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Nathan DeMetz Personal Training

Debunking Fitness Myths with Nathan DeMetz

Updated: Jun 26


group of women working out


Sometimes what stops people from working out is that they feel overwhelmed by where to start. For people who have already started they may feel overwhelmed about how to progress.


These frustrations are understandable but stopping is not the key to success. Much like you go to work on a regular basis, you have to put in work for your fitness on a regular basis. And much like work, there may be days where you feel like you are not seeing progress, or like you are regression regressing, but you still need to do the work.


So, let me address some common fitness myths to streamline an understanding that will help you better face these situations.


Myth # 1: You had to do INSERT FITNESS TREND


No, that is not a typo. There is an idea out here that you have to follow a specific approach to fitness. This myth applies to anybody and any goal, whether you are an old man or a young woman trying to lose weight or get fitter.


The fact of the matter is that you do not have to do this one thing that somebody tells you to do or follow a specific trend. For example, some people think you have to run or you have to lift weights or you have to do CrossFit or you have to: insert whatever fitness trend you want to talk about.


This is not true.


All you have to do is put in work that will move you toward your goals. Now if you are not familiar with how to workout then that can be a problem. When thinking in the most simplest way about working out the goal is to get active.


What this means is you can do just about any level of activity to see some kind of progress. Now, just walking all the time at an easy pace is not going to get you to some monumental goal. Whatever your goals are, the activity needs to relate.


For example, if you want to build muscle then you are going to have to engage in resistance training. But, that does not mean you have to engage in a specific type of resistance training. You could engage in power lifting, isolation training (which is also known as bodybuilding), CrossFit with a strong emphasis on the resistance training, gymnastics, calisthenics, kettlebell specific workouts that are focused on resistance, cetera etcetera.


Do not buy into the idea that you have to do something specific, and that if you don't you cannot see progress. Instead, understand that you have to do whatever it is that will allow you to reach your goals, and that typically there are myriad options.


Myth # 2: You have to eat this way


This is probably one of the worst things I have come across in my personal and professional fitness life. There are few things in the fitness world that have been so polarizing in recent decades as people saying you have to eat in a certain way.


It is really easy to pick out some of these trends that people say you have to follow, such as going vegan, or going carnivore, or going paleo, or going whatever is the popular nutrition trend of this time, like putting butter in your coffee.


Most of these approaches have some kind of benefit to them and science to support them. But that does not mean that you have to follow them. There are hundreds, thousands, maybe 10s of thousands of different types of diets or nutritional strategies throughout the world. For each, there are 10s of thousands, 100s of thousands, or millions of people that have seen success with them.


By that logic, there are 10s of thousands, 100s of thousands, or millions of people that have not seen success with them, but instead found success with another plan. The idea is not that you have to eat in a certain way or you'll never see success, but rather that you have to eat in the way that allows you to reach your goals.


If veganism is a good fit for you—whether it is because of the diet strategy itself or because you don't want to hurt animals—then do that. If going paleo is a good fit for you because you feel like it makes you feel healthier and your blood work looks better when you go to the doctor, do that.


Do not get too tied up on the opinions of other people but rather on the nutritional strategy to get your results.


Those are the top two for me, and these are the top two as they are the basis for all forward progress. But let us consider some other fitness myths.


From the mouths of babes


The Internet is rife with wide variety of myths or at least misguided information. By simply typing "fitness myths" into Google you can get millions of results. One of the first ones I came across was an article from the Mayo Clinic titled debunking the top 10 workouts.


Let's think about that one.


Myth 1 on this list is stick solely to cardio for weight loss. Cardio certainly has a place in fitness and and in weight loss as well. But understand that cardio is meant to work the cardiovascular system, not to build strong muscles, and not necessarily to lose weight. It is not the cardio in and of itself that results in weight loss, but rather the extra activity that leads to a caloric deficit.


The short of the long here is if you are still eating like crap while doing a bunch of cardio, you are probably not going to lose weight and probably not going to get healthier by a large margin.


Myth 2 on this list is "lifting heavy weights will bulk me up." This myth may actually be one of the silliest ones and it is perpetuated, in my experience, mostly toward women. The idea is that if a woman lifts weights they are instantly going to get huge.


This is simply not true.


People who are huge, who are bulky, from lifting weights take years to get that weight. They lifted heavy weights repeatedly over time in the presence of a caloric surplus. In order to build muscle, in order to gain weight, you have to eat more than you burn. If you never do this you will never get big or get bulky.


In fact, not only will you not get bulky, you might stay leaner because of it. And what else will happen is your muscles will stay strong now and into retirement age, which will help lead to fewer issues as you grow old.


So, there are a number of other ones on this list from Mayo Clinic, so just take a closer look at it for more myths.


Do not buy into the hype of the Internet, people you know, or influencer you see on social media. Work with a professional, look into the research, and talk with your doctor to get tried and true methods for losing weight and improving your health and fitness.


That combined with quality work put in consistently over time is the only way you are going to reach your goals.

 

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