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Fitness Facts and Fallacies

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Old 09-15-2003, 08:10 AM   #1
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Post Fitness Facts and Fallacies

Looking through the posts here, there are a LOT of misconceptions about fitness, and just a lot of uninformed people out there. With so many posts asking for information that seems so very basic to those that are more in-tune with fitness, it's easy to see why America is so overweight.

Not to say that the posters are dumb for asking. The only stupid question is the one not asked. It's GREAT that people are trying to shed the veil of mystery that seems to cloak weight loss and exercise in this country. In some ways, I feel the folks trying to profit by selling machines or diet plans are to blame... as they taut their own products while generally glossing over the true fundamentals of weight loss and exercise.

So, with that in mind, I thought I'd try and start a post where people can share information and anecdotes that penetrate to the heart of the most frequently asked questions around here.. and, no, "how much can you bench" doesn't really count as one of those FAQs that need to be addressed in this thread.

So, to start, here's my modest list of relatively universally accepted fitness facts and fallacies:

1) NUTRITION IS IMPORTANT. You can work out like a maniac, but if the food you're eating is garbage, you're not really going to see a lot of benefits. Arnold himself wouldn't be in great shape if all he ate was Arby's, McDonald's, and Little Debbie snacks.

2) CARDIO IS GENERALLY IMPORTANT TO WEIGHT LOSS. Note I say "generally." There are those that are really into bodybuilding and such that get the calorie-burning effects from all of the muscle mass. Their workouts, though, are often so intense that the effort is actually resulting in an elevated heart rate. For most of us average joes, however, cardio is important to maintaining a good weight. If you're 40 pounds overweight and are simply doing weights.. you're just building muscle under the flab. Ever see those guys with big biceps and a bigger beer belly?

3) SPOT REDUCTION IS A MYTH. You lose fat overall.. not just in one place. You will see more changes in some areas at times than others, but that's because each person's body has areas it will gain/lose weight more easily than others. But there is NO way to "lose fat from your belly" only. Addressing a flabby butt or bulging belly means addressing your body fat overall, not just in that one area.

4) NOT EVERYONE WILL BE A SIZE 2 DRESS OR HAVE A 32-INCH WAIST. The real goal of exercise and nutrition is to have a healthy body that is right for your structure. Assess (or get help assessing) what your target weight is based on your body's construction. A woman that is 6'2" with a naturally amazonian physique is not likely, even at the pinnacle of health, to be a size 2 dress. A guy with wide hips, even with 3% body fat, may never fit into a pair of 34" waistline jeans.. some guys, the pelvic bone just won't accommodate that, though they're very fit. Base your fitness goals based on what is healhty and possible for your natural body type.. not on a specific number on a label.

I'll leave it at that, and let everyone else pile theirs on. Feel free to contribute.

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Old 09-16-2003, 05:46 AM   #2
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I have a couple:

-Any product or program claiming that you can lose more than 2 pounds a week is not good for your health or your weight loss efforts. If you are losing more than 2 pounds a week, it will be loss of muscle and water. Loss of muscle is dropping your metabolism and starting a cycle of almost guaranteed failure in FAT loss.

-Resistance training is extremely important for both health and fat loss. Women too often neglect this because they don't want to get "bulky", but don't realize they simply do not have the testosterone the get mannish. There are natural female bodybuilders out there, but they usually have to work very, very hard to get and maintain that muscle and probably have good genes to begin with.

It's early... thats all I can think of right now.

Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins
Keep your body lean, your blood clean and your mind sharp. -Rollins

Old 09-16-2003, 06:42 AM   #3
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Rikimaru HB User

Good ones. As I said in my opening post, it's really amazing how much confusion and ignorance (not dumb ignorance.. just "I don't know" ignorance) there is surrounding exercise, fitness, and weight loss. It's not that people are dumb, but that the very basic concepts keep getting lost amidst a stream of quick-fix schemes, snake oil salesmen, and useless gadgetry.

It might also bear mentioning resistance training for health if not for development becomes more important as you age, regardless of gender, since the body naturally begins to lose muscle as we get older.

Old 09-16-2003, 07:07 AM   #4
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Another important aspect of resistance training is that it helps to maintain bone density as we age.
Just my $.02


Old 09-16-2003, 10:11 AM   #5
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Another myth or misconception that shows up periodically is that since fruit is good for you then you can eat as much of it as you want. Many actually believe that fruit has no calories. I am not kidding!
Another myth is that weight lifting will reduce your risk of osteoporosis. In fact, no study has ever been able to prove it. Yes, I know it's something most of us believe and I had believed it too, until I read otherwise.

Old 09-16-2003, 12:42 PM   #6
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gadgets/pills/celebrity endorsed videos are not necessary for losing weight, bulking up, or lifting your fanny. shortcuts don't exist. infomercials are f*cking stupid.

Old 09-16-2003, 03:51 PM   #7
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Regarding weight lifting and its effects on bone density:

2001 study Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia found that weight bearing exercise increased mineral density of the hip & spine.

USDA Human Nutrition Research Center of Tufts University in Boston study involving post menopausal women had similar results.

2001 Alberta Center for Active Living reviewed several studies and concluded weight bearing exercise was effective in promoting bone growth and slowing bone loss.

I found other examples as well. Are there more recent and more credible studies that refute these findings? I would be interested in knowing about them. I was not able to find any studies in this area that were totally inconclusive. If this theory has been proven wrong I would like to know so that I do not perpetuate misinformation.


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