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Misconceptions

Discussion in 'Weight Loss Through Exercise' started by Steve, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    A good friend of mine is one of the authors of an upcoming fitness book which is going to be huge in the fitness industry. He asked in his forum, for us to give him some common misconceptions that are floating around as they pertain to weight training. He wanted to make sure the authors were not forgetting anything. Thought it couldn't hurt to post them here as they apply to anyone and everyone who is lifting weights. I will post more as the list grows, if it grows. And they are in no specific order:

    -Women have to be careful or they'll get 'bulky'
    -Women should do high reps/light weight
    -Crap about people having some type of muscle fibre that means they should lift high rep/light weight
    -High reps for 'cutting'
    -Bodypart splits = best way for a natural beginner/intermediate trainee to make gains
    -Insane amounts of volume and/or too many exercises per session
    -Machines are better, "most physiotherapists recommend machines"
    -Fasted cardio
    -Spot reducing
    -'Toning'
    -Muscle can turn into fat if you stop lifting (or vice versa)
    -Full squats are bad for your knees and/or is not a natural movement, etc.
    -Sort of spinning off what absolute said, but that there's a difference in how men and women should train ("you shouldn't lift like a man, sweetie!")
    -Training the shite out of your abs will give everyone a "washboard stomach"
    -cardio is the only way to burn fat
    -3 sets of 10 reps is the magical approach
    -women shouldn't go heavy on squats and DLs
    -cardio an hour a day (more cardio rather than menu determines abs and cuts)
    -building muscle while dieting (most think they are doing this with crazy volume and high reps)
    -the smith machine is the best way to do squats
    -Managing fatigue isn't as important as managing volume and intensity.
    -only use protein powder if you want to get huuuuuuuge
    -You can build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
    -If you're not at the gym for at least an hour, you're not doing enough
    -Soreness is the best measure of a good workout
    -Your muscles need at least a week of recovery (see: bbing splits)
    -If you work a muscle more than 1x/week you're OVERTRAINING
    -Cardio is where its at
    -Fasted cardio is where its at
    -You grow while you lift
    -cardio makes your legs more muscular so there is no need to train legs
    -Plyos are great for fat loss
    -You should feel the burn when lifting
    -You should lift even more while dieting.
    -You should drop all heavy movements/compound movements when dieting and concentrate on isolation movements


    Probably some repeats, and I am sure there will be more. Just a friendly reminder. :)

    Oh, I should also say, if you have any, post them up. I haven't added to this list yet.
     
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  3. maleficent

    maleficent How about a nice cup of...

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    good list - some of them i look at an i know i'm not that smart but i really think -- good heavens people beleive that -and some of htem i have no earthly clue as to what they are...

    this new book should be interesting - you will let us know hen it hits the bookstores :)
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    Certainly, I have not heard much about the book, but I know there are some huge names as contributory authors. It is not about misconceptions, I think it is a total fitness/nutrition book. This is just one aspect he was asking for input on.
     
  5. maleficent

    maleficent How about a nice cup of...

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    sounds like just the book i've been looking for :)
     
  6. Trevor M.

    Trevor M. Well-Known Member

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    Is the book geared toward the technical crowd? Or the average lay person?

    If its the first I know of several common misconceptions.
     
  7. Lula

    Lula Active Member

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    That's really useful info :) thanks a lot!!!

    I have a small question however- I'm a bit confused: "You can build muscle and lose fat at the same time" - what do you mean exactly?

    Just wondering because I've lost quite a bit of fat (and I mean fat - around my face for example - a part that I don't weight train lol) but obviously put on muscle, all in the last few months. What are the dynmics behind this? Where can I find decent sources of info (journals etc - I can access most of them from university)?
     
  8. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    There are many studies that show noobs increasing muscle mass while simultaneously losing fat.

    However, more advanced people (read: anyone who has lifted weights for any appreciable length of time), it's generally not easy, if not impossible.

    It's the basic laws of thermodynamics.

    Losing fat requires an energy deficit. Gaining muscle requires an energy surplus.

    Plus, how do you know you increased muscle mass?
     
  9. TomO

    TomO Senior

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    And to add to what Steve wrote, a lot of people confuse increased strength with more muscle mass. For example I have increased my strength quite a bit over the past 6 months, but my muscles have not grown a centimeter.
     
  10. Lula

    Lula Active Member

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    It's the basic laws of thermodynamics - ahahahahaha that made me giggle so much :) thank you! Due to the fact that we deal with thermodynamics all the time at university... it's some kind of inner joke for us, that statement.

