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10 Popular Fitness Beliefs That Are Actually Complete Myths

Don't be "that guy."

Everyone has fitness habits and rituals. Unfortunately, many of them are just plain wrong. Here are ten of the biggest misnomers that the average dude can address today.

1.) Eating Fat Makes You Fat

Fact is fat is the most sustainable source of energy for humans. While a diet mostly of fat is not ideal, it doesn’t immediately result in a fat gut. Carbs, especially simple carbs--like highly processed carbohydrates, such as white bread--are the piece de resistance. Anything that is processed and preserved was not really meant for us to eat. 

2.) It Takes Hours In The Gym Each Day To Get “Swoll”

You’ve seen the meathead that spends 2-3 hours in the gym--headphones blasting--raging with one of those t-shirts turned tank tops--let us lay down some truth. This is overkill. If you are training 4-5 days per week, you should be limiting your workouts to no more than 45 minutes. In that amount of time, you’ve created enough microtears in your muscles to require rest and nutrients for repair. 

3.) Cardio Is The Only Way To Burn Fat

Reality is muscle burns fat as gaining muscle results in an eradication of fat. In order to burn fat with cardio, you must be working for longer than an hour. Try blended training instead.

4.) As Long As I Workout Everyday, I Don’t Need To Worry About My Diet

Pump the brakes if you think devouring milkshakes is a wise move because you spend five different days in the gym. Why are you dedicating hours of hard work, only to fuel your body with garbage? Feeding your muscles with healthy nutrients only speeds up the recovery process, allowing you to return to the gym on the offensive. The alternative is a lethargic workout. 

5.) Curls For The Girls Are The Only Way To Get Biceps

You’ve seen that guy banging out 100 bicep curls, getting ready for the beach. He’ll spend an hour just “training” muscles that are worked all day long, feeding, drinking, putting a phone to his ear. You get the point. Choose our favorite alternative--pullups. Not only do they train your traps and lats, they also attack your biceps brachii.

6.) I Don't Need To Train My Legs

Oh, that guy. You know him, huge arms, lats, and chest with chicken legs. He’s hindering his potential. According to the University of New Mexico, “Acute and chronic research shows that higher-volume resistance programs tend to elicit the greatest hormonal responses”. Why skip the largest muscles in your body? They can move the heaviest loads. Look at anything designed for locomotion. It’s big, burly, and powerful. Start training your legs. They’re the only piece of your anatomy connected to the ground. Start light, learn to master the movement, and reap the rewards. 

7.) I Can’t Train Without A Pre-Workout, Bro!

Most supplements lack FDA regulatory influence. That doesn’t mean every supplement is terrible, but you do want to be selective. Choose something with the NSF seal. Pre-workouts are the boom, they’re expensive for merely niacin and caffeine. How about just a cup of coffee before a workout? It’ll be just as effective without the big price tag. 

8.) I Don't Really Need That Much Water

We’re 90% water. What do you think happens when you sweat? Whether, you’re an athlete or heavy sweater, you lose anywhere from 1-3 liters of water per hour of work. You need to replace that if you want to sustain a high level of intensity in your workout. You best bet is to remain hydrated throughout the day. Aim for at least 60 ounces. If you’re training at high intensity, you may want to seek an electrolyte replacement drink that’s NSF certified. Water is the most important factor during a workout, not that pre-workout mix. 

9.) I Work Hard--I Don’t Need To Warm-Up 

Maybe you’re short on time or you just think it’s irrelevant. Warm ups should be a key piece of your workout puzzle. In fact, you should be dedicating at least 15 minutes of your 45-minute workout to warming. Ditch the static stretching protocol, it actually reduces muscle stretch reflex, resulting in lost strength. Opt for dynamic warm ups instead. The basic idea is to take all major muscles of the body through a full range of motion in order to properly lubricate joints and inspire the stretch reflexes. 

10.) Rest Is For The Weak 

One of the dumbest things you can possibly say? “I don’t need to take days off.”  How does one expect to heal the microtears created from working out? Rest is vital for this. It allows properly fueled nutrients to enter the tissue to invoke a repair response. Resting also prepares a refreshed mind, reducing the psychological factors involving injury. Overtraining results in lost strength, size and power, as well as steeply increasing the likelihood of injury. Take a minimum of at least two days off each week. It’s also smart to program long rests of at least four days every other month to ensure some serious repair.