the overall of your body. It depends on your genes, one part of your body may reduce faster than the other. What must you do to lose fat? It is a mix of food management specifically on calories deficit, cardiovascular exercise and strength exercise.

To simplify, reduce your usual food portion and replace your process food with high-quality natural food. Do not drink drinks that have calories. To add on, you need to invest some time to exercise by including cardiovascular and strength exercise with the right intensity. I would suggest more than three workout days in one week. You need to be consistent and patient to achieve the desired result.

fatloss journey through spartan race fitness is life
My Fatloss Journey from 98kg to 85kg.

2. Myth: You will get big from lifting weights.

The second most common myth is you will get big from lifting weights. Most women and even men believe that lifting weight leads to massive muscle gains resulting in a large body-builder physique like Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have to say it is not that easy and not true because it require significant amout of lifestyle and dietary change.

THE TRUTH: This is how the misconception born. We can categorise people`s fitness goal into two groups. There are general fitness and specific fitness.  General fitness is a group of people who have the general fitness goal such as to lose weight, to move well and to be pain-free. Fundamentally, they want to be healthy fit, look good and feel good. They need to invest 3 to 4 days of exercise within a week and on average 1 hour per day. Probably, they are people who have a day job or even working in shift. You could be one of them.

Now let’s talk about the specific fitness. They are the group of people to compete in a specific sport to perform and to win! They are elite athletes. They need to commit 5 to 7 days a week of training because they need to get better every day for the specific movement. They call it a training session, not an exercise session. There is a difference. Most of the time, they need to engage 2 to 3 hours of training, and sometimes it can be two sessions of training in a day: one in the morning and the other in the evening.

Arnold Schwarzenegger `s specific sport is body-building, Serena William plays professional tennis player, Usain Bolt is an Olympic sprinter, and Tia-Clair Toomey is a cross-fit athlete.  You need to train and eat like them to be as big, strong and fast like them.

Social media is the cause of this misconception. It has no filter. The media loves to showcase these elite athletes rather than an average people who have a general fitness goal. Why? It’s just because it is impressive and fancy! Once you saw a picture posted in the internet Arnold Schwarzenegger squatting over 200kg, a misconception of “You will get big from lifting weights” was born.

The media do not show an office worker doing a bodyweight squat in the gym. Once, again if you are doing general fitness, you will not get big like him. For the ladies, they are not built to bulk up, so it requires even more concentrated effort and dietary changes for a female who lifts weight to start seeing progress.

On the positive note, investing 1 to 2 hours of lifting in your weekly schedule will give you an enormous benefit. It helps to build your strength, bone density and help to boost your metabolism. Have a look here on the 5 Benefits of Strength Training.

3. Myth: All elite athletes are healthy!

The third myth is probably one of the most controversial myths. We live in a world where we love to see looking good with being healthy.  Wow! He or she has six pack abs. They must be healthy! Someone is muscular. They must be healthy! They are strong! They must be healthy. Unfortunately, NOT ALL elite athletes are healthy.

THE TRUTH:  Healthy is a state of complete physical, mental and free from disease or pain. In other words, you feel good, energised, no pain and no disease. One of the key element is what in your blood. Your blood will define if you are healthy or not. Let us look at an elite athlete. What do they do?  Athletes need to perform to compete because they want to win in a specific sport. Athlete put additional stress or load on the body because they need to move faster, stronger, and longer.  Most of the time, they will go beyond their body limits pushing through pain. Hence, they are losing the balance between being healthy and performance. Some of them may even push through pain and injury to perform.

Let look at some examples, elite powerlifter and strongman. They are strong! Very strong! However, they are mostly big and really big. Yes, they can squat over 400kg, with the body weight over 120kg. You can look at Ray Williams and Eddie Hall. Bodybuilders are often on a very very strict diet like Kai Greene and Ronnie Coleman. Removing carbohydrate and dehydrating their body up to below 3% body fat is not healthy for the long term. The 3% body fat is basically whatever fat left to protecting your internal organ. 

They need to return to their off-season weight after the competition is over. Same goes in any other sports. They may experience injury which we may not know off, and at one point some athlete may take enhancement drug to push their body to perform. Is it healthy for the long term?

To be clear, I am not saying these elite athletes are bad. It is just the statement of “All elite athletes are healthy!” is just a myth. I have nothing but respect their dedication and commitment to prepping their body to compete. I am a competitive Powerlifter myself. The process is tough as I need to learn to push my body to my limits and work on recovery at the same time. 

Powerlifting Meet Competition. The heavy squat
Competing in the IPF Powerlifting Meet 2018

That is all for the top three fitness myth and the truth is given as well. Some people still believe some of these myths. It will affect the quality of your fitness goal because it may set the wrong expectation.  Hence, the best thing to do is to seek professional help and advice from certified health and fitness practitioner.

Let me end this post by asking you, what is your fitness goal for the year 2019?  Feel free to comment below.

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