    I know I have more muscle now because I had nothing in my arms, no abs etc. to the point where my friends would laugh at me if I tensed my arms as nothing happened... I couldn't even do one pushup and now I can do enough. I basically see them and feel them now, e.g. calf muscles, and my body looks completely different than when I was at this weight a few years back. While my arm is smaller in most places due to fat loss, my bicep is bigger than before (yes I measured everywhere lol). It's a nice feeling to get some kind of shape. Also, they calculated it at the gym as they measured my body fat recently and 6 months ago, so worked out my lean mass according to my weight and body fat % each time, and it went up.

    This is not something I've studied yet (will do next year), however all I know is that the more we know about the body, the less we know :rolleyes: . I was wondering what happens for an underactive indivudual carrying too much fat, who starts creating a slight deficit in their diet (so that they stop putting weight on and maintain, or to cause steady weight loss), who start eating excess protein per kg (aka more than required for daily turnover), and start working out for the first time. The body suddenly receives a big shock as it has never done any real activity that would require build-up of muscle, and it happens overnight. Wouldn't the body be able to use up some of the excess protein to an extent to repair/build muscle, and supplementing the deficit in calories with its own fat? Is it that what happens to us "noobs"? What would then happen to someone who is an experienced exerciser, who still lifts, but undereats? Surely their muscle will still have to be repaired in some way - do they not grown at all then?

    BTW isn't Body For Life based on beginers losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time? I'm ot sure.

    I'm pretty sure I have in some places at least as I said above. Things like abs, they're harder and more defined if I have a feel (you cannot see them as my body fa% is too high) - can't tell if they're bigger?!

    Anyway sorry lots of questions - if you don't want to explain in great lengths, point me in the right directions by telling me what to read :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
  11. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    Lula, many people mistaken the exposure of their muscles when they lose fat as "increased muscle mass." Actually, almost everyone does. We all have a baseline muscle mass and for someone carrying some fat, we don't see that.

    All of a sudden, diet that fat away, expose your muscles, and PRESTO!, people think they built muscle.

    Not so much. It's been there all along.

    I'm not doubting you increased your LBM. I've seen it done enough to know that it happens. Especially in the noob trainer. It's just not something one should expect while consistently being in a caloric deficit.

    You brought up the idea of increasing the protein intake for repairing muscle. No, this wouldn't solve the issue. Simply maintaining muscle is a very expensive process, energetically speaking. Not protein-speaking. Adding new muscle mass is an even more energy intensive process.

    Being in a caloric deficit doesn't fair well if putting on muscle is the goal..... follow me.

    You could eat 100% protein but still be in a big caloric deficit. Well how to your propose we make something out of nothing?

    Again, I've seen it done, but science doesn't exactly clear the fog. It's even more pronounced in obese patients/clients. Mind you, the body isn't so simple. It has mechanisms in place that control both metabolic output and where nutrients go (fat, muscle, etc).
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
  12. Lula

    Lula Active Member

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    Yes very true. I did 2 courses on metabolism this year (we did all sorts of things, including creatine, which was quite funny as all the guys were scibbling notes really fast all of a sudden), and it was the biggest head wreck I've ever done - I think we still need to learn so much more e.g. something that we need to explore is the role of fat as an endocrine organ, and its impact on the amount of fat a person carries. I think it's very hard to get an accurate general picture, due to the extent of each single metabolic pathway and regulation between them - most of my lecturers can only specialise in one aspect of metabolism to be able to do research it thoroughly for a lifetime, and we don't really know that much anyway, so I get annoyed when I see some people who make grand claims this or that is wrong using very precise data, and this is right because of x study - I just think we should see advancements as "closer to what probably happens for most people" rather than "this is absolutely right", keep on refining what we do know, and to be honest, gauge by experience what works and what doesn't. Do you see what I mean? I guess that's what you mean by not "clearing the fog" - the more we know, the less we know in a way.

    Now I'm not seeing much progress to be honest - guess I passed the initial "noob training". All that is happening is that my muscles seem to be getting "harder" not bigger. Do I make sense? I don't know if I'm using the "right" words to describe what I mean. I get the basic concept from what you're saying and how energetically costly muscles are, however as we agreed, it happens somehow, and I'd like to begin to understand why.

    Excess energy storage for the overweight and unfit individual? Viceral fat in gross excess maybe? This must happen to the "noob" to some extend, right? There must be some equilibrium between energy input, decrease of excessive storage fat, and muscle repair/build up?
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2007
  13. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    We know very little about the human body in the grand scheme of things. Sure, we've made huge advancements in our knowledge.... but there is still so much in the dark.

    You mentioned the endocrine system and metabolism.

    In your studies, have they taugh you about the importance of Leptin?

    Amazingly, I know a few grad students who've had courses in endocrinology and they came out of it knowing nothing of Leptin. Blew my mind.

