4 Training Myths That Need to Die

“CrossFit will kill you! Carbs are evil! Women don’t need to be strong!

There’s a lot of nonsense in the fitness industry. (What exactly is toning, anyhow?) Even if you’re not new to the gym, it’s easy to get caught up in old myths or things you hear from people the second you pick up a barbell or decide you’re going to take up CrossFit or weightlifting.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of myths that should be debunked. (Do we really need to explain why dieting based off of your personality type is silly?) But, for now, it would make us happy if just these four went away.

You have to do cardio/sweat to lose weight.

First off, a million different things (weather, your fitness level, genetics) play into your sweat levels. Some people sweat in their sleep.

Second, while metabolic conditioning is important —and necessary, in most sports — lifting weights is a much better bang for your buck in terms of calories burned and overall fat loss.

The more muscle you have on you, the more calories you burn, even when doing nothing. It’s also less stressful on your body, which is great if you’re already feeling the stressors of work and life in general. Not to mention the stress of dieting—when you couple that with the stress high intensity exercise has on your body, it’s not the best recipe for success.

Stop skipping lifting-only days at your gym or being too intimidated to work squats and deadlifts into your routine. If you do it right, a lifting day will be just as difficult —if not more so – than doing Fran. With a lot more long-term benefits.

Eating less and training more will help you reach your goals.

Eating less is a terrible idea for most people who train pretty regularly and are dedicated to their sport whatever it may be. Yes, everyone wants to have shredded abs and be the best they can be. But people think under eating is the key to fat loss and being lean. It’s not.

training myths / theathletedaily

Yes, you need more food than this.

What is? Making sure you are eating ENOUGH to fuel your workouts (so you can add muscle and burn fat) and that you’re consuming the right balance of macronutrients. Constantly eating less will keep your body in a constant state of being stressed and make you more prone to injury. And adding in double sessions, when you’re not recovering properly (or at all), will have a similar effect.

More training is not better training. Stop being afraid of taking a day off from training. Stop being afraid of food. And please, please properly fuel yourself around training.

Lifting heavy weights makes women bulky.
dummbells / theathletedaily

Put down the 3-lb dumbbells

This is (hopefully) fading away within most gyms, though if you’re a female athlete, we bet you still hear it a fair amount outside of those walls. No, lifting heavy weights isn’t going to miraculously make you big and bulky. You’d have to really, really try and pump yourself full of steroids to get even close to the testosterone levels needed for that to happen.

The bigger issue, for me, is why women are so hell bent on shrinking themselves. As you age, especially with women, you should want to put on all the muscle you can.

That muscle is what’s going to keep you from breaking a hip if you fall in your 60s. That muscle is going to be what enables you to walk and run and move around with people 20 years younger than you.

So, lift heavy weights. (You’ll look better.) Take creatine. No, it won’t damage your liver. They say the same thing about eating “too much” protein. (Trust me, you’d have to really, really try to come anywhere close to ingesting enough protein for that to happen.)

Strongman is just for the really strong, really big guys.

I get it. You watched Brian Shaw and a whole bunch of other superhuman-looking guys flip huge tires and do yoke carries with more weight than you’ve ever seen and you decided you’d stick to your own conventional lifting.

But the sport of Strongman is rapidly growing among novices and there’s weight classes for people who weight 120 lb., 200 lb. and everything above and in between.

We’ve talked about the benefits of Strongman-style stuff before, so I won’t bore you with the details of how beneficial it is for your training and how carries are the best thing you aren’t doing. Just know that 1) you look really badass flipping tires and 2) it’s well within your realm as an athlete.