I see it every day, ladies hitting the gym 5 times a week, sweating it up, wearing the latest Lululemons and loving life. They are ready to SERIOUSLY hit some goals because summer is coming! The treadmill does not know what is about to hit it!
Then I see the same ladies 6 weeks later, looking less eager, tired, uninspired. They tell me, I haven’t seen ANY results.
And then I start with a few simple questions,
What have you been doing in the gym?
Why have you been doing that type of program/diet?
How is that working out for you?
“I have been doing 5 HIIT classes a week, plus two runs on the treadmill and a 5-day juice detox”
“ I lost 2kgs in the first week but then it came back. I feel like death. I’m so hungry I could eat my hand”
I get it, every magazine you pick up says eat less, move more. We have been conditioned from a young age to believe cardio is King, it seems these old school fitness myths just don’t die.
So I am here to help you ladies and break down these myths and get some real results.
Myth 1: Cardio is the secret to fat loss
Cardi-NO! The majority of females prioritize vast amounts of cardio and conditioning while starving themselves to see fat loss results or get ‘toned’
Cardio-focused training can lead to skinny fat, where a person can be quite lean looking but still carry a few trouble spots and have little muscle tone.
To change body composition focus your attention on getting stronger, a consistent strength program and consuming optimal macronutrients including adequate protein to support muscle growth.
Proper amounts of cardio and conditioning work are healthy and fine to do. However, resistance training is King when it comes to improving body composition.
Seriously, you are not going to get a booty or shoulder boulders on the treadmill.
Myth 2: 1200 calories
Double day training, 1200 calories. Celebrating the fact you ate the same amount as a toddler. I have no idea where the 1200 calories came from but it is I tiny amount of food to eat for active women and yet it seems stuck in our psyche. Drastic calorie reduction teamed with excessive cardio will lead to weight loss. However, to continue seeing results means more hours counting down the timer on the treadmill and more lettuce leaf sandwiches.
There becomes a point where there is nothing left to reduce and progress stalls. This is also known as hitting the wall you cannot eat any less, or train any more and you have nowhere left to go on your fat loss journey.
What happens next is rebound from the crash diet and burn out from the excessive cardio is a hardcore weight regain.
Myth 3: More is always better
Ladies, I know you are all overachievers, but what if instead of spending 8 hours in the gym each week, you spent 4 and got the same results! That’s an extra 4 hours of your time back to call your bestie, catch up on MAFS or go for brunch.
Double the time does not mean double the results. Overtraining consistently will completely screw up your hormones your body and your relationship with yourself and lead to a higher chance of injury.
There is a sweet spot in your training which is between enough exertion and effort and enough rest and recovery. Too little exertion and you may not get the results you are after, too much training and you are more likely to burnout, get injured and have diminishing returns. Additional hours in the gym past the ideal level of exertion are going to have limited results.
For most of us we don’t need to be doing 7 days a week, double sessions or 4 hours in the gym. Having a consistent program of 2-3 resistance sessions per week with adequate sleep & nutrition is enough for most women to achieve and maintain their goals.
Overtraining consistently will completely screw up your hormones your body and your relationship with food and exercise.
Myth 4: PB’s every week
This used to be me. Every week in the gym was a new PB, because every week I did a whole bunch of new exercises. On Instagram the highlight reels only show the heavy days, the PB’s and the celebration. To get to your strongest lift key principles like progressive overload and smart programming need to be followed. No, you don’t need to max out every session, having a mix between intensity, load and rep range will help you to keep progressing as well as allowing your body to recover sufficiently.
Myth 5: Food is bad. I am bad for eating it.
This is by far my least favourite and also the hardest to break. We have been programmed all our lives that eating high sugar high-fat food is bad and if we are the ones eating it we are then bad people. We have little willpower and we allow ourselves to be overcome with temptations. Food is not bad, and neither is food just fuel. Food is part of our socializing, our culture, it gives us pleasure and is good for our soul. The factors that contribute to us choosing to eat high fat and high carb food are wide-ranging and complex. When we are making food choices the biggest challenge is to detach from the internal monologue and guilt and make choices that align with our goals
So to recap how to avoid being a gym Bro and instead be a Gym Queen:
Train smart and consistently. Program for rest and recovery. Eat your food and get off the treadmill.