    And you pinpointed the problem... there as so many pathways at play simultaneously in the body. We can single out some of them in order to understand their roles. However, singling sheds very little light since the body works synergistically as a systemic whole. And grasping this "whole" picture is not possible right now.

    Haha, you won't understand anytime soon as long as the head experts in the field don't understand it fully.

    I wouldn't waste too much time trying to figure it out. I have some commentary somewhere from some experts that I will share with you on the subject, once I find it. Remind me to later when I get home.

    But again, it's really a bunch of theory tossing.

    Using excess energy as fat: Read this post I made in another thread:

    Let's keep this simple.

    Why doesn't our body utilize our existing fat stores as energy, to aid in hypertrophy (muscle building)?

    You have to remember this very simple fact. Having an abundance of food at arm's length is a rather new dilemna, in the grand scheme of things. I mean, go back a thousand years and you were not able to eat, how we eat today. And 1000 years isn't that long even. Go back 10,000 years and wow, things were much, much different.

    We did not have a continuous foods supply. Excess food was not an issue and humans had to develop the ability to survive periods with low to no energy.

    Because of this, our bodies want to store excess energy as fat. It is calorically dense and easily stored. On the flip-side, muscle is energetically costly. This means adding new muscle is not a *cheap* process in terms of energy (calorie) utilization.

    Add to this, ultimately, aside from the base level of muscle that each of us has, additional muscle is worthless in our *body's mind.*

    When the early man found a huge stash of food, he would gorge until he was full and then some. It doesn't take science to tell us that this will result in a gain of fat. He did this so that when the winter came and everything died or ran for the equator, he had enough energy to maintain life during this period.

    Mind you, this went on for more years than you can fathom from your short time here on lovely Earth. Adaptation is an amazing thing. It takes a VERY long time to happen. Extremely slow process.

    We adapted for survival during a time when food (energy) was scarce.

    Back when, if the body decided to use a ton of energy to make muscle instead of fat, you would have stored less gross energy in a tissue that is harder to extract energy from, and ultimately it would have died during food-scarce periods.

    To add to this, this is why we have many systems in place physiologically that ensure we don't under-eat. Stop eating for a few days. See how hungry you become. See how your cravings shoot through the roof. The endocrine system, primarily, is amazingly responsive to under-consumption of food.

    Flip this. With over-consumption (something that is commonplace this day in age) not so much. Our bodies are relatively weak at detecting over-consumption due to the times long ago.

    So, in a nutshell: Our bodies like storing fat for survival even though we don't need it today. Our bodies don't like storing muscle.

    Hence, you will never find a human that is able to convert fat to muscle. At least not in the 21st century. Things might be different in the 31st.
     
  14. corndogggy

    corndogggy Well-Known Member

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    1. exercising first thing in the morning on an empty stomach burns alot of fat and this is optimal.

    2. the fat burning zone is where you need to stay to burn the most fat.

    3. you should stretch like mad while cold before a workout or run or whatever.

    4. for athletic competitions, you can squeeze in ALOT of progress in the week before the event so you should train like mad during this time.
     
  15. Trevor M.

    Trevor M. Well-Known Member

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    Never mind, Guess you don't want to answer the question...
     
  16. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    The project is finalized, from what I understand.

    But I'd love to hear your thoughts, technical crowd or not. I believe we have a mixture of both here.

    And easy skippy, I missed your original post. It wasn't a matter of me NOT wanting to answer you.
     
  17. Trevor M.

    Trevor M. Well-Known Member

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    Ah alright thats cool steve.

    I'm a tad short on time right now but off the top of my head. The use of creatine for long distance runners. I am finding more and more long distance runners loading up on creatine in hopes it will help their performance.

    I wish more people understood energy pathways in general. The PCr Ep has little to do with anything beyond anaerobic situations. As we both know that means ATP replenishment through PRc and AnGly(for the sake of argument) has little to do with marathons.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    Do you work with a lot of endurance athletes? And I'm assuming you are a trainer?
     
  19. tera

    tera New Member

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    Steve,

    I look at all these posts and think, THANK GOD I JUST WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT! Its terribly confusing stuff to build muscle apparently!

    BTW - is doing all walking on treadmills and swimming good enough? Do we all need to weight train? My legs get very muscular with walking and swimming alone. Am I missing out on some benefit that weight training offers?
     
  20. Trevor M.

    Trevor M. Well-Known Member

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    Lol, You don't know who I am do you? Thats funny!
     
  21. Steve

    Steve Member Staff Member

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    Oh I know you?

    Enlighten me please! :)

    I swear, I was going to PM you and ask where you are from b/c your handle looks familiar.
     

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