FITNESS MYTHS EXPOSED
The fitness industry is undergoing a shift and change where the need for the truth is being demanded more and more by its consumers. Social media has sped this process up and we are starting to understand that some of the claims being made are false and are driven by financial or social gain.
The best way for us at The Arrow Club to settle such discussions is to breakdown some of the common ‘myths’ we hear personally or have seen plastered all over social media.
It’s understandable why the general fitness consumer is confused about what to do when it comes to exercising and nutrition. Most information is either incorrect or to a degree contradicts itself. One minute your told that all that matters is your calorie target and then you head down to your local F45 training gym and the instructor will tell you carbs are the devil and insulin will kill you.
In the space of an hour, you have been told two completely different approaches that contradict one another and this creates chaos in most people’s mindset. We as fitness professionals can’t even agree with one another on most topics and trends in the industry, so how is everyone else that invests in our guidance meant to get a clear picture of what to do?
Evidence based knowledge coming from peer reviewed meta-analysis is the pinnacle of all information. This type of research and other forms, form the bases of information funnelled into the general population.
These studies generally have no bias towards the outcome, they have no emotional attachment to the result making them a good source of information.
The problem lays when people manipulate the studies and form conformation bias and profit off it financially. Remember the massive documentary on Netflix “what the health”-all factually incorrect and sold to you by a Dr who profits off the sales of his products which are vegan focused. All “backed up” by science but with a clear motive which in our eyes is unethical.
We feel if your motive is to mislead people to financially profit of someone’s unawareness then you have no place in this industry. We pride ourselves at The Arrow Club in helping and educating people on how to change their lives and find it hard to accept the misinformation that is put out anymore.
If at any point you read this as a trainer and the shoe fits – you need to reassess yourself and your morals.
We speak on behalf of all credible trainers that this word needs to be laid to rest. Toning is a lazy expression used by so many, which in reality means losing body fat.
Rep ranges, weights even ranges of motion do not “tone” muscle. The “tone” of muscle is only achieved by reducing body fat. The muscle appears “toned” when there is less body fat present.
Everyone thinks that consuming some form of ‘detox’ product or attending some sort of detox event that it will help your body “cleanse” itself of various “toxins” especially after a period of excess.
We are told “these” toxins can cause cancer and other diseases and suddenly its vital for us to detox them out with products. Sadly 99% of these claims are false and don’t have hard factual evidence to back up their outrageous claims.
People seem to forget they have livers and kidneys that cleanse your body on a daily basis so unless you’re about to have kidney failure, you’re good.
So the next time you overhear someone in the industry promoting a detox or a cleanse, ask them how?
Please explain to me how the liver works down to lobules, and which exact “toxin” are we cleansing here?
Ask these questions and watch them struggle to form a logical sentence. Making someone eat shit loads of salads and drinking a green juice that tastes like your grandmas allotment patch is detoxing absolutely fuck all.
THE MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE DIET
We find people revert to this drastic method of elimination in a bid to lose every inch of guilt from eating or drinking too much.
These juice and shake diets are sold to you like a fairy tale where in reality its basically an extreme form of a calorie deficit. By making someone replace their ‘whole’ meals with shakes, is simply reducing your overall daily calorie amount. Nobody ever talks about the bioavailability of these macro and micro nutrients and if your body absorbs ANY of it.
The shake diets like Herbalife are a pyramid scheme as clear as day and the only person denying that is an actual employee who has been sold the dream of a luxury car or a mansion with ocean views if they sell the products.
Any shake diet is unsustainable and having to constantly rely on a poor quality products that can contain 45 ingredients per shake is a huge waste of money. Not only this but they have caused incredibly bad health problems worldwide.
(If you’re up for a challenge, go and try make a dish in the kitchen with 45 separate ingredients. Difficult isn’t it?)
Below is a prime example of what the nutrition works out like, compared to just eating a regular meal within your calorie target.
Yes drinking Herbalife replacement shakes or eating a bar will make you lose weight - you’re consuming 800 to 1000 calories per day. However eating any type of food at a sum total of 1000 calories per day will make you lose weight. It’s not about the product it’s about the calories, so why do people sell it?
Now our question at The Arrow Club is this – when you go and get a qualification or a degree to become a coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, sports scientist etc you need to pass an exam.
In this exam there will be a nutrition-based question in which you would have studied for.
They would have taught you about energy balance and you would of had to have an understanding of this to pass.
So if you know you’ve advised your client to follow an extreme calorie deficit and its not sustainable why continue to sell it?
