Today we are wading into the wide world of fitness industry bullshit to bust more fitness and nutrition myths like: you have to “lose weight” before you start lifting, don’t ever eat more than 40 grams of protein, and core and cardio workouts are useless… pheeeeeew. Those are some steamers, let’s roll.

YOU HAVE TO “LOSE WEIGHT” BEFORE YOU START LIFTING

  1. We’ve been told for a really long time that you should focus on shedding fat before building muscle, so much so that people actually still believe that to be true, even though stacks of research say otherwise. What’s their logic behind this statement?
    • Gaining more fat is a “slippery slope,” they say that gaining muscle without gaining fat is “very difficult” and that if you aren’t counting calories while doing all of this, your odds of success are “highly improbable.”
    • You “look bigger when you are lean.” While that may be true, not everyone works out to fit an aesthetic ideal, and to think everyone works out just to “look better” is presumptuous and flat out dangerous. Most people work out to feel good, not as a punishment or an obsession. Statements like that also set people up for huge letdown when they bust their asses and the genetic lottery may not necessarily be on their side in the fat loss and muscle gain departments.
    • “You’ll know how much bigger you want to get” was a common statement seen while surfing the web looking for reasons why people think this archaic bullshit works. AGAIN. Not all of us train for aesthetics, and if you do that’s totally fine, but don’t assume everyone has the same goals as you… because most people don’t.
  2. Why is this mantra bullshit? Easy. When you cut calories at the beginning of working out, you risk losing more than just fat, you also risk losing muscle mass… and trust us, that’s the complete opposite of where you wanna go.
    • Heather Milton, an exercise physiologist says “One thing that we concentrate on a lot, especially for people who are trying to lose weight, is to do strength training in order to maintain and avoid losing muscle mass.
      • Why? More muscle mass means faster metabolism… faster metabolism means more calorie burn… you see where this is headed.
      • She says “If you lose weight by calorie restriction alone, you tend to lose fat and muscle at the same rate, which is not ideal, because your metabolism will slow down.”
      • So, there you go, straight from an exercise physiologist, if you want to lose weight and maintain or build muscle, you should use strength training as part of your arsenal to prevent muscle catabolism, that’s when your body begins to burn your muscles.

DON’T EAT MORE THAN 30 GRAMS OF PROTEIN PER MEAL

  1. Ahhhhh, more age-old bullshit. We’ve heard that you shouldn’t eat more than 30 grams of protein per meal. Why?
    • The claim is “excess protein consumption in amounts more than 30 grams per hour aren’t stored,” and that eating meals with more than 30 grams of protein per meal can hurt your kidneys. There are also claims that say if you eat more than x amount of protein a day, you’ll pee the excess out.
  2. What does the science have to say about this?
    • The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrtion says that “controversy exists about the maximum amount of protein that can be utilized for lean tissue-building purposes in a single meal for those involved in regimented resistance training. It has been proposed that muscle protein synthesis is maximized in young adults with an intake of 20-25g per meal, and anything above this amount is excredt in the form of urea and other acids in the urine. HOWEVER, these findings are specific to the provision of fast-digesting proteins without the addition of other macronutrients.” 
    • The study referenced in the argument of only ingesting 20-25g per meal was also concluded using strictly whey protein… so none of the study participants were actually ingesting real whole foods… that’s a big red flag, because we don’t run around all day sucking on protein shakes.
    • TL;DR, you don’t exist in a vacuum, so eat as much damn protein per meal as you want.

CARDIO AND CORE WORKOUTS ARE USELESS

  1. We’ve all heard it, “ab workouts are useless,” because you already have a six pack under there and then there are the compound movements that help in strengthening your core while strengthening other muscles in your body simultaneously, but does that render all core movements useless? Hahaha, not even close.
    • Yes, you have heard us say that a million crunches won’t give you visible abs, and that’s still true… BUT it doesn’t mean that you can’t still do crunches to make your midsection stronger. 
    • If we are going to talk about core workouts being useless, I’d like to throw arches and hollows into the conversation because those are two of the most challenging and useful core exercises you can do.
      • You ever done a hollow hold? Fuck a plank, :15 in a hollow hold feels like a year.
    • Let’s also discuss things like flutter kicks and mountain climbers, which work your core but also give you cardio work at the same time.
  2. SPEAKING OF CARDIO… who is the dipshit that started the rumor that cardio is useless? Like… come on. This isn’t even hard to disprove lol
    • “Cardio raises your cortisol levels,” the first claim is that too much steady state cardio will actually cause our bodies to hold on to fat in the midsection.
      • Uhhhh… last I checked, a body in caloric deficit will shed fat, and your body doesn’t pick and choose where fat goes based on what movements you do or don’t do… so this isn’t really building a solid footing for this argument.
    • “It’s not very effective at burning fat,” they say this because steady state cardio doesn’t have the intensity of HIIT, and it lacks the afterburn effect.
      • Obviously steady state cardio won’t be as spicy as HIIT, duh… but does that mean if it’s your only option, you just shouldn’t do anything? Come the fuck on, that’s the most Swiss Cheese argument against getting on a treadmill I’ve ever seen.
      • Also, while we are talking about HIIT workouts, you should only be doing those a couple of times per week… and never for more than 15-20 minutes.
  3. Why are they wrong in making this claim? Exhibit A – Zombieland. Rule #1 is Cardio. “To escape a pursuing zombie you will need to out-run it, and this means being in good shape.” I mean, need I say more? Cardio trains us for the impending zombie apocalypse.
    • But really. While these claims say that cardio is worthless, they’re speaking specifically about steady state cardio… and even then, they’re wrong. 
      • Research in the Journal of Obesity says that your heart and lungs get through more work during slower steadier exercise… that equates to bigger boosts in cardiovascular fitness and stamina. It’s also going to help aid in recovery after your lifting sessions, so you feel better skipping to the squat rack when our ego-lifting no days off brethren are staggering into the gym with pissed off legs.
    • Why does steady state work so well? It promotes capillarisation, which is the formation of new blood vessels, so you increase the blood flow to your muscles when you lift, which equates to bigger gains and post-workout pump… so get your cardio in, fam!
    • Another thing they totally disregard with the “cardio is useless” claim is that longer sessions are great for working on technique… if you’re prepping for a 5K; longer sessions will help with everything from posture, to foot strike, and you can go for longer periods with less energy used… longer sessions help you become a more efficient mover, and who doesn’t want that?!

I’m sure we just hurt a whole lot of feelings somewhere on the internet, but hey… that’s kinda what we do.

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/do-you-have-lose-weight-before-you-gain-muscle-46675075

https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/a19525156/how-much-protein-can-your-muscles-absorb/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828430/

https://www.menshealth.com/uk/fitness/a757246/steady-state-cardio-can-jump-start-your-health/

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