In every industry, there is a market designed to sell products based on half-truths, misinformation and flat out lies. Unfortunately, this tends to be more rampant within the diet and exercise industry than anywhere else. Magazines like Men's Health and Women's Health hide tiny grains of truth in between pages of useless information and advertisements.
With that in mind, let's debunk a few of the more common myths that crop up no matter how many times they are proven otherwise.
This lie cannot be repeated enough for both sexes. After all, the entire workout culture is dead set on selling products and workouts that can blast away specific areas, namely those on our thighs and stomachs.
Spot reduction is an utter and complete lie. This is why, try as you might, your thighs remain lumpy no matter how many hours of kicks and step ups you do. This is why your stomach remains undefined even though you can do 50 sit ups before you fail.
The truth is that when you start losing weight, you lose it across your entire body, not one area. So long as you have a high enough body fat percentage, this layer of fat around your entire body will hide your definition. Drop this fat to a low enough percentage, and you'll have your taut thighs and visible six pack.
Breakfast is the Most Important Meal
More and more evidence is growing that is tearing down the theory that you need breakfast to lose weight. It's often cited as a way to keep you from eating more calories during the day or that it serves as some sort of jump start. This is a lie created from misunderstandings that have been passed down through the years.
When it comes to dieting, it doesn't matter when you eat your daily goal so long as it's eaten by the time you go to bed. Skip breakfast. Skip lunch. Skip dinner. Do whatever works for you. Personally, I'm not a very big lunch person, so I'll skip that meal in favor of pigging out at dinner.
Women Turn into Weightlifting She-Hulks
The exact opposite is true. Women that lift gain definition that makes them look sexier. Instead of a butt that's beginning to flatten out and sag due to gravity, weights introduce definition and shape that, I promise you, is desirable.
This idea stems from the images of female bodybuilders that always come up whenever "female" and "weights" are used in a sentence together. The fact of the matter is, however, that those women have been working on those physiques for their entire lives. When you're lifting, if you feel you're getting too big, then simply use lower weights. No one will force you to grow bigger than is comfortable.
You Need Non-Protein Supplements
The great lifter Eugen Sandow managed a pretty impressive body with only a protein supplement consisting of either whey or egg whites. If he could get that big without Creatine, BCAAs, Beta-Alanine and Glutamine, you can too. The human body has not changed much over the past hundred years.
Cardio Kills Gains
This is a very misleading statement for newbies. Yes, too much cardio begins to tear away at your muscle mass (ever seen a bulked sprinter?). No, not all cardio does this.
The thing with cardio is that used in moderation, it keeps the body tight. In fact, many bodybuilders preparing for a competition add a bit of cardio to their routine. Before I lift, I do about 30 minutes of cardio. So while it can kill gains, if you do it right, it won't.
Get a 6 pack in 28 Days
Or any other "get blank in blank amount of time." All this promise provides you with is a routine. They don't know your current weight. They don't know your body fat percentage. They don't know your diet. In short, they know nothing about you to guarantee this claim.
Let's ignore this, though, and assume you try it out. You give it all you have. You follow every direction down to the last letter. But when day 28 rolls around, you don't have the results you were promised. Instead of feeling great that you stuck with a routine for a full month, you feel defeated, confused, frustrated. You followed all the directions but the change didn't happen. The only logical conclusion is that it's your fault.
But it's not your fault. It was never your fault. It's the fault of magazine for creating a ploy to purposely make you feel like sh*t about yourself in the hopes they'll draw you in with their next hollow promise that "really" works.
It's a disgusting practice that we all need to be aware of and avoid. Working out should make you feel good about yourself.
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.