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10 (Lame) Fitness Rules You Need to Quit Being Seduced By

10 (Lame) Fitness Rules You Need to Quit Being Seduced By

Seduction is oftentimes associated with sexy activities, or at least something in that realm.

Until now.  People are seduced in their everyday lives. Seduction is being lured, enticed, or bribed into something.

The fitness industry is great at seducing people (me included). I’ve been seduced more times than I care to admit in the past with various rules I thought I had to follow if I wanted to achieve any progress.

These rules are so tempting at times, because we see so many people do them. Fitness doesn’t need to be black and white. There’s more than one way to master the skill of fitness and achieve lifelong healthy habits.

Following a set of rules that cramp your style, make you feel bad about yourself, and causes you unhappiness isn’t what you should call an awesome quality of life. Allow me to share with you 10 of the lamest fitness rules you need to quit following immediately.

Lame Rule #1- No Carbs at Night

We’ve all heard the rule, eat your carbs in the evening and you’ll get fatter. Eating carbs at night doesn’t make you fat or cause you to gain weight. Eating too many calories is what causes weight gain.

Your body doesn’t magically say “hey its 7pm, I’m going to store all the carbs into my fat cells now.”

There isn’t such a thing as daytime and nighttime metabolism. Here’s a study where individuals ate carbs in the evening and got leaner(the irony).

Feel free to eat your carbs at night, allow yourself 2-3 hours before going to bed. This helps digestion and allows insulin to return to baseline levels. Carbs also help trigger serotonin release, which will help induce sleep and relaxation.

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Lame Rule #2- You Must Cut Out All Carbs to Lose Fat

We live in a carb phobic society where carbs are public enemy number one when it comes to weight gain. Obesity rising isn’t because of carbohydrates, it’s because people eat too much.

Low carb diets are great for those who are sedentary, but for the active folk, it’s a terrible idea in the long run. Constantly working out without properly replenishing your body with carbs halts your recovery. Other signs of needing more carbs include increased crankiness, brain fog (not getting enough glucose), and issues on the toilet (hello constipation).

Lame Rule #3- Cardio is Needed for Fat Loss

Seduction runs rampant when it comes to our dependence on cardio. Cardio isn’t the only way to lose fat, in fact depending on your fitness goals, it can be counterproductive. Cardio is a great tool to include once you have your nutrition under control, you are strength training consistently, and your stress levels are under control.

Cardio burns plenty of calories, but that’s only while you’re exercising. Weight training burns calories during and after exercising leading to more calories burned.

When it comes to battling the bulge, fall in love with weight training. Save the cardio for when you hit a plateau.

Lame Rule #4- (Insert diet) is the Only Diet That Will Work

Whether it’s Paleo, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting, Mediterranean diet, or a Japanese village style diet…they all work. There isn’t one diet plan that has to be used over the other.

Are there diets that are more optimal for people and their specific lifestyle? Absolutely.

The key is tailoring your diet to cater to your lifestyle without adding extra stress (there’s enough of that already).

Resist the carefully marketed seduction techniques that you see. Install a way of eating that makes you happy and is sustainable over the long haul.

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Lame Rule #5- You Need Supplements to Make Progress

Supplements aren’t a necessity. They’re meant to ‘supplement’ an already established healthy lifestyle. Think of supplements as icing on the cake. Supplements don’t replace the hard work it takes to make a transformation, no matter how sexy or awesome that new supplement ad sounds.

Stay consistent with lifting weights and eating real foods. There are no quick fixes. Get plenty of rest.

Then. Just maybe. You should consider using supplements.

Lame Rule #6- Fat Can Be Spot Reduced Through Exercise

Whether it’s abs, thighs, butt (glutes if ya fancy), or arms, men and women are equally obsessed with the idea of toning up a specific area.

Sadly, those thousands of crunches or hundreds of reps on the inner thigh machine won’t expedite fat burning in those areas. If you have a lot of bodyfat to lose, those areas will still be hidden underneath the existing layer of fat. You can’t pick and choose where bodyfat will burn off from. Focus on reducing body fat through eating healthier.

Lame Rule #7- You Need Soreness for Progress

“No pain. No gain.”

“Don’t quit. You’re already in pain. You’re already hurt. Get a reward from it.”

Those are two of the most seducing rallying cries that many use for fitness motivation. I’m here to tell you though, you don’t need to be sore, ‘hurting’, or in pain after every workout to experience results.

Muscle soreness is the result of small tears in your muscle fibers.. It’s common to be sore after the first few workouts after implementing a new workout routine or program.

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Constantly being sore is a great sign you aren’t recovering enough. You grow and become stronger by taking adequate amounts of rest.

Lame Rule #8- Go Gluten Free To Get Results

If you have celiac disease, problems with lactose, or other food allergies, then you should by all means avoid foods that don’t suit your well being.

If you don’t have these problems, please stop using gluten free or any other ‘free diet’ as the reason why weight isn’t falling off. It’s not the wheat, rye, nor milk that is making you bloated and miserable. The junk included in your diet is causing these problems.

If you feel better by eliminating certain foods, then by all means go for it. Just don’t blindly follow some fad diet without testing on yourself. It could all be in your head(non celiac gluten sensitivity for example).

Lame Rule #9-You Need a “Six-Pack” to Look Good.

Look around at newsstands and every health, beauty, and lifestyle magazine has some guy or girl showing off their perfect arms and midsections. Our culture is obsessed with body image to a fault.

If it isn’t abs, then its reducing thighs, toning arms, or that ridiculous thigh gap nonsense. While it’s great to have goals of improving your body composition, your entire self-worth shouldn’t rest on these goals.

You’re good enough already.

Ladies. Embrace your bodies as they are. Striving to make yourself stronger and improving your current self is great. Improve your body for you and only you. If a guy or anyone else has a problem with your body…tell them to go kick rocks.

Guys. A six pack isn’t the end all be. Obsessing over your body gets in the way of living life. Having racks and racks of muscle isn’t as important as you think(can we say overkill).

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Working out only for the six pack, toning the arms, tightening the thighs is shortening yourself of all the awesome benefits working out provides.

The key to happiness and a lifelong habit of exercising is to find motivation that goes deeper than just physical appearance.

Lame Rule #10- Women Shouldn’t Lift Heavy.

This rule is slowly seducing less women as time goes along.

I encounter women everyday who keep lifting the 5 lb weights and performing endless sets of tricep kickbacks. They’re working hard, but results aren’t following. The problem lies with woman being afraid to lift heavy.

Lifting heavy is what gives ladies the ever so desired ‘toned look’. Due to different ratios of specific hormones, it’s near impossible for women to develop the same muscular build of males.

So feel free to start squatting, hip thrusting, and deadlifting your little heart away.

Remember, our society forms these generalized ideals of what’s attractive; you can choose what you find attractive.

What are some lame fitness rules you wish would go away? Comment below or tweet at me.

Featured photo credit: Method Fitness via flickr.com

More by this author

Julian Hayes II

Author, Health & Fitness Coach for Entrepreneurs, & Speaker

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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