I mean seriously, you don’t see many movies with an abundant sale of abstinence, do you?
The same is such the case in fitness. Everyone wants a fast-acting solution to their image problems but don’t want to work for it. Things from shakeweight, P90X, Insanity, saran wrap (go figure…a food wrap being marketed as a fitness tool), 8-minute abs, so on an so forth, are being sold to the masses because it appeals to one’s emotion. If the actors in the infomercial look good using it, you will without a doubt, think it will work for you. Sorry, all of the products are garbage – pure rubbish. They do not work and you won’t look like them using it. The faster you come to this realization, the quicker you will be able to learn better information that will help, not HINDER your goals.
Fitness, in theory, is EASY.
Get up…move…lift heavy stuff…put it back down. Run like you’re running from a rabid raccoon…rest for as long as needed (interval training at it’s best). Walk (if you are usually sedentary). Get your nutrition in order…watch yourself gain muscle or lose fat. It’s simple. People look for too many complexities and I say this over and over and over again.
If people just stuck to SOMETHING instead of always looking to “change it up”, they would have the results they sought and wouldn’t be complaining about “ohhhhhh, I just can’t lose this fat.”
It gets quite frustrating as a trainer; as an educator. Why?
Well the same way your high school math teacher got annoyed every time she would explain how to get ‘X’ and you just kept asking “y?”
DOUBLE ENTENDRE, DONT EVEN ASK ME HOW!!!!
Anyway…you’ve read TONS of article before in magazines, online forums, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other forms of social media how to “burn fat the faster” or “how to get 6 pack abs in the shortest time” or any number of fitness-related titles that grab the readers attention. Usually thereafter is a promo for some unnecessary supplement(s) that many people will spend a crap ton of money on…again…for no REAL reason except “it’ll help me faster” (hint – it won’t).
More recently, Tracy Anderson was on Dr. Oz debunking the 3 biggest fitness myths. Now mind you, Dr. Oz is known to spread pseudoscience and promote products that simply don’t work.
Does garcinia cambogia and raspberry ketones ring a bell?
As a fitness professional, and knowing Tracy’s background, I had to know what the myths were and how she “debunked” them.
I would be lying to you if I said I was happy with her debunks but put simply, they were crap, more lies, and a way to spread more garbage to the masses.
Now mind you, this isn’t an attack on Tracy Anderson the person, I do not know her. This is an attack on Tracy Anderson, the fitness “professional” who has sold lie upon lie like “women shouldnt lift more than 3lb weights” – which is utterly absurd.
I mean lifting your newborn (assuming you want children or planning to) is going to suck. Also that “spinning bulks up the thighs” – which we all know that isn’t the truth. In fact, in a predominantly womens-only magazine, SELF, an exercise physiologist broke it down and showed how it doesn’t.
With a platform the size that Dr. Oz and Tracy Anderson have, you would think there would be a total emphasis on intellectual honesty especially in regards to fitness and nutrition knowing there is an obesity epidemic.
People are so scared of this and that and instead of aiding in their help and self-betterment, they continue to spew pseudoscience, scare-tactics, and fear mongering. It is completely unacceptable.
Tracy Anderson says “we don’t have a lot of time to exercise”. I find that ridiculous. That line alone, with her platform, only reaffirms in people’s mind that they don’t have time to exercise which we all know you don’t need 1 hour or 2 hours at the gym 5,6, or 7 days/week and people have more time than they think. They make at-home fitness equipment that is inexpensive and can make a world of a difference. Just ‘Google’ resistance bands, suspension trainers, foam rolls, stability balls, and kettlebells. That is a hell of a start and doesn’t require a gym membership. There is ALWAYS time. Never look for an excuse, LOOK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY.
One thing we do agree on (can you believe it) is people need to be educated. Unfortunately, people like Tracy Anderson will dismiss common sense, scientific research, and facts to sell her products.
Education is key. Education is the only way to challenge someone’s preconceived notions and/or prior knowledge-base. Unfortunately, how we are different, is I like to educate people to get themselves out of fear. Others will play to a persons fear so they rely solely on them.
If you look at the people in her demonstrations, I mean no disrespect when I say this, who’s behind her? Overweight women. Why? Well, it’s Tracy Anderson and Dr. Oz and they know how to play to these women’s emotions. Many of the people behind them, as well as the rest of the obese population, need to worry about the realest fitness myth of all – “you can out-train a bad diet”.
FALSE. You cannot. Nutrition is the #1 priority and if that’s not in order, you will see little to no progress
Which leads to the 2nd realest fitness myth of all â€“ weight training makes you bulky.
FALSE. As a woman, you do not train enough volume to get â€œbulkyâ€ nor do you produce the amount of testosterone men make thus it makes it more difficult for you to get â€œbulkyâ€.
It’s apparent that no matter how much information is out there and completely opposite of what the show is showing and well, common sense, people still fall in to this trap. I will do what I can to ACCURATELY debunk the fitness myths and help you move forward in your training.
