Myth Busting For Women Part 1

Myth Busting Women’s Fitness Part 1

I just recently joined a commercial gym for the first time and on my first day in the gym, there was one thing that stood out, the majority of women seemed to all conjugate to the cardio machines while the men hit the weights section. While more and more women are lifting weights there’s still a stigma attached to it.

Why?

Well, women are bombarded with quick fixes, detoxes, juice diets, and bullshit home workouts or some crazy machine promising you abs.

The people claiming all they do is train for 15mins a day or just use one piece of equipment and end up looking like Greek gods and goddess are talking shit. 

From social media to women’s magazines all containing bullshit nutrition and fitness advice from some Z-list celebrity who hasn’t a  clue what they're on about.

These magazines have a perception of how women should look and it’s slowly convincing people into thinking that this is what fitness is about. Every magazine promises a new workout that will guarantee results.

They paint a picture of how women should look. Who are they to tell you that this is the perfect body and this is what you have to do get it?

I say f**k the magazines and the Z-list celebrity’s that promote them. What’s the world coming to when we have to take nutrition advice from somebody just because they won celebrity big brother or some other reality show?

Seems to me that anybody who wins these shows all of sudden becomes a health guru. They might mean well but the message they send out is usually swayed off the mark

Myth 1

Lifting heavy weights makes you bulky.

I just read an article yesterday that said Gwyneth Paltrow’s trainer makes sure she doesn’t lift any heavier than 3lbs dumbbells. She claims no women should. No offense Tracy Anderson but Jaysus you haven’t a clue what you’re on about.

When you lift heavy you get stronger but not necessarily bigger. If you eat way more calories than you burn every day and take magic supplements (by magic supplements I mean steroids) than yes you probably will bulk slightly.

But if you eat for your goals and lift weights you will torch fat revealing that toned look that you’re after. Not only is lifting weights great for making us look good and feel good but it has many other benefits. Everyday tasks become easier, like walking up the stair, doing the housework, carrying shopping bags around town all day or wrecking it the dance floor on a Saturday night.

The list goes on:

* Increased muscle to fat ratio

* Pain management

* Improved posture

* Increased bone density which reduces risk of osteoporosis

* Prevention or control of chronic diseases

* Overall sense of well being

Myth 2

Calories don’t count.

Before we start with this one let’s just say calories are used to maintain bodily functions, to build or rebuild shit in our bodies like muscle, bone, hair, nails etc.. They’re also used and stored as energy.

Now, if we consume more calories than we need to do all of the above on a daily basis we will gain weight if we consume less than what our body needs we will lose weight, and finally if we consume the exact amount to which our body needs we will maintain our body weight.

This is an oversimplification but for this article, the below makes things clearer.

Energy in = Food

Energy out = Maintaining bodily functions and movement

The more you move the more calories you burn, the more you eat the more calories you consume.

So if we burn more calories than we eat we lose weight.

Now, do we have to count calories? NO

Do we have to be aware of portion size and inactivity? Yes

Counting calories isn’t for everybody, but thinking they don’t matter is crazy. Weight watchers, slim world, and any other fad diet work on the basis that they essentially cut calories. Calorie counting is simply a tool, a means to and end, and a valuable education in my eyes.

I hear a lot of bullshit going around the industry at the moment like “calories don’t count” and “just eat when your body tells you to eat”.

Your body knows when it’s full, it knows when it's hungry and it tells us pretty accurately. But there are other “evil” forces at paly within our body that can override these ques. Why the fuck would we have an obesity epidemic if there weren't other factors at play.

We have over 200 food choices a day slammed in our face. Reward centers in our brain saying “feed me more” Highly palatable foods that taste amazing. Who half way through a chocolate cake or a big bag of popcorn at the pictures turns around and goes my body says it’s full I must stop eating now?

Our environment is set up for us to fail.

Should we all just lock ourselves away and hope for the best? Or can we get strategic about enjoying the foods we love? I say get strategic.

A quick example of what I mean by strategic

You’re going the pictures on a sat night and want to eat a medium bag of popcorn, a little tub of ben and Jerrys, and the large coke. This all adds up to roughly 1200 calories.

You add in your days eating and your calorie intake is through the roof.

And that’s ok but if you have a goal and want to stay on track use this simple method.

Step 1: You wake up and skip breakfast. Have a coffee. You won’t die to trust me

Step 2: Train if possible or go on a long walk

Step 3: Have a high protein low-calorie lunch. Two chicken fillets and plenty of vegs. (300 calories at most)

Step 4: Have a protein shake if you’re hungry late in the day (150 calories)

Step 5: Switch your soda to a diet soda or a coke for coke zero, for example, saving 400 calories

Step 6: Enjoy the feast

That’s just one example of how to manage over consuming calories on a night out.

So calories matter but we don’t have to count them if we don’t want. Focus on eating well, controlling portions, and moving more. Be strategic about nights out. And last but not least, never deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy, life’s too short.  

Paul & The CP Team.