Myth 1: Cardiovascular training is the best way to lose weight
Fact: While cardiovascular training is important for burning calories, and maintaining a healthy heart(maybe). The best training protocol is a combination of both resistance and cardio training. Studies in which subjects who participated only in endurance training displayed a transformation of type 2 muscle fibers into type 1 muscle fibers. This is a big deal when you consider type 2 muscle fibers are the fibers responsible for building bigger muscles. Type 1 fibers are endurance fibers which lack the ability to enlarge. Bigger muscles will translate to burning more calories because a certain portion of your calories are needed to maintain muscle mass.
Myth 2: You need to stay away from carbohydrates when trying to lose weight
Fact: If eaten in excess any calorie regardless of the source will be stored as fat. Carbohydrates are turned into glucose which is the only energy substrate your muscles will use for muscle contraction. You can’t exercise intensely without an adequate number of calories coming from carbohydrates. Good sources are brown rice, oatmeal, yams and vegetables. These carbs are considered low on the glycemic index, which is a scientific way of determining how rapidly your blood glucose rises when certain carbohydrate foods are digested. If your blood glucose rises too quickly and the glucose is not readily used or stored in muscles, it will be stored as fat.
Myth 3: You need to drastically lower calories to see inches come off
Fact: In-order for a person to lose a pound of fat there needs to be a decrease of 3,500 calories (weight equivalent of one pound). That would only account for 300-500 less calories per day if you wanted to lose one pound a week. This would only be 3-4 slices of bread a day, not much at all. And in reality you actually need to consume more calories when exercising regularly. When I see people following limited calorie diets the only thing I really see is unhealthy looking individuals living quietly in desperation for real food. They just don’t seem right.
Myth 4: Weight loss Supplements will help you burn fat faster when working-out
Fact: Most of these products just don’t work and are dangerous to one’s health. They artificially raise your heart rate and metabolism. The safest and cheapest way to increase metabolism is by exercising. If you exercise correctly and burn more calories than you take in, I don’t care who you are…. you will lose weight! And that is scientifically tested in real life human studies.
Myth 5: No fat is the key to success
Fact: Staying away from certain food categories(FAT) will only last for a short time. In the end, most dieters actually gain more weight back. Studies have shown that dieting of any kind doesn’t produce long lasting results. Hence there is a new diet book every month that promises to be the only one that works. Now let me speak to all the men out there…Saturated fat is not the enemy, it actually makes you healthier and keeps your testosterone in check. All steroid hormones have a structural backbone of a 17-carbon fat molecule called “gonane”, this makes them fat-soluble hormones. Yes that’s right, Saturated fat fats(butter, coconut oil, lard, cacao butter, palm oil, red meat, dairy products) keep “man chemicals” alive and well in our bodies but Polyunsaturated fatty-acids fats doesn’t…these include soybean oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, cottonseed oil, fish, margarine. Monounsaturated fats are also great as well these include olive oil, argan oil, avocado. Again, think butter, eggs, meat = 300 Leonidas or cookies, potato chips = these guys
But keep in mind there seems to be a point of diminished returns, and this is simply because you also need to leave some room for carbohydrates and protein. Eat sensibly with meals spread out 4-5 times a day with some fat, some carbs and some protein with proper portions throughout the day. These portions are according to your level of energy input vs output.
Not brain surgery but just common sense…I mean…
first published in 2009
The basis of the warm up is to elevate the core body temperature so muscles become more pliable. Muscles are like elastic rubber bands, the hotter they are the suppler they become. It also holds true the colder a muscle is the more difficult it will be for the muscle to contract/shorten and extend/lengthen. It makes sense that if your body is warmer you are less likely to injure yourself while exercising. Studies show as body temperature rises ultimate strength and greater strain (ability to deform and stretch before tearing begins in muscle) can be found in muscles. Strain increase in cellular metabolism translates to more blood flow and oxygen are available to the working muscles.
Warming up also prepares the nerve impulses to be enhanced with more sensitivity of nerve receptors. This sensitivity means the muscles/nerve connection will be enhanced and have a greater ability to fire faster impulses during the workout. Warmer muscles are more apt to produce an increase in range of motion.
There is a physiological benefit as well that many fail to recognize. The body has a delicate system of defensive sense organs called proprioceptors, mainly the muscle spindle and Golgi tendon organ. The muscle spindles are in the muscle tissue itself and are responsible for letting you know when your stretching the working muscles too far. The Golgi tendon organ as you might have guessed is a tendon organ that senses when an excessive amount of tension develops. When tension is too high the Golgi organ shuts off muscle contraction to protect the working muscle. These sense organs are elevated through proper warm ups.
Finally, there is a mind-muscle connection that needs to be addressed. Going straight into heavy exercising can have detrimental effects on performance by not preparing the mind properly. Warming up is the vehicle of relaxation and concentration just before intense exercise. Think of Leonidas right before going into battle…This is where we hold them, this is where we fight! Getting into beast mode is part of the battle especially with more and more intense workouts.
So, the next question is what is a warm up? Any light cardio movement such as a stationary bike, treadmill, elliptical, and walking in place for 3-5 minutes will be enough to raise your temperature.
Dynamic warm ups can also be a valuable tool against injury. These movements mimic whatever exercise your about to perform except on a much lower intensity. For example: a dynamic warm up of the bench press would be 1-2 light sets of 10-20 reps with a weight that feels light even upon reaching the last rep. If you want fewer injuries always remember to warm up properly.
“Boundaries are often set by other people for us, but we all have the power to reject those limits. If someone says you can’t achieve something try it anyway… you never know what is on the other side of the boundary” – Alyson Annan, Australian Hockeyroos Cap
first published in 2008