Have you ever stopped and watched others while they were doing their workout? Or listened in to trainers working with their clients?
Okay, so I don’t encourage this sort of behavior… you really should be focused in on your own kick ass workout but sometimes you just can’t help but stop dead in your tracks and wonder:
“Where the heck did they learn that, and why did they think it was a good idea?”
With exercise fads popping up every which way, you can’t blame anyone for trying out some crazy contraption or workout program. But you can if they try it out and decide that it’s good enough to continue using.
Well, as a trainer I feel it’s my duty to bring to light some of the stupidest, most ridiculous, pieces of fitness advice and fads.
Some you might agree with 100%, some you might the surprised with. Either way, this is going to be fun!
PSA: If you or someone you know is victim to any of these please have a heart to heart with yourself or with that person to get on the right track. Just a little public service announcement to get the day going strong!
Top 10 Most Ridiculous Pieces Of Fitness Advice
1. Workout while you clean!
You’ve heard this probably a thousand times before. In magazines, on blogs (possibly even here), and daily talk shows. But seriously, who actually thinks to do squats while folder clothes? Or to lunge with while vacuuming.
Yes this is solid advice, and it’s great to do… but doing squats while putting the dishes away is not going to replace a real workout. It just doesn’t. Adding these extra reps in is equivalent to parking a little further back from a store, you’ll burn some extra calories but not transform your body.
Planking while sucking up cat hair? Don’t mind if I do!
Think of this as a bonus, not as a workout.
2. No exercise required solutions.
You’ve seen it dozens of times… pills, shakes, and diet food that proudly shouts that you can see results without exercising.
Oh, really? If that’s the case the why do these companies have a teeny tiny little note at the bottom of their ads and commercials saying that results shown were acquired through exercise and diet?
Yes, you can drop weight with just dieting but it’s not going to be the weight you want to lose: fat. By dieting alone, you’re body will burn off lean muscle mass in order to decrease your daily metabolic needs. Which means fat will say in place and muscle will go bye-bye.
For real, lasting results and a figure you love… exercise is essential! Don’t fall for the ads! And remember, exercise is so much more than just a fat burning method.
Have you done a 3 day juice cleanse? I have. I’ll say it proudly. I’ve done 2 of them actually! Here’s a recap on my favorite (BluePrint). But not for weight loss purposes. I have so many clients and even fellow trainers asking my opinion on juice cleanses. Are they worth the money? How much weight can be dropped during a cleanse? What’s a good brand?
Here’s the thing, juice cleanses aren’t designed for weight loss. They’re designed to pump your body full of essential vitamins and nutrients. They’re designed for easy absorption. Some claim that they help get rid of junk food cravings, which I do agree with.
Basically, they are a tool to help your body get healthy, but not to drop pounds and are definitely not a long term solution.
Who wants to drink every meal through a straw?
4. The Shake Weight (and other ridiculous fitness fads)
Have you seen this thing? I’m sure you have! Every time I see one, I crack up and think of The Ellen Show.
Is this thing for real? There are so many new pieces of fitness equipment coming out that make me roll my eyes. It breaks my heart to see such junk coming out not designed to really help anyone at all, but to bring money to someone’s pocket. Yes, making money is good but not at the expense of false promises.
This is not going to burn inches of fat of the body, it’s not going to give you a six pack and it’s certainly not going to revolutionize the way you workout.
That of course comes only from total body, complex exercises and workouts.
5. Ab exercises give 6-packs.
As someone working very hard to get an “ideal stomach”, I wish that doing sit-ups and crunches would yield cuts in my stomach like the Grande Canyon. Nope, not going to happen.
While core workouts strength the abs, if there is fat on top of them you will never see those babies.
Want a flat stomach? Do workouts that burn significant amount of calories and are designed to burn body fat. Cardio and strength training is the only way to make it happen…
Well that and a crazy clean diet. Because we all know abs are made in the kitchen.
6. A mile walked is the same as a mile ran.
Someone once told me that a mile of running and a mile of walking burns the same amount of calories and provides the same benefits.
Unfortunately this isn’t so.
Running activates more muscles throughout the entire body than walking and the more muscles recruited, the more calories burned during that mile and afterwards, during recovery.
Have you ever sprinted and the next day woke up with sore abs? Have you ever had sore abs from a day of walking in the park? Unlikely.
Start where you can, if that means walking then walk. But as you continue to get stronger try to run a little more and more. You’ll see big changes in your body.
7. Light weight at high reps do the same as heavy weight at low reps.
This is a huge misconception in the women’s fitness world. So let’s clear some things up, shall we?
Will little weights give your muscles definition if you do enough reps (we’re talking A LOT of reps)? Yes. If you do 50 curls with a 3 pound weight then sure you’ll “feel the burn” and get some tone going on.
I can’t deny that.
However, will you get stronger? Will you no longer need help opening the jar of spaghetti sauce or bringing a box up from the car to the house? No.
Behind fat burning, strength is the biggest benefit if exercise. If you want to get stronger (which I definitely do) then you’re going to have to pick up some heavier weights or doing some challenging body weight exercises that encourage muscle damage (which is a good thing) to build more fibers up and increase what you’re made of!
8. First you should lose weight with cardio and then start using weights to tone up.
I’ve heard this comment come from my own father and let’s just say it didn’t go over well.
There this idea that if you’re trying to lose weight, you should rely solely on cardio. Only after the weight is gone is it time to add in strength training to tone up the muscles.
Why is this so popular of an idea? I don’t know.
Just like with just eating, if you just use cardio for weight loss, you’re going to decrease your metabolism. You will burn off muscle (and unlike just dieting also a little bit of fat) but overall not the ratio of fat burn that you really desire.
Unlike if you combine both cardio and strength training, you’ll burn over 90% of weight from fat! Not muscle! In fact, you’ll keep muscle and add some helping to INCREASE your metabolism!
And increased metabolism means more calories burned each day and that of course leads to even more fat leaving your body.
Combine them, please.
9. You don’t have to count calories to lose weight.
Okay, this one is a little tricky because I don’t count calories, I never have. At least not directly.
To lose weight, whether you’re aware of it or not, if you’re watching your food then you’re counting calories. Or at least making a conscious effort to eat less of them per day.
The old trick that losing weight is a matter of burning more calories then you’re taking in rings true today.
No, you don’t have to have a firm grasp on exactly how many you ate each day, but you do have to know that you’re taking in less calories than you were before.
10. Exercise is supposed to make you sore.
How do you feel the day after a good workout? Sore from the moment your feet hit the ground?
That’s normal, it’s going to happen. Sore muscles are a sign that you’ve worked out in a new and challenging way. You’ve recruited new muscles and made you body go “what just happened?”
But that doesn’t have to occur every single time you workout. Having a good workout is not noted by how sore you are or are not. If you’re not sore, it doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard… it simply means that your muscles were accustomed to the work you made them do.
Should you always do the same workout? Of course not, you should change things up regularly, however as long as you’re intensity is up throughout the workout and you’re bringing your body to some state of fatigue or discomfort for any amount of time, then you’re doing just great.
Don’t feel like a failure if you’re not sore. Celebrate waking up and feeling great!
Is there anything on this list you disagree with? Anything I left off?