Would you like to get in shape and build the body of your dreams? Then you need to avoid these 5 worst fitness tips that will make you lose muscle and get fat.
Don’t worry I won’t leave you hanging. While we will have a look at these worst fitness tips we will also look at how to avoid making these mistakes so you can build muscle, lose fat, and get in good shape.
You with me? OK, then let’s have a look at what these fitness tips are:
You need to perform lots of cardio to lose fat
One of the worst fitness tips that you get to hear from not just people but also from some fitness experts is that you need to do lots and lots of cardio if you want to lose weight.
Well, first off doing cardio will help you burn calories but it’s not just the cardio that makes you lose weight. It is the calorie deficit that we will talk about later.
To add to this, losing weight is a different animal than losing fat. Losing weight can make you lose both fat and muscle.
Believe me, you do not want to lose muscle at any cost. You will end up in the dreaded state of skinny fat. And that is the worst possible state that you can put your body into where you are neither skinny nor are you fat.
And once you are skinny fat you will start going down the rabbit hole that I did. That is whether to lose fat or build muscle. And that is not a good feeling to have when you get this question in your mind.
There are many problems with doing lots of cardio.
Like I mentioned, doing long sessions of cardio has the potential to make you lose muscle as well.
Also, when you keep doing lots of cardio, gradually your body adapts to that amount of cardio. So, you will start burning fewer calories if you keep doing the same amount of cardio. And if you keep eating the same amount of food, then you will actually start overeating without knowing it. This will start making you gain weight again.
Now, you could continue doing more and more of cardio. And that will start consuming your life. Who wants to be spending 2 to 3 hours of their life every day on the treadmill? I sure don’t.
Doing lots of cardio will also sap away your energy. You will lose your stamina that you could use in your workout sessions. And that will lower your potential of gaining a good amount of muscle as well.
If you want to know more, do read about the wrong ways of trying to lose weight. You will find it useful.
So what can you do if you want to lose fat?
Well, the good news is that you might not even need to do cardio if you want to lose fat.
I keep repeating this but it is so important. The key to losing fat is a calorie deficit and not cardio.
Basically, a calorie deficit is when you consume fewer calories than what your body burns.
If you can do that just with tracking your food, then you don’t need to do cardio.
Having said that, cardio can help you eat a bit more food because it will help you burn some additional calories assisting you in a calorie deficit.
What I would recommend is to make use of something like high-intensity interval training. This is a form of cardio that makes use of short intervals of high-intensity followed by short intervals of low-intensity.
The good thing about such cardio is that you need to do just about 2 to 3 hours of cardio every week to get the same or even better results than the regular, old running, jogging, etc. type of steady-state cardio.
So, if you need some cardio in your life, check out the post on high-intensity interval training and start making use of that.
Building muscle requires high rep, low weight training
You may have heard this one from a few fitness experts. You may have also read this in some magazines.
Heck, some of your gym buddies might have recommended you to do high rep, low weight training if you want to “tone” your muscles.
Well, nothing could be further than the truth. The basis of building muscle is when you put your muscles under tension to cause tears in them so that when they rebuild they grow stronger.
Now, if you just want to build up some endurance then high rep, low weight can help you with those goals.
But when it comes to the most efficient way to build muscle, it is not so hot.
The high rep, low weight training might also be suggested by some fitness experts when you want to lose fat.
This does not make any sense because you will get into a calorie deficit to lose fat. And being in a calorie deficit has the potential to make you lose muscle especially if you don’t signal your body that you need to retain all of that muscle.
And the best way to do that is to lift heavy weight to stress your muscles and signal your body that hey keep those muscles, I need them.
So what can you do if you want to build muscle?
Lift heavy weights with high-intensity, my friend. That is the only way you will be able to build muscle.
Now don’t think you need to lift an insane amount of weight that you cannot even control. No, that is just a one way trip to getting injured.
Lift heavy weights but with proper form and what you are capable of. Lift like 80 to 80% of your 1-rep max as it has the potential to give you maximum muscle gains.
And make use of heavy, compound movements especially as a beginner because they have the most potential to help you gain maximum muscle on your body without getting muscle imbalances.
Remember to choose a good beginner workout program that will help you choose the best compound movements with the best tracking so that you are using progressive overload to gain the maximum muscle possible.
If you are a beginner, then you have a chance to build muscle fast. Check out this post that can help you get into some decent shape as a beginner.
You need to follow a low carb, or low fat, or low something diet to lose fat
Oh God. This is one of those myths that makes me pull my hair out.
It used to be fat that was our enemy number one when it came to making us fat. So if you ate fat, you would become fat. The solution? Go on a low-fat diet. Avoid eating fat like the plague. Does not matter if you need healthy fats to actually lose body fat.
But who cares? It’s easy to see right. Eat fat and it goes directly to your gut and makes you fat.
That myth got busted or maybe old so we switched to a new one. Ah, it was carbs that was making us fat all along. Carbs will spike your insulin levels. And when insulin levels are high, your body will store everything you eat as fat.
So, if you want to lose fat, stop eating carbs. Insulin won’t spike and you won’t get fat. Simple, isn’t it?
