I hope everyone reads the article below. In the 20 plus years I’ve been a trainer, the myth I’m most tired of busting is that exercise has to be a minimum of 150 minutes a week. It does not. It just has to be meaningful, it just has to be smart. And it doesn’t have to be so intense that you barely survive the bout of exercise. It just has to be intense enough to produce an adaptation between this and the next session.
While I’m at it, let me bust a few more myths:
- No, it is not a good idea to “train like an athlete.” Athletes often make very unhealthy choices in the pursuit of their sport*. It’s not unheard of for an athlete to drop dead on the field. They understand that they are SACRIFICING their bodies to achieve some athletic goal. If you are not an athlete — STOP TRAINING LIKE ONE. I’m talking to you, cross-fitters. (*Remember the story of my former trainer Cherie who fractured her femur at mile 17 but went on to finish the marathon?)
- If you have a normal exercise routine that you have been committed to for a while, and you’re proud to be able to do it, you are no longer exercising. A body needs a challenge to change — or even stay the same.
- You are not burning that many calories on your treadmill. Treadmill and bike manufacturers super-inflate those numbers so you’ll buy the damn machine or pay a gym to use them. Don’t be fooled.
- Technically there’s no such thing as a “fat burning” exercise.
- If you want to become smaller, you have to shut your pie-hole. Seriously that’s the way to do it. I sell exercise for a living so it behooves me to lie to you and tell you I can get you into a size 6 for that wedding in three weeks if you only train with me. Alas, just put down that doughnut.
- Guys, if you don’t have the genetics, you’re not going to look like Arnold no matter how much you exercise or how much protein you gulp down. You can get bigger and stronger, just know that not all bodies have the same potential for hypertrophy.
- If you are doing an hour of high intensity training, you’re not doing high intensity training.
- Yes you can — and should — do weight resistance training if you are weak, recovering from an injury, have arthritis, etc.
- Weakness is a temporary state. (“I have weak wrists so I can’t do pushups” is not something you should say in my presence, and all such negative statements are to be followed with the term “yet”).
- Ladies: unless you’re born that way, it is really remote that you will “bulk up” from lifting weights. You should lift weights. Do it for your body, do it for your strength, do it for your mind, do it for your soul, do it for your confidence, do it for your sense self — just do it .
- There’s no such thing as spot reduction. If you want to lose that belly fat, do an intense set of well performed squats to failure. Sit-ups, which target a relatively small-ish muscle group, do not have the metabolic pow of a hamstring-glute-quads exercise.
- Wine is good for you (see below) but not when drunk in excess. I’m talking to you, New Orleans.
- There’s no such thing as a “healthy” diet. Whenever someone says “I don’t diet, I just try to eat healthy,” I charge them a dollar. What does that even mean? “Healthy” is a relative term, it only has meaning in comparison. So pizza is perhaps healthier than hamburger which is healthier than that doughnut you still have in your hand. Pizza parlor pizza with fresh organic ingredients might be a healthier choice than Totinos, but not if you’re gluten intolerant or are need to restrict calories. Because no diet — no matter what — is “healthy” if you are overeating.
- Which diet you choose is not really important. Compliance is.
- No diet will work if you cheat.
Of all these myths (too many more to list out here) the greatest of them is that exercise needs to be done in volumes in order to be effective. Please don’t let that stop you from starting on your exercise adventure because it’s not true.
- Date: April 5, 2016
- Source: Elsevier
“One of the greatest myths perpetuated within physical activity promotion, the exercise sciences, and exercise medicine is the belief that you need to engage in a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity to obtain health benefits,” explained Darren E.R. Warburton, PhD, and Shannon S. Bredin, PhD, MSc, of the Cardiovascular Physiology and Rehabilitation Laboratory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. “However, the preponderance of evidence simply does not support this contention. There is compelling evidence that health benefits can be accrued at a lower volume and/or intensity of physical activity. These health benefits are seen in both healthy and clinical populations.”