Myth #1: â€œCrunches are the key to those flat abs.â€
Dr Oz – â€œThat is false. Spot reduction doesn’t work.â€ (I was in awe when I agreed with him on that lol)
Dr. Oz then proceeds to ask the audience how many people believe it was and a surprising, yet not surprising, two-thirds of the audience raised their hands. This just shows how set back many people are and THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT TIME TO EDUCATE THEM. Instead, it was a fallacy.
Tracy then goes in to how she will â€œuse all those muscles, not just the big ones. Since all the muscles are used, it burns calories which burns fat.â€ – Unfortunately, its so far out of context but no one questions it. She goes in to some hip dive with a kick back with â€œlevel resistanceâ€. Im not sure she knows what that even means BUT listen up folks…
If you are going to have â€œresistanceâ€, something needs to be pushing AGAINST yourself. Air, no matter how hard or soft, fast or slow, you kick it, there IS NO RESISTANCE. Thats common sense. You don’t need a kinesiology degree to know this.
Unfortunately, she didn’t debunk this â€œmythâ€ so I will.
THE REAL CORE SOLUTION: â€œThe activation of the abdominal and lumbar muscles was the greatest during the exercises that required deltoid and gluteal recruitment…An integrated routine that incorpoates the activation of the distal trunk musculature would be optimal.â€ –Gottschall JS et al. J Strength Cond Res. 2013
â€œThe swiss ball roll-out and swiss ball pike were the most effective exercises in activating upper and lower rectus abdominis, external and internal obliques, and latissimus dori muscles, while minimizing lumbar paraspinals and rectus femoris activity.â€ –Escamilla et al. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010
What does this all mean? Simply put, the best core exercises are the ones keep the weight essential AWAY from the core as the core transfers force.
Great core exercises are:
Standing OH Press variations
Cable Chest Press
Stability Ball Rollouts
Stability Ball Pikes
I know Im missing many but these are great places to start RIGHT NOW in the gym.
Myth #2: â€œThe more you sweat, the more you burnâ€
Dr. Oz – â€œUnfortunately, not true. The amount of sweat doesn’t correlate to calories burned.â€ (2 for 2 Oz-man!)
Tracy from there goes in to â€œcardiovascularâ€ work which is a ‘Run and Punch’. She goes on about how you can â€œeven put the music onâ€. I wonder if music makes it more metabolic.
Unfortunately, this kind of exercise may be good for the INCREDIBLY SEDENTARY population but then again, ANY movement for that group would be beneficial.
THE REAL CARDIO SOLUTION:
If your goal is fat loss and you’ve been slaving away on the treadmill and stairmaster and the fat loss has come to a halt, it’s honestly because you’re becoming a Toyota Prius instead of a Hummer H3. What I mean is your body is becoming VERY EFFICIENT at preserving energy. This isn’t what you want to do. This is NOT to say steady-state cardio doesn’t burn calories because it certainly does but the more intermediate or advanced you get, steady-state days seem to be better suited for your recovery days.
It’s not about the calories you burn DURING the workout as much as it important what you burn POST WORKOUT. Increase EPOC. This, my friends, is when interval training comes in.
What interval training ISN’T:
30s on/30s off treadmill â€œsprintsâ€
1 hour of â€œtabataâ€ loll
What interval training IS:
Lower Work to Higher rest ratio (ex. 20:60/30:30/10:60/30:90..anything where your work time is less than your rest time and you intensity fits the work)
Modalities: Battle ropes, kettlebell swings, airdyne bike, spin bike, jacobs ladder, jump rope, hill sprints, track sprints, sandbags…
If you are a pure beginner than by all means, start off using the treadmill and just walk. Build up your tolerance from walking to jogging to interval jog/run:walk then work your way to the other modalities if you’d like.
Also, a side note: do this after a weight lifting session or on a separate day. Don’t fatigue yourself when you’re going to lift. Strength>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>cardio.
Myth #3 â€“ Stretching before session to get warmed up.
Dr. Oz â€“ False
Tracy incorporates more jumping around.
THE REAL STRETCHING SOLUTION: Although I AM NOT THE GO TO GO ON STRETCHING, I will link you to a fantastic read that I feel will educate you on stretching. Also, I did listen to a post recently by Eric Cressey that explains why people feel they’re tight. Feel free to watch/listen here.
What I CAN tell you is prior to your lifting session, especially if you â€œfeel tightâ€, it’s imperative to incorporate a dynamic warm-up. A dynamic warm-up gets your body ready for what you are about to get done in the gym that day. Essentially, mimic your movements without load. Band work is phenominal to do too (and most likely necessary for many people like band pull aparts for the read delt and band walks for the glutes..many people’s weaker muscles).
Sex sells, abstinence doesn’t. Simply put, things that appeal to a person’s emotions and ideals will be what sells. Science isn’t sexy. Truth isn’t sexy. Unleashing your inner pop star is sexy. Unfortunately, using Tracy Anderson’s methods will have you unleashing your inner emotional wreck.
Be better..be stronger…and please lift more than 3 pounds. Fitness is easy. Don’t let fear make it more complicated.