Tag Archives: P90X

12 Days of Fitness 2019: Day 8 – Dispelling 5 Common Training Lies

(This is part 8 of a 12 part series to provide you with some helpful health and fitness tips over the holiday season)

As a fitness professional, it is my job to not only work with people but educate them on the how, why, and what about fitness. In my 25 years of being a fitness professional I think I’ve heard and seen it all. Every once and a while something will surface that gets a lot of press and notoriety that people take for gospel. Most times, it’s something that was bad news in the past that’s just been repackaged to look new and sound better. It’s not. So here I’ve put together 5 of the top fitness/training myths that continue to pop up from time to time and ruin most people’s journey to optimum health and fitness.

  1. You have to confuse your muscles. If you’ve ever bought into the hype about muscles getting confused (P90X people), pay attention. This idea of “muscle confusion” was fabricated by some clever fitness marketing gurus eager to sell their products. Simply put, muscle confusion states that you have to change up your workout from session to session or from week to week – different exercises, varying rep ranges, and switching up rest periods – in order to get leaner, faster, and stronger. And by never giving your body a chance to adapt to a specific routine, you’ll never plateau and consequently never stop making improvements. Not exactly. Spend too much time with any one specific stimuli and your body will adapt to it less and less. But actively changing things up from time to time will yield much better returns – no confusion.
  2. You can lose tons of fat and gain muscle at the same time if you train hard enough. In an ideal world, yes. But in the real world, no. The only types of people who can simultaneously pile on muscle and melt fat are beginners, those who are just coming back to the gym after a long hiatus, very obese individuals, or folks on performance-enhancing drugs. Unless you’re one of the above, you’ll be spinning your wheels if you really want to try and go down this route. Prioritize one over the other and keep up the intensity in the gym regardless of your goal.
  3. Cardio will burn fat. Steady-state cardio is not inherently a fat loss modality. By itself, it does have mild benefits for cardiovascular health, but it’s not going to get you the lean physique you’re striving for. The more cardio you do, the more efficient your body becomes at burning calories. Sounds like a good thing at first glance, but if fat loss is your goal, this is the opposite of what you want. Moreover, study after study has shown that exercise protocols involving steady-state cardio have led to negligible weight loss and that aerobic exercise by itself is not an effective form of weight loss therapy.
  4. More volume is better, no matter how you go about it. Translation – more total work is the answer. No. There are people who love to tell you that they spend hours in the gym when in reality the total work they’re actually doing is questionable. Training volume is a critical component of exercise and one that can be easily manipulated. In fact, it’s one of the greatest determinants of muscle growth, much more than any other component of exercise. But the “more is better” mantra is never the goal with exercise. Consistency and progressiveness are.
  5. As long as you exercise, you can eat whatever you want. This is one of my favorites. You ALWAYS have to be mindful of not only what but how much you eat. Exercise is NEVER a permission to eat whatever or how much you want. Most exercise sessions burn a lot less calories than you think (ignore treadmill counters, fitness trackers, or popular fitness threads). The long term effect over time is that you’re typically burning more than being sedentary which will have a positive effect. I will tell you that here is where most people fail. They’ll work out, modestly at best, and then buy a smoothie or their favorite coffee drink that they feel they’ve earned. That’s a big no.

And that’s the problem with much of the information you read – we take an ounce of truth and turn it into two tons of BS. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

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

See you tomorrow for Day 9 of the 12 Days of Fitness

Just in case, here’s what you might have missed:

Day #16 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain
Day #2 – Cholesterol Myths You Need to Stop Believing
Day #3 – Festively Fit: Staying Fit Over the Holidays
Day #410 Fitness Myths That Need to Die
Day #59 Ways to Trick Yourself Into Feeling Full
Day #6The Cult Of Supplements And The Dangers Of Multi-Level Marketing
Day #7 – The First 5 Things Nutritionists Will Tell You To Cut From Your Diet



Fitness On Steroids

download (1)For those of you who know me well, you know that I’m very proud and passionate about my field. While I could on and on with the list of the “why’s” I love what I do so much, one of the reasons that happens every day without fail is I am always learning something new.  Whether it be the way a client reveals a structural weakness, or an article that I read debunking what I previously thought to be true, or a new way of coaching something I’ve done effortlessly for years – each day is always new and exciting. Fitness is not just my career; it’s my life. But for the masses, fitness is just something they do, whether intelligently or blindly, and big corporations are ready to take advantage of that.

All Braun, No Brains

Over the years, fitness has evolved from something only a select few do (athletes, strongmen, performers, etc.) to big box gyms, small studios, and specialty storefronts on every corner. But with the expansion of fitness centers and thousands of activities, something very critical was lost in the shuffle – common sense.  Benjamin Franklin said it best, “Common sense is not very common.” Fitness has taken so many shapes and forms that the consumer is often left confused on what is best for them.  So what do they gravitate towards?  Whatever is trendy, popular, or “hot”. Is their choice the best solution? Generally, not always but the marketing is hard to ignore and most jump in with both feet without a lifejacket. The end result being more confused, injured, or worse yet, turned off of exercise.

Faux Fitness

It’s a term I like to use for all of the new magic potion fitness programs such as P90X, Insanity, CrossFit, Bar Method, Brazil Butt Lift…and so many others.  Now before you are quick to say “He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I’ve had tremendous success with one or more of these programs” – let me say that inherently all of these types of programs have merit.  However, all are a perfect example of where “a little knowledge is dangerous” and have three things in common: they simply ignore science and empirical evidence and replace it with marketing; they ignore common sense and replace it with marketing; they prey on the uniformed. Is it possible for one to see and get real results from any of these programs? Absolutely. Is there a better, healthier, and safer way to accomplish this task?  Without a doubt. So where is there a middle ground?

Sensible Fitness

Truth be told, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what exercise did you do. Not daily chores – physical activity above and beyond which you are already going to do. What is it you want to accomplish?  Does the exercise of choice match the requirement to achieve that goal? Does the exercise of choice make sense for where you are currently physically? Are you being realistic in your expectations and ignoring the bait and hook lines that sold you on the program? Most importantly, is it safe for you to repeat at any age and not injure you and get in the way of enjoying your life.

Fitness is an attitude.  It’s not something you just do to kill the time or get ready for that big event. It’s a lifestyle.  Make the best choice, keep it consistent, keep it fun, and keep it safe. And use your common sense! Like mom used to say, “If everyone jumped off the bridge, would you follow them?” No mom. I’ll just show them a better way.

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

My 2012 Fitness Challenge personal update – 11,600 push ups done as of publishing time.