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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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