Common Myths About Weight Training
There are always so many misconceptions about weight training; so many myths, so many lies. It really isn`t helped by the barrage of products that constantly get advertised and apparently ˜Burn fat overnight. And the internet also contributes to the confusion.
I`ve been asked many questions about such myths before such as, Is it possible to change fat into muscle? and Can I get a six-pack in a day?. And, no matter how many times I answer these people, I`m still constantly assaulted with these kinds of questions.
So, I thought I would answer these questions, once and for all.
1. Fat into Muscle
To begin, I`ll start with the extremely common myth that fat can be changed directly into muscle. To this day, I still do not understand why people believe this. Even logically, this doesn`t work. For one, fat and muscle are two entirely different tissues. They have completely different structures, and completely different functions.
2. Spot Reduce Fat
This one is probably the most common myth around. Training one muscle group and burning only the fat around it just isn`t possible. Fat is burned from cardiovascular exercise and having a good diet. For example, if you`ve got a beer belly, doing 100 crunches isn`t going to burn stomach fat. Instead, run for half an hour, and you`ll burn overall body fat.
3.Starving Yourself Reduces Fat
Starving yourself nearly always guarantees a long-term gain in fat. At the start of the diet, yes, there`s usually a temporary loss of fat. As soon as the person resumes their normal diet though, they usually gain it all back and more.
In a lot of cases though, more fat is gained from starvation diets due to the slowdown of the metabolism. By not eating, your body enters starvation mode and your metabolism will eventually slow to a halt.
And, starvation diets usually lead to major muscle losses, and energy depletions.
4. Protein should make up most of the diet
Protein should only make up 20-40% of a person`s diet, carbs about 50% and fat making up about 20% of your diet. Eating too much protein can actually make you GAIN fat. Yup, that`s right, GAIN fat. Your body can`t process endless amounts of protein; when it hits it`s limit, it will convert the rest of the protein into fat.
5. Supplements can substitute for a diet
Supplements add to your diet, not replace your diet. Your body prefers real food to supplements, as it absorbs the nutrients from solid food a lot better. Try to eat real food more than supplements.
6. Fruit Juice is good for you
Fruit juices, whilst providing a lot of good vitamins like vitamin C, also provides a hell of a lot of sugar. The juice is absorbed easily by your body, making blood-sugar levels suddenly rise. Because of the sudden increase in blood-sugar levels, your body releases Insulin, which has many bad effects. Bad effects like increased fat storage and increased appetite. Drink water instead.
7. Water makes you gain water weight
Just like cars need gas, humans need water. Muscles won`t get enough water retention to look bloated, and make you look fat, that is, unless you`re taking creatine. Try to drink about a gallon of water a day. If we get two percent drop in our water supply, we become dehydrated. Yup, it`s that easy to get dehydrated.
Also, if you drink only, say, half a gallon of water a day, your body will believe that there is no water around, and conserve it. This causes your muscles to look bloated. However, drink a whole gallon of water, your body will think there is plenty of water, and flush your body, cleansing it of toxins whilst you do so.
Drinking too little water makes you gain water weight.
8. Not all proteins are equal
The 3 types of protein whey, casein and soy are not created equal. Whey is the most easily absorbed type, and is great for after-workout supplements, whilst casein is a very slow releasing protein, so it makes it good for before-sleep supplements.
Read up on what proteins you should be taking when.
9. Calories aren`t all the same
Okay, so lets say you eat two meals, which are both equal in calories (Eg. Meal 1 Chicken Breast, Meal 2Bread). Your body is going to react far differently in each meal. When you consume meal 2, your body`s insulin level is going to be way higher than if you ate meal 1 (If you don`t know what insulin does, read a few paragraphs above).
The point is, people seemingly believe if they follow their 1500 calorie diets or whatever, solely eating potato chips and coca-cola, it will work. However, they are deceiving themselves these are empty calories.
10. Late night eating is good
Oh, the amount of times I have heard people say they can`t eat after 6pm or 8pm or whatever they do. Human digestion can take 72 hours. Eating only a couple of hours before your eating curfew will not have any effect. In fact, it will have a detrimental effect, as you`re not getting the essential nutrients during your sleep.
Eating before you sleep is good, not bad.
Well, I think I covered most of the major myths, but I`ve probably left a few out. The point of this article was, well, as well to inform you on these myths, also to give you a warning to never believe everything your hear. During my school years, the changing rooms would always be full of a bunch of guys talking about a lot of garbage on how to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Even today I still hear guys talking about more garbage.
Whatever you choose to believe, make sure you dig for the truth behind it before you decide to try it out. You could save yourself so much time and effort.
About Anthony Duong Anthony currently lives in London, UK, and has returned there after quitting his job in Hong Kong, where he worked as an English Teacher. He's a gym rat, and loves to play rugby. He is currently working as a Soccer Coach for teenagers, where he passes on his extensive knowledge on all things. He also loves to play the guitar.