Mind & Body
The Top 7 Fitness Myths for Men
6/1/2017 12:48:10 PM



One article says this, and new research says that. Your totally bulked-up neighbor recommends doing one thing, but you overheard your co-worker bragging about his success with just the opposite approach.  How’s a guy supposed to sort through all the information to find a fitness plan that works for him?  


"It can be overwhelming, even for those of us in the industry,” says Justin Clark, exercise specialist with Dynamic Dimensions of West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital. "Knowing which pieces of information are accurate becomes quite a challenge. This is why there are countless fitness myths that are widely accepted as fact.  And let’s face it, it’s tough enough to remember all the valid health advice we’re bombarded with on a daily basis without wasting any brainpower on misinformation.” 


Clark addresses some of the most commonly held male fitness myths and provides the facts you need to achieve your goals in these areas.


1 Size equals strength.

Strength and size do not have a direct correlation. Power training (one measurement of strength) encompasses training that may not add any size, yet you can still see a great deal of strength improvements. Many well-recognized martial arts experts are small, but incredibly strong. Some people desire to bulk up as much as possible. These two training methods have distinct principles that can differ significantly, but they will both result in increased strength.


2 Muscle turns into fat.

Muscle and fat are two different types of body tissue. Just as fat can’t transform into muscle, muscle won’t transform into fat. Building muscle and losing body fat are two completely different processes. An increase in muscle due to training will increase metabolism which will in turn reduce body fat. A reduction in muscle due to inactivity will result in a reduced metabolism increasing body fat. 


3 Morning workouts are most effective.

The American Council on Exercise actually recommends working out between 4:00-6:00pm when your body temperature is highest, making your workouts more productive.  But remember, this is far from an ironclad rule. Fitness goals are achieved with consistency and intensity. Many people find that exercising before work prevents one’s busy day from getting in the way of their workout. Others find working out after work to be a great stress reliever. The best time for you to work out is the time that helps you be the most consistent.

 

4 More hours spent in the gym leads to better results.

Overtraining can actually halt muscle growth. Instead of your body rebuilding its muscle tissues, it will continue to break it down, meaning you’ll start to lose muscle. The goal is to train smarter, not harder or longer. Give your best effort during your workout and push your muscles. Then give them the rest they need to grow bigger and stronger. Make sure to do cardio training. If your workouts are taking a lot longer than an hour, you are not training effectively. Remember, you’re not paid by the hour in the gym. Your payment comes in the form of results.


5 Avoid all carbohydrates. 

Not all carbs are bad carbs. Carbohydrates are the body’s first source of energy, especially for an active individual. Completely neglecting carbs will leave you tired, sluggish, and hinder your performance. It’s important to be conscious of both the types of carbohydrates you consume and when you eat them, rather than ignoring them altogether. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and certain fruits are the best choices, with breakfast and after a workout being the best time to consume them. Focus on limiting simple carbohydrates whether they be cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, beet sugar, etc. 

 

6 Extra protein builds more muscle.

Protein does have important roles in bodybuilding and maintaining muscles, but if you consume more than your body needs, excess amounts can be stored as fat. To determine how much protein you need for your specific weight, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. If you choose to supplement your diet with protein drinks, it’s usually more important to consider the timing rather than the amount. A post workout supplement can help start the recovery/rebuilding process sooner.

 

7 You can crunch your way to six packs.

You may develop unbelievably strong abs, but you won’t be doing anything to reduce the layer of fat that covers those muscles. In order to see the specific abdominal muscles known as a "six pack,” you have to first lower your overall body fat percentage. A better way to do this is by making better dietary choices and doing high-intensity interval training.


These are only a few of the common myths about male fitness. "Unfortunately, far too many people believe them and do more harm than good when it comes to their fitness level,” says Clark. "This is not to say that what you see in the media or the advice you get from others can’t be trusted. We’re just saying to check out the credibility of the source, do your own research, and get the advice of a qualified fitness professional before putting it into practice.”


For more information about men’s fitness or developing a personal training plan designed specifically for you, call Dynamic Dimensions in Sulphur at (337) 527-5459, or in Moss Bluff at (337) 855-7708.

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