The only problem is that this is a myth as well. You don’t gain fat just by eating fat or carbs or any other type of food.
The only way you gain fat is when you consume more calories than what your body can burn.
We call this a positive energy balance or calorie surplus. Or in layman’s terms, stuffing yourself.
It’s a simple scientific concept called thermodynamics. And when it comes to the body, what excess energy it cannot burn, it stores it as fat for later use.
What can you do if you want to lose fat?
So, if you want to get fat eat more calories than what your body burns. Conversely, if you want to lose fat, eat fewer calories than what your body burns.
We will see more about this concept of weight management in the topic of calorie deficit below.
Women should not lift heavy weights if they want to get fit
One of the worst fitness tips given to women. How many of you women have heard this? I am sure many of you.
Experts and magazines will tell you don’t lift heavy weights. If you do, you will become big and bulky like a man or the women you see in a bodybuilding contest.
The truth is you won’t become big and bulky just by lifting weights. The scientific reason is that women have a lot lower testosterone level than men.
And it is hard even for us men to build muscle. It takes years of blood, sweat, and tears in the gym and with nutrition to build a good physique. So, it’s even harder if not impossible for a woman to become big and bulky.
The men and women that you see in a lot of bodybuilding contests are loaded with steroids. And steroids are drugs that can increase your testosterone levels.
So, as a natural woman you have nothing to worry about.
In fact, it is exactly the opposite and lifting weights will help you out a lot to get that lean, toned, and sexy physique.
Lifting weights is also beneficial to your health in a lot of ways.
Click here to read about this and more myths that women believe when it comes to getting a good body.
How can a woman get a toned body?
To get a toned body you need to do the following:
Perform intense workouts using heavy, compound movements. This will help you build muscle and burn a lot of calories during and after your workouts.
Limit the amount of cardio that you do. We have already seen that doing lots of cardio can make you lose muscle and end up becoming skinny fat. Instead, do a limited amount of cardio and focus more on strength training.
Get into a moderate calorie deficit. The only way you can lose that body fat and get a toned look is to eat fewer calories than what your body burns. So get into a calorie deficit by tracking your calories.
Consume a balanced macronutrient intake. When you are focussed on losing fat and building muscle, your food plays an important role so you get the most bang for the buck. Make sure you are eating a sufficient amount of proteins, carbs, and fats from healthy food sources.
You can lose weight eating the right foods without the need of a calorie deficit
This one has been making the rounds lately. It’s not your fault they say.
It’s the foods that you are eating that make you fat. You don’t need to count calories. Calorie counting is for losers.
Just eat the right foods that will magically make you melt all your fat away.
Now, this sounds too good to be true. And frankly, it is.
We have seen this earlier and please forgive me for repeating myself but it’s a scientific fact that the only way you are going to lose body fat is when you consume fewer calories than what your body requires.
We call this a negative energy balance or a calorie deficit. It’s a really simple concept, but people just don’t want to listen. It seems easier to just ignore this fact and keep believing what the so-called fitness gurus will tell you.
Well, it will not get you any results and you will end up disappointed.
So, believe me, calorie counting is real. And once you start making use of it, your life will change for the better.
Your relationship with food and yourself will be much better and you will finally start moving towards your goal of fat loss.
So what can you do to lose weight?
You need to understand something known as BMR(Basal Metabolic Rate) and TDEE(Total Daily Energy Expenditure).
Don’t get scared by those terms. They simply tell you how many calories you can consume every day so that your body can get sufficient energy to perform its daily tasks. Eat as per your TDEE every day and you will maintain your weight.
Eat below your TDEE every day and guess what happens. Yes, now you get it, you will start to lose weight because your body cannot get sufficient calories. Don’t worry, it takes the remaining required calories by burning body fat.
Now, you do need to be careful not to drop your calories too much. You don’t want to lose muscle as well, do you? And you don’t want to end up like a starving person.
The trick is to lower your calories by about 25% of your TDEE. This will create a large enough calorie deficit so you start losing a pound or two of fat each week. And is safe enough so that you don’t lose muscle.
Read this post to learn more about the magic of weight management and how you can lose some body fat quickly.
Summary of fitness tips you can use to get in shape
I hope this post has helped bust some of the worst fitness tips that you can get from some fitness gurus, magazines, friends, and family.
For those of you not patient enough to read this post (you should), here are some action points you can try out to get in shape:
- Perform high-intensity interval training as your cardio with just 2-3 sessions of 25 minutes every week.
- If you are looking to build muscle, use heavy compound movements with low reps and heavy weights.
- Don’t follow any fad diet like low-carb, low-fat, if you don’t want to. Rather focus on a calorie deficit to lose weight.
- Women, just start using some strength training workout programs to build some muscle, lose some fat, and get that toned, sexy body.
- And for those of you seeking to lose weight, focus on a calorie deficit. Remember, it is not the kind of foods that you eat but the number of calories that you eat that will make you gain or lose weight.
That’s all I can say in this post. Hope it helps you guys out. If you know of some friends or family who are looking to lose some weight, gain some muscle, or just get in better shape, do let them know about this post.
You might just save them a lot of wasted effort, money, and frustration.
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