Oh Hey! It's my Birthday!
When I first started really working out more and getting into fitness almost 8 years ago, I heard some of the craziest things out of people's mouths - this was friends, family members and even strangers!
Seemed everyone had an opinion about what I should/shouldn't do with my body....the only other time I had received so much unsolicited advice was when I was pregnant with my daughter. Huh, funny how that also had to do with MY body.
In regards to my fitness, I was told a variety of pearls of wisdom like:
"Don't get too big!" - what the heck does that even mean?
"You can't eat carbs and be healthy" - said by someone eating a bag of Skittles so clearly an expert right? (No offence Skittles, love you!) "That's a men's workout - why would you want to look like a man?" - Ummm...what?
Now that I'm a personal trainer, my clients come to me filled with all kinds of pearls of wisdom like the above given to them by others and I'm brought right back to that time.
It's sad that we see someone doing something great for themselves and their health and we take it upon ourselves to bury them with myths and crap advice not backed by any science or common sense.
After a session with a client this week, I was inspired to write this post to clear up the shitty advice! Here are some of the common crap my clients hear:
1. It's only working if it hurts
Seriously?! I get that working out won't be always be comfortable and will make you push yourself hard, but it doesn't mean you need to be sore for days or bring yourself to injury. Feeling the burn, a higher heart rate and breathing harder are all part of a workout but pain should not be! Do not take this advice - you'll go way too hard too soon and get frustrated. The best way to workout is to start at your level, progress your way up, modify when you need too and listen to your body.
2. Avoid Carbs
Pretty much any advice randomly thrown at you about carbs should be ignored. Yes, there are people who do really well when they limit carbs and this is usually due to medical conditions. But it's the advice to completely eliminate carbs that gets me. Carbs are an energy source for your body and are great when you consume real food with healthy carbs. Advice about eliminating one kind of nutrient from your diet should only be followed if it's given by your doctor for medical reasons. So tell your neighbour, mail carrier, boss's mom and the cashier at the corner store to back off and eat some sweet potato.
3. Lifting Weights Makes You Bulky
Can I scream here? Can I? Ugh. If you want to shape your body, strength training is key! If you pair it with cardio training and flexibility training then you've got a great workout for your whole body. It would take years of heavy weight lifting and a high calorie diet to make you get "big and bulky".
4. You HAVE to Workout Every Day
Who's got time for that?! If you enjoy working out and you have the time, go for it! But rest for your body is equally important. Aim for 3 to 4 days a week and you'll see a difference. If you're just starting out, then strive for 2 days a week and build yourself up.
What's the worse advice you've ever received? Share it with me!