Breaking The Fitness Rules: 11 Things You’ve Got Wrong About Fitness
Science tells us that our ability to make responsible decisions decays throughout the day. In other words-unlike wind, solar power and Dame Judy Dench, willpower is a finite resource. So if you’re going to put some effort into making changes, make sure you’re not wasting your willpower on the wrong ones.
1- “Fat makes you fat”- well it must right? It’s actually called fat. Actually fat is vital for many body functions, including the production of testosterone. So when you thought barbecuing meat made you more of a man you were technically correct.
2- “Jogging is the best exercise”- we’ve all seen the poor fat bloke attempting the 1,000 metre speed-hobble round the park. Next time you see him, grab him round the shoulders and shout “you’re doing it wrong!” In his doughy face (don’t). Few people have the strength and muscle balance to run without getting injured. Start with a three day a week weights and stretching program.
3- “Crunches give you abs”- You already have abs. If you eat less crap and lift weights you may actually see them someday. Crunches are the icing on the cake. Just stop eating the cake.
4- “You need to train for core stability”- Exercises on unstable surfaces or vibrating platforms are a waste of time. They’ve become trendy in recent years, but are total nonsense. So if you do find your girlfriend lying on top of the washing machine on spin, it’s not because she’s trying to tone up.
In fact, while we’re at it….
5- “Lift light weights to tone up”- muscles get bigger or smaller, that’s it. Any discussion of “tone” is best directed toward saxophones and obscure German Cinema. Lift as heavy as you can safely manage for 8-12 good reps.
6- “coffee is bad for you”. Coffee before exercise provides energy and causes you to use a greater percentage of body fat as a fuel source. Plus it smells and tastes awesome. Now, if your java habit makes crystal meth addiction look like a take-it-or-leave-it side interest, you should probably cut back. But a few cups a day is gravy.
7- more is always better- exercise can be daunting, so setting yourself the goal of training every day may not be the best approach. Three days a week is plenty for a newbie.
8- Pilates and yoga give you long lean muscles – your muscles attach to fixed points on your bones. Making them “longer” would require a chainsaw and a lot of ibuprofen. These classes are a great adjunct to weight training, and they do tend to be populated by outlandishly hot women, but don’t kid yourself they’ll turn you into Dahlsim from street fighter II.
9- you need to cut out salt- provided you eat a diet of mainly whole, fresh foods and not processed rubbish (an admittedly big “if”), there is no point cutting out salt. Buy good quality stuff like Malden’s sea salt and season away.
There’s just so many other things that can kill you, especially if you live in Hackney, why deprive yourself of a bit of flavour?
10- you must eat breakfast- actually fasting for 16-20 hours once or twice a week will not only make you trimmer but improve your digestion and boost fat burning hormones. So Tony the Tiger can f**k off.
11- nutrition is complicated- Stick to foods that grew in the ground or used to be alive. Ever seen a pasta tree? No. So don’t eat it. Fish, meat, veg, nuts and fruit are all fair game. You’re now armed with enough knowledge to sort your diet out. That’ll be fifty quid please.