To read part one of this article, click here.
6. You need to train to extreme fatigue/failure to improve
There seems to be a belief about training that “if you haven’t fatigued yourself, what was the point of even training because obviously you’re not getting any benefit from what you’ve done” etc. etc.
If your goal is to ‘feel like you’ve done something’ then sure, train to fatigue and go balls to the wall, there is no one stopping you. HOWEVER, if you have an actual performance related goal that requires you to dedicate yourself to training, just getting a sweat on for the sake of it isn’t going to help you.
When training to failure (or maximally) your nervous system takes a beating, and more importantly, your nervous system takes a long time to recover. Therefore, completing 4-5 (or more) highly fatiguing training sessions each week over a long period of time is eventually going to catch up to you through either injury or illness.
You need to plan training intensity and manage fatigue wisely from week to week. Frequent doses of submaximal training is much better for you long term than blasting away and continuously getting injured or burnt out.
Do you still want to be training, be healthy, and be injury/niggle free in 10, 20, or 30+ years from now? Think long-term.
7. Supplements are Necessary
I remember, as a youngster who’d just started going to the gym, I was always scrolling through the supplement websites to see which was the best creatine brand, who had the most Leucine in their BCAA products, or which whey protein was going to get me the most shredded by the time summer came around…
What a waste of time that was!
Supplements are probably the biggest waste of money, yet people spend more and more on them every single year. However, nothing is going to replace consistent training and a nutritionally sound diet. Supplements may give you a small edge if you’re already in the 1% of the 1%, but for the rest of us, we’d probably be just fine without them.
Still, if you are thinking about getting on board the ‘I was scammed by a supplement company’ train. You should do your research first to see if that particular supplement has actually been well-studied and shown to provide some benefit. Examine.com is a good place to start.
For the record, I do use supplements. Those being fish oil, magnesium, and vitamin D3.
8. Carbohydrates should be avoided
Seems like low/no carbohydrate diet is what a lot of athletes are on these days. But whilst there are some people who would highly benefit from following the diet, athletes who play a sport involving prolonged, high intensity efforts, are going to need some sort of carbohydrate readily available that can be used for energy.
When performing high intensity exercise that involves rapid muscle contractions, carbohydrates stored in the muscle can be easily accessed and used for fuel. However, fats take a lot more work to be broken down and utilised.
9. Aerobic training kills muscle strength and size gains
A lot of aerobic training will kill muscle strength and size gains, but doing just enough will not have any negative effect whatsoever. Training the aerobic system is important not only for performance, but for overall health and longevity.
A superior aerobic system is going to improve recovery between repeated sprint efforts, or between sets in the gym, and it will improve recovery between training sessions. Another example is if two athletes must perform the same power output for a prolonged period of time (i.e cycling continuously). The athlete who performs the given power output with a higher contribution from the aerobic system is going to last the longest, given all other factors are held equal.
10. Lifting will make you big and slow
Lifting will only make you big and slow IF you train to be big and slow. Resistance training has been shown to improve many markers of athletic performance including strength, power, speed, rate of force development, and endurance (& plenty more), whilst coincidently reducing the risk of injury.
Resistance training, when dosed appropriately, will improve all of these performance traits without adding significant amounts of body mass, which is critical for many sports that require you to compete at a certain weight, or where adding weight may hinder performance outcomes (think sports in which you have to overcome your own body mass = relative strength). As I said in Part 1, adding mass can hinder performance because it’s more weight you don’t necessarily need to carry around.
And that’s the wrap for my 10 fitness myths. Do you agree or disagree with any of them? What myths do you think I’ve left off the list? Shoot me a message and let me know!