Training Myths

5 Training Myths

What You Don’t Know – and What You Think
You Know – Can Hurt You!

While big chunks of America’s population continue to be ravaged by obesity, causing other problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there are many millions who choose to prevent those conditions by exercising regularly.

The Centers for Disease Control recently estimated that only 20 percent of us get the recommended amount of daily exercise.

Given our diet and lifestyles, it’s no wonder that some of our first-world diseases have reached epidemic proportions.

This is your health. There is nothing more important. If you don’t have good health, you will eventually die, preventing you from doing everything else, from spending time with your loved ones to enjoying your money.

If you’re going to exercise be sure that you will not do more harm than good. Some of the myths and “conventional wisdom” that is, in fact, simply wrong.

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•  More exercise is always better. Everyone wants more muscle and less fat, Conventional wisdom says that hours and hours of exercise will achieve those results. That’s completely wrong. Overkill is not only unnecessary, it can be counterproductive. You’ll get the best results with a strength-training regimen, tailored to meet your needs, which can be accomplished in three to four hours per week.

•  More cardio is better than lifting. For all you chronic dieters and cardio enthusiasts out there trying to shed fat, the right strength-training program can boost your metabolism and help burn off more fat. By increasing lean muscle mass, you will increase your basal metabolic rate, BMR. Activated, contracting muscles are the body’s furnace. Excessive cardio and dieting can eat muscle tissue away, compromising this furnace.

•  Women: “But I don’t want to look like a man.” Females who lift weights won’t look like men; they do not have the hormonal support to pile on a significant amount of muscle mass. Female lifters will, however, assume a shapelier figure. In fact, 99.99 percent of men older than 30 do not have the natural hormonal support to do so either. All elite professional bodybuilders use androgenic agents, including steroids.

•  You need to buy “product X.” We live in a very money-based culture – so much so that we often place the almighty dollar above health. Get out of this mindset, at least regarding exercise. What counts for building muscle includes determination, intensity, consistency and safety. If you think buying the most expensive formula, training uniform or machine is necessary for reaching your potential, you’re wrong. Machines often compromise the intensity required for the body you desire.

•  CrossFit is a good exercise program. If you want to build muscle, then CrossFit has many problems. First, it encourages ballistic movements from novice lifters, and since the program’s rise in popularity, there has been a marked increase in injury rates, which can set fitness goals back by many months. Second, as mentioned above, you don’t need to pound the body five times a week; you may increase endurance and lose fat, but you’ll also lose muscle. CrossFit encourages overtraining and has been linked to increased incidents of Rhabdomyolysis, or Rhabdo, which is the breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to the release of muscle fiber contents into the blood. Rhabdo can cause kidney damage. Third, the creators of CrossFit have encouraged the Paleo Diet, a low-insulin diet. Insulin is a necessary part of building muscle.


Everyone is different, and even these above myths may not be accurate to the masses. Some techniques may work for others when they may not have ever worked for anyone else. What you should take away from this is, do what works for you and DO NOT believe everything you read. That is a good rule of thumb for many things, not only just for fitness tips.

What fitness program have you found that works best for what you are trying to achieve???

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  1. I’m going to have to disagree with you about Crossfit. 1) Yes, the explosion of popularity has resulted in more injuries (statistically, that’s simply common sense). Use of poor form is the primary culprit, but the same would be true in practically any strenuous exercise program/sport. 2) There’s nothing about Crossfit that insists one must workout five times a week. Three times a week is what I aim for and probably much closer to the average from what I’ve observed. 3) Rhabdo isn’t something new or unique to Crossfit and it would be inaccurate to say “Crossfit encourages overtraining”. Rhabdo is probably most commonly seen among marathon runners, but since that activity isn’t the “latest fad”, it’s not having the fingers pointed at it. 4) This is the first time I’ve heard the Paleo Diet described as “a low insulin diet”. I’m no expert, but the aim of this diet is to eat the kinds of foods from which humans evolved over many, many generations, eschewing highly processed foods in favor of more natural ones. It seems quite sensible in theory and has proven beneficial to many thousands of individuals.

    Crossfit certainly isn’t for everyone (nor are paleo or LC diets), but saying it’s a myth that it’s a good exercise program denies the fact that it’s been enormously beneficial to countless people.

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