I’ll (no doubt) be constantly updating this post to share with you some absolute rubbish that I’ve heard over the years and continue to hear. I’ll be listing things here such as myths that plague the fitness world, daft lifting and piss poor lifting and fitness advice that I’ve heard:
Training antagonistic muscles negates their effect – Seriously, someone tried telling me training opposing muscles (e.g. chest and back) in the same workout was pointless because they would cancel each other out.
Muscle turning to fat/fat turning to muscle – Sadly this one still exists, I’d have thought this would be dead by now. Muscle turning to fat or vice versa is biologically impossible. The reason people might look or get fatter after they stop training could be due to a number of factors, but the most common two are that they either continued eating more than they required (energy in vs. energy out) and/or that their muscles atrophied.
Don’t eat carbs after 6pm! – For real, don’t do this because you won’t burn off the energy when you sleep. People that still promote this nonsense need to go back to school. Your body does not work like this. Also this “after 6pm” set time is stupid in itself. For some people I know 6pm for them is breakfast time as they work waking nights.
The anabolic window lasts 30 minutes after your workout, bro! – I’m guessing this was promoted by the fitness industry to boost sales of post workout drinks. This is the main reason you see people downing protein shakes straight after their workout. The truth is, protein synthesis or the so called anabolic window can last between 24-36 hours post training.
Low weight high reps for fat loss – I think this is mainly (but not solely) promoted to women so they don’t get too bulky……. cos that totally happens to women who lift weights. This is a surefire way to make sure your get as weak as possible while you’re trying to lose weight. During fat loss you should be expending more energy than you intake, be that through diet or activity (or both) and therefore won’t be able to build any muscle mass, in fact it’s possible you’ll lose some gainz too. So they key is to train more or less exactly like you were before (cutting back on some assistance work could be wise) in order to maintain that hard earned muscle mass. Doing low weight for high reps is just dumb.
Eat 6 small meals a day – Well, you gotta stoke that metabolic furnace right? Right?! Wrong! This idea of eating lots of small meals spread 2-3 hours apart was popularized by professional bodybuilders. Now bear in mind these guys need to be consuming an excessive amount of calories each day, so this approach is probably the only way they can ingest all this food. The idea of keeping your metabolism “fired up” however, is just daft as this assumes the process of digestion completes in just 2-3 hours, when in actual fact complete digestion can consume most part of a day and possibly more.
I do “X” exercise on the smith machine because it’s safer – The smith machine in my opinion is probably the worse piece of equipment in any gym. It forces you into a fixed plane of motion that is not only detrimental in terms of muscle recruitment and body mechanics but also potentially dangerous. Also, I feel the smith machine sets newbies who might be a little too shy to use free weights or ask for a spotter on a downward spiral. If I ever owned a gym I’d ensure there wasn’t a smith machine in a 100 mile radius.
Cold thermogenesis – I just don’t buy into the hype, at all. The main idea is to immerse yourself in an ice bath which is therefore supposed to improve recovery and activate brown fat tissue (a blood vessel rich type of adipose). Yeah, I’m not convinced. This has also lead to many people alternating hot and cold showers and I’ve even heard of some people going jogging in shorts and a vest in winter. It all sounds like far too much discomfort (and stupidity if I’m being honest) for what could possibly be (but I’m still doubtful) a 1% increase in recovery and/or gainz.
Bulletproof Coffee – No words needed, simply dumb AF.
“Eat wholegrain potatoes” – seriously, I was telling someone in the gym a few years ago what I had for lunch (he asked, it’s not something I do for fun) and it turned out to be tuna, sweetcorn and a white baked potato (there is nothing wrong with white potatoes). Que this guy lavishing his wisdom upon me about how bad white potatoes are and that instead I should get “wholegrain potatoes”. I smirked, left, laughed.