The Internet almost has more fitness misinformation than hot girls on Instagram or cat videos. Seriously, spend enough hanging out on this wild west, and you’re going to run into some crazy fitness information. Unfortunately, a lot of of this misinformation is widely believed.
Here are 5 fitness myths you should stop believing.
- You should be sore after a workout
In the lockerroom there are a couple of things you’re guaranteed to encounter. Seeing old men shamelessly walk around naked, and hearing people talk about how they’re pissed off they aren’t sore.
Soreness is a product of microtrauma to the muscle tissue, and is something any bro who lifts is familiar with on some level. When you’re new to the gym, switching up your training style or focus, or encounter a brutally tough WOD you experience this. If you’ve been lifting for long enough, you start to like this feeling in a weird way.
This doesn’t mean you should be feeling soreness all the time though. Muscles adapt and become more resilient. They recover faster. They adapt to the stimulus and become stronger because of it, which is precisely why you shouldn’t be feeling soreness after every workout.
- Cardio kills your gains
This is one of the most widespread fitness myths there is. Hell, I spoke this to be true as recently as 6-7 months ago. I’ve come around though, and for good reason.
The idea behind this myth is that steady state cardio eats away at muscle tissue, saps you of your gains, slows your metabolism, and makes you skinny fat.
In reality, mixing in steady state cardio with strength training is a damn good way to make improvements in the weight room. Steady state cardio causes vascular adaptations, which can help with improvements to work capacity, clearing metabolites, and help you recover faster.
As for the whole cardio is going to waste away all your muscle tissue? Sure, if you’re a marathoner who doesn’t do any strength training that might be a valid concern. If you’re an average bro, doing 2-3 sessions of cardio a week, for about 30 minutes a session, you’re muscle tissue is safe.
- Bulking is an excuse to eat anything and everything
I wrote about this the other day, but with fall rapidly approaching it deserves to be mentioned again. You don’t have to dirty bulk. In fact, you shouldn’t dirty bulk. Bulking is an awesome winter pastime, but it’s no reason for you to pack on an extra 20lbs of fat.
Adding on unnecessary fat can place you in a poor hormonal environment, which can be a limiting factor to overall growth. It also makes your impending diet last longer, because you’ll be forced to diet off a bunch of unnecessary fat.
The whole idea of a bulk is to build as much muscle as possible while gaining as little fat as possible. Incorporating some steady state cardio, eating at a slight calorie surplus, and practicing intermittent fasting are all excellent ways to make this possible.
- Body part splits are King
Monday is International Chest Day. Every single bro knows this. This also means that most bros have leg day, back day, arm day, ab day, shin day, and chin day. Which is a terrible idea when it comes to setting up your training week.
Body part splits can be great depending on your goals, and how advanced you are. The truth to this fitness myth, though, is unless you’re working to be a high level bodybuilder you don’t need a one-time a week body part split.
Training multiple body parts in a session is a good way to bring about more hypertrophy, especially for muscle groups that require more attention, like the back and legs.
In a body part split huge muscle groups like back and legs only get hit one time per week, which can mean they’re severely lacking. Especially when you consider the fact that most people are way too excited about pushing movements, and neglect most pulling and legwork. This leads to poor posture, poor leg development, and poor physique development.
- You HAVE to eat within 30 minutes after working out
I often see dudes carry their protein into the gym already in the shaker, and fill it up with some water immediately after they get done working out. This is obviously so they don’t miss out on the chance to take advantage of the magical 30 minute anabolic window. Because everyone knows if you don’t get protein in immediately, you wasted your workout.
This sort of fitness myth has good reasoning; after all it’s not crazy to think you should eat soon after putting your body through something stressful like working out. But creating a 30 minute window isn’t exactly necessary, or grounded in science.
What happens if you eat 31 minutes after? Or 43 minutes? Or what about if you ate an hour before working out? Do you still need to get a protein shake within 30 minutes?
This is the trouble with the 30-minute anabolic window. There are so many different caveats that play into it. What science from major bros like Brad Schoenfeld and Alan Aragon has told us is that the anabolic window may be more like 4-6 hours post workout, not just 30 minutes.
For simplicity, just look at it this way: if you’ve eaten soon before your training session, like an hour or so, you can go longer without eating. You’ll still be breaking down food for fuel and recovery purposes. If you’re training fasted, then sticking to the 30 minute window is probably a better idea.