10 Fitness Facts That Everyone Gets Wrong ftom The Washington Post


10 Fitness Facts That Everyone Gets WrongPublished 4 days ago

Top 10 lists are subjective. There are many common fitness facts, frauds and myths that are not on this list and some weird ones that are. This list is comprised of 10 that I’ve personally found are often misunderstood and that I want to clarify.

You need to train hard to see your abs

Remember Iggy Pop and his rippling abs? Do you think after a show he was going to the gym to do abdominal crunches on a Swiss ball? No, he was heading back to his hotel room to shoot smack and bang groupies.

And what he wasn’t doing was eating that much, because heroin suppresses appetite. Being in a state of regular caloric deficit kept Iggy’s frame at a low body fat level, and the abs popped out. That’s the way it works. You can enhance the look of your abs with some focused work, but if they’re covered in flab, no one will ever know.

Exercise is about burning calories

Burning calories is just about the least important thing exercise does. Far more important is what is known as a “training effect.” Exercise has the ability to make you stronger, faster, more agile, and more flexible. It can make you more skilled at various sports and enhance your cognitive capabilities. It also enhances immune function and promotes longevity.

And if fat loss is your goal, intense exercise has a tendency to transform you into a better eater.

Weightlifting is an effective fat-loss strategy

By far the most effective fat loss strategy is carefully controlling caloric intake. Sustained and intense aerobic exercise can be a valuable addition to this.

Weightlifting does burn calories, but when compared to hard aerobic training, it pales. A hard session with the iron burns only 20% more calories per hour than walking at 4 mph, according to Essentials of Strength Training and Condition. And I’m sorry to tell you that adding muscle does not rev up your resting metabolism.

Low-carb diets are effective for weight loss

The only thing that matters is calories. Caloric deficits can be done in a healthy way and an unhealthy one. Many experts consider low carb to be unhealthy, and I agree with them. I know that some experience weight-loss success with this approach, but I consider this diet as a last resort for the lazy.

Yes, there is evidence that it can be good for controlling appetite because of the high protein levels and the fact that the diet restricts a bunch of bad carbs that are high in calories. However, it also restricts the good carbs that are essential for exercise performance, the ones that can be quite satiating and contain valuable nutrients.

A high-protein diet is effective for gaining muscle

At a certain point, you just don’t need it anymore. Unless you’re shooting the juice and training long hours to build muscle fast, your body can only use so much. I had some conversations with nutrition expert Alan Aragon who told me that those looking to gain weight only need about 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

Walking a mile burns the same number of calories as running it does

Walking at 4 mph increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR) by a factor of five. Running at twice that speed increases RMR by 13.5 times, more than three times the metabolic increase for only double the speed.

It’s also worth noting that running has a lot more of those beneficial training effects mentioned in No. 10 than walking does.

Exercising causes you to eat more

A pile of research fails to show that there is any such thing as “working up an appetite.” In reality, a significant amount of exercise does not contribute to increased appetite and, as mentioned in No. 9, can lead to healthier eating habits.

Getting in shape raises your metabolism

An in-depth and tightly controlled study of identical twins by renowned obesity researcher Dr. Claude Bouchard found the opposite to be true. Exercise boosts metabolism during the act of exercise. However, as you improve physical fitness, your body begins to operate more efficiently so that you burn fewer calories while at rest and during exercise. Losing fat will also contribute to burning fewer calories because fat is somewhat metabolically active and you have less body weight to cart around with you everywhere.

Running wears out your knees

This 18-year-long study compared runners with non-runners and found no difference in the development of knee osteoarthritis between groups. In reality, running provides valuable training and lubrication for various body joints to enhance cartilage health.

"X" is the best form of exercise

You want to know the real best form of exercise? It’s the one you love. It’s the one you are motivated to do regularly and train hard at. It’s the one you want to keep improving at. That one is best.

