Fitness Fallacies

Some Misunderstood Misnomers

Fitness Fallacies - Some Misunderstood Misnomers
Why does my stomach growl?
Your stomach growling has NOTHING to do with your hunger level and is the sound that the intestinal tract makes when metabolizing food. This sound can occur around the time that you’re hungry, thus giving off the impression that it could be the body’s way of signaling that it’s time to eat; wrong.

Why do my joints make a popping sound when I crack them?
Your joints making a popping sound (medical term: cavitation) is because of the air that is trapped inside them. There are hidden spaces everywhere within your body where air can be present, even in between your joints. When you pop your knuckles, (intentionally or unintentionally) in essence, your joint is releasing trapped carbon dioxide – so if your friend ‘pops your back’ for you or when you ‘pop your knuckles’ – you all didn’t solve world hunger even though you may get this impression. You ever wonder why a few hours later you have the ability to ‘pop your joints again?’

Do I need to lift heavier weights to build more muscle mass?
Not necessarily. I am living proof that you can lift your own body weight (plyometric exercises) and still build or even maintain size. Most fitness enthusiasts are under the impression that the heavier the weight that they lift, the bigger they will get. While this is partially true, most of your size is contingent on many different variables but isn’t limited to: diet, training intensity, training consistency, and GENETICS. Even more important than this, everyone will eventually hit a plateau when dieting or exercising; meaning they won’t experience the gains (or losses) to the degree that they did when they first began. Now conversely, lifting heavy weights for the long haul will stress your joints tremendously. Joints are the body’s weakest part (compare it to the hinge on a door) and is the point of attachment for most bones. In addition, joints receive very little blood supply in comparison to many other parts of the body so once a joint is injured, the recovery time is delayed because of this. We’ve all heard the expression, ‘slow and steady wins the race.’ So lift lighter now and you’ll thank yourself later.

Fitness Fallacies - Some Misunderstood MisnomersI’m lifting weights now but am not losing weight, why could this be?
Well, as you may already know, muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’re lifting weights in the attempt to gain more muscularity and to lose weight at the same time – it may be a double edged sword. If you’ve been weight lifting for some time now and it seems that you’ve only lost a few pounds of ‘fat’ – you could have put on some lean ‘muscle weight’ to compensate and confused it with not losing body fat. Just like the BMI (Body Mass Index) you can’t let the scale always be the deciding factor in your overall fitness goals, leave it up to the mirror.

Do I burn more calories with cardio or weight training?
Well again there are variables to consider like I mentioned in one of the questions above. Permitting the intensity is the same while doing cardio vs weight training – weight training is designed to stimulate muscle growth while cardio is not. Don’t get me wrong, when performing cardio, you do burn (limited) calories – just very few compared to that of lifting weights. Cardio can be good for cardiovascular (heart strengthening) conditioning and to improve on your VO2 Max (the amount of oxygen utilized by the body and muscles at a given time) but lets face it, cardio doesn’t stimulate muscle growth and doesn’t shape the body as does weight training. When you lift weights, you’re going to build more muscle thus spiking the metabolism; therefore your body will naturally use and require more calories to keep the muscles growing. Compare this theory to the engine size of a car, the larger the engine – the more gas (calories) it will require and vice versa. So if and when you require more muscle mass throughout your lifetime, your metabolism will rise naturally and you will burn more calories around the clock, even while at rest. Use cardio as a 10 minute warm-up prior to weight training for the best results.

An apple a day keeps the Doctors away?
Apples are in fact high in Vitamin C (antioxidant) and this is supposed to help boost the immune system amongst many other things HOWEVER, recent studies have proven that Vitamin D is actually more effective at doing so.

Fitness Fallacies - Some Misunderstood MisnomersDo I really need to eat 6 meals a day to get big?
The theory about eating 6 small meals per day (roughly 400-500 calories for each meal and spaced out 2-3 hours apart), is to keep the metabolism spiked and provide a steady supply of nutrients to the body. The only flip side to this is quantity and quality control. Permitting you do keep these two items in check you will keep your daily caloric intake levels in check as well. If you count calories like I’ve discussed in many previous blog postings (and include beverages in your calorie count) and don’t go over this ‘magic number of calories’ every day then you should be just fine. Keep in mind, you don’t exactly have to exercise to maintain your desired weight level as this can be done with dieting alone, however, exercising does make the process a bit easier.

Do diets really work?
A diet is simply defined as a meal that is a reduction in calories from your current nutritional plan and is only supposed to last a short while. A nutritional plan, on the other hand, is the meal plan that you refer back to when you come off your diet. If there is a vast difference in the number of calories from your diet vs nutritional plan, then you will be yo-yo dieting for the rest of your life. So in short, will a ‘traditional diet’ work for you? Yes, permitting you commit to it fully and permitting it’s a reduction in calories from your ‘daily nutritional plan.’ The biggest problem with diets these days is typically the calories are reduced so low and that the diet plan is such a drastic change from the person’s current nutritional plan, that it’s not a reasonable transition for most people to make and they give up. When it comes to dieting, my theory is if there’s a ‘drastic change then there will be drastic failure’ – with few exceptions. So take a gander at one of my previous blogs so you can learn how to ‘count calories’ via the ‘tweaking method.’ It may be burdensome at first but after doing so for a couple of weeks it will become second nature and you’ll learn how to lose weight all while eating the foods you normally eat and not become another yo-yo dieter.

Trevor Adams

Trevor Adams is a certified nutritionist and male fitness model. Be sure to visit his website and Facebook page