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12 Days of Fitness 2012 – Day 9: Hard Fitness Truths

December 18, 2012 0 Comments

(This is Part 9 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful fitness tips over the holiday season)

This is not going to sound good, but fitness is not all what it is cracked up to be. Before you think I’ve sold out, let me explain.  Fitness, more specifically, physical movement is something we all need and we’re not getting enough of.  And in that quest, we have conflicting information, self-proclaimed gurus, marketing hype, and single minded approaches to things that at best leave so many so confused and misguided they get nowhere. I want to share with you today that fitness is not to blame; it’s the way it is perceived or presented that’s the root of the problem. Here are some “hard” truths that are irrefutable and can not be denied, despite what article you just read or “expert” you just bought into.

  • Diets Do Work – WOW! I didn’t just say that, did I? I did. Diets do work. They work if they’re livable (can be done consistently for the rest of your life); if they’re repeatable (can be done by everyone the same way to yield the same result); if they’re palatable (the food you eat tastes great and can be enjoyed for all eternity).  So if you find a diet that meets all 3 criteria and does not allow for you to live to enjoy all there is in life, congratulations.  You have found the secret to dieting successfully.
  • Science Is Not Gospel – The great thing about science is that it is always changing and those that deny that are ignorant. A lot of exercise theories have evolved over the years primarily because understanding how this complex machine (the human body) adapts to training stimuli is ever changing. To someone like me, it’s incredibly exciting and thrilling. To the self proclaimed gurus, it’s an opportunity for them to market a concept as the “only” way to do things, only to discover in a few more years how antiquated they were in their thinking.
  • Diet is More Important Than Exercise – Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, perform better, etc. – the common denominator is what you eat. Period. No training program is anything without the accompanying nutritional plan. There’s simply no denying that.
  • Genetics Count – A common crutch for those who just don’t work hard enough, there is merit to this. Depending on the goal or desired outcome, some people have an easier go about it based purely on genetics, but that’s not an excuse. Great things are accomplished by those who stop at never, and if it involves a longer journey to success it will taste even sweeter when you remember where you started.
  • Thin Does Not Equal Fit – Our culture is so guilty of this.  We applaud, worship, and adore those that are thin and mostly associate that they are fit and healthy. Under that assumption, many exercise or diet extremely to mimic these waifs possibly endangering their own health along the way. In the end, the quest for thin made them thin in fitness and possibly long term in health. Leanness should be the goal, not thinness, and there is a huge (no pun intended) difference.
  • Muscle Confusion Is Nothing New – This is a simple concept to understand.  Number one, your muscles don’t get confused so get that ridiculous term out of your head. Exercise is a stress, more specifically a eustress; a positive effect that has desirable impact or result. When the body adapts to this stress, the stress has to change or the positive changes diminish. By mixing up your program or simply selecting different reps and sets, you continue to keep the body progressing, thus seeing results. No one gets results from doing the same thing all the time. Muscles fatigue, atrophy, hypertrophy, tighten, lengthen, shorten, cramp, spasm – they don’t get confused.
  • Reps and Sets Are Not Everything – (see previous point) People get so hung up on reps and sets for a specific goal when it comes to weight training that they regress for paying too much attention to one component of effective training. Sets and reps are merely guideposts if you will to give you an idea on how much work should be done. However, it’s the manipulation of those sets, reps, and load lifted that create the desired results.  Not getting the results you want? You might consider taking a few other things into account and not just how many sets and reps you’re performing.

And by the way, I will never declare myself an expert. Like you, I am always learning and that is why this stuff never gets old or boring.

Til next time, train smart, eat well, and be better.

See you tomorrow for Day 10 of the 12 Days of Fitness

My 2012 Fitness Challenge personal update – 35,200 push ups done as of publishing time





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