10 thoughts on “10 Fitness Facts That Everyone Gets Wrong ftom The Washington Post

  1. Wiltshire January 27, 2012 at 3:41 PM Reply

    “Weightlifting does burn calories, but when compared to hard aerobic training, it pales. A hard session with the iron burns only 20% more calories per hour than walking at 4 mph”

    I’m sorry but this is completely illogical. The purported benefit of using weightlifting for burning calories is in the ‘after-burn’ effect. i.e. Walking at 4mph for an hour basically only burns calories for that hour, an intensive weightlifting session can burn calories at a much higher rate, over 24 hrs. You’ve conveniently missed out the entire argument for using weightlifting in a weight loss context.

  2. Tom January 27, 2012 at 9:03 PM Reply

    Valid points in many regards, however I do have one significant issue with the article. You keep referring to caloric intake. This is a ridiculous approach to take.

    The small calorie or gram calorie (symbol: cal)[2] approximates the energy needed to increase the huge temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 °C. This is about 4.2 joules.

    This is measured by burning the food, as commonly demonstrated in school biology with a peanut.

    We are not steam engines. We do not “burn” food. We break it down physically, then chemically, and extract the nutrition from that. The nutritional aspect that is important from food regarding energy intake (which is what you are referring to when you mention calorie), is what your body absorbs from the broken down food. E.g. Sweetcorn has a high energy content (or calorie as you would call it). However its outer layer is cellulose, which the body can’t handle. If you don’t chew it, and swallow it whole, you will gain nothing from it, despite the tables saying you will.

    This also explains why Coeliac’s disease affects people into a later life. Wheat intolerance nukes their intestines and they develop malnutrition related disorders in later life.

    Please can we stop using absurd units to measure things by BMI (an index created in postwar england to measure malnutrition in school children) is another culprit.

    Personally I suggest removing caloric content information from food entirely, and force people to become informed as to what their own body absorbs from each food.

  3. John SA February 6, 2012 at 12:52 AM Reply

    resistance training does in fact boost your metabolism. you burn more calories while doing the steady state cardio but you metabolism is kicked up for a couple days post workout. resistance training actually results in more calories burned.

    • ML February 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM Reply

      any proof? studies? or is it just your theory?

  4. P. Walker February 6, 2012 at 8:22 AM Reply

    This article is originally from Askmen.com. Sharing the information is good (especially about health!) but please properly credit the original authors by listing the source at the beginning or end of the post. Thank you.

    • asianheartinstitute March 20, 2012 at 3:02 PM Reply

      Dear Mr Walker,

      The article is clearly attributed to the Washington Post and Askmen.com at the very beginning. The AskMen logo has also been very carefully included. Is there some reason (a setting perhaps?) this is not showing up on your side? We would be very grateful if you could guide us. Nothing is ever published here without fastidiously acknowledging its original source. We have every intention of clearly and unmistakably attributing the original source.

  5. Mark M March 12, 2012 at 12:14 AM Reply

    I so hate reading that low-carb diets are somehow not effective. It’s all calories in/calories out, but when you’re in ketosis, you burn fat inefficiently, and so it doesn’t yield 9 calories/gram as it would normally. Protein doesn’t change (4cal/gram) and you’re not eating carbs, so on a low carb diet you CAN EAT MORE CALORIES THAN NORMAL, so long as you stay in ketosis. Of course, you still need to exercise, and you need to drink more water to help your system flush out those ketone bodies. But let’s be clear… you get a DISCOUNT on the fat calories, not absolution, so you’ve still got to watch calories.

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  7. Olavi Rosberg December 5, 2012 at 1:08 PM Reply

    Yes those are right many of us think of those things.In Helsinki Finland many of people believe that exercising is one of the best way of burning calories but for me it is a good way to be fit and to be stronger.Well thank for this.

  8. Alex Quant April 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM Reply

    Great Post i would like to hear more about this to learn more (aka Alex Quant) http://pinolerosweb.com

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