Abusing your professional title and profiting off other people’s vulnerability and lack of understanding just so you can profit financially should be illegal.
EATING NO CARBOHYDRATES
In 2019, we used a collection of the most powerful telescopes in the world to take a picture of a black hole 57 million miles away from the planet we live on today. This is being labelled as one of the most significant things in our generation.
Yet, we still think rice is “bad” for us. Things like rice, white potato, bread, sweet potato, quinoa, couscous and more are all perfectly good carbs to eat on daily basis. What determines whether they are good or bad is how much of it do you eat?
Carbs are essential for many reasons and the most important one is dietary adherence. If you naturally drift towards a carb heavy diet then why try to exclude it? How long are you really going to last before you find yourself railing Coco pops off the kitchen counter?
Carbs are not the devil and should be enjoyed within your calorie target.
This also applies to all the misleading information that people spurt out about not eating carb’s past a certain time of the day as it will lead you to gain weight.
Just like mentioned before your calorie target is all that matters when it comes to losing weight. By limiting a person’s eating window from let’s say 8pm to 5pm, it means that an individual has a shorter period of time in the day to consume food. Which again is a glorified calorie deficit, with absolutely no common sense behind it.
Too many calories is your problem, not when and if you eat carbohydrates. The ‘professionals’ of the fitness industry like to limit a clients carbohydrates in order for them to lose weight quicker.
However in our many years in the fitness industry we have never met one client comfortably living with no carbohydrates in their diet. It is simply not sustainable or conducive to your lifestyle.
Stop eliminating and start learning.
Yes sadly you have been sold a dream there as well. Now we are not dispelling them all together but we don’t want people to base their lives off them. They are notorious for being inaccurate especially with the amount of calories burnt during exercise.
*Screenshots fit bit data, uploads to Instagram*
“Omg I actually nearly died this morning, but 1000 calories burnt in my workout class!”
Sadly you didn’t burn that and the same applies for ‘eating what you train’. Just because you ‘burnt’ 600 calories does not mean you can eat 400 of them and still be in a 200 calorie deficit.
Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that so please try to abandon this line of thought as its only holding you back in progressing.
Gyms and class instructors very much like to financially profit off this incorrect data as a way of forming an incentive to gain clients or class members. So please be aware of this.
Trackers are simply a unit of measure that we encourage people to track and form a pattern with the data. Some studies have even shown an overestimation of up to 50% depending on the brand of the tracker but all in all they are not accurate so don’t make decisions based off your results.
The famous supplement everyone seems to push with a discount code. BCAA drinks and supplements are factually pointless if consuming enough protein per day with a minimum being 0.8g per kg.
BCAA’s especially leucine outcompetes tryptophan for receptors in the brain. This will affect your serotonin and can lead to depressive like symptoms or anger.
So if the literature states their effectiveness to be next to nothing why to you see people selling BCAA supplements or drinks? We reach the same conclusion-to make money.
STUBBORN BELLY FAT
We get asked loads of questions with regards to stubborn belly fat and the honest answer is it is fat and the only way to get rid of it is surprise surprise, a calorie deficit.
Most people complain about stubborn fat around their tummy as this is the last place your body will be willing to lose fat. If you want to reduce your body fat on any body part, there is no secret to it, just monitor yourself in a sustainable calorie deficit until you’re happy.
With regards to supplements they are exactly that. They are designed to supplement your diet where you have deficiencies, and this can only really be distinguished with a blood test of some sort.
If your lifestyle is consistently “unhealthy “for example:
Sleep less than 7 hours a day
Do recreational drugs
Rely on prescription sleeping tablets to sleep
Get savagely pissed every weekend
Over eat in excess calories
Have a sedentary job
Knocking back 1 omega 3 and magnesium tablet from your local health shop isn’t going to achieve much.
Imagine it like this, If your journey of overall health was a series of bridges to cross, supplements would be the last bridge crossed.
You also have to factor in quality and moral integrity of the companies you buy from. In 2016 a company publicly endorsed by your local “Instagram expert” said to have 2.2g of carbs per 100g and when independently tested came back with 40g per 100g.
This is highly unethical and a complete lie but you still see their discount codes being plugged left right and centre. Supplements are a mine field so working on your general lifestyle habits will boost your general wellbeing far greater than most supplements.
A trend that pretty much every one bought into, it was seen being promoted everywhere. Slowly the perception changed as people began to realise it was far too restrictive for their lifestyle. Demonising foods into good or bad / “clean” or “dirty” we guess was causing more harm than good.
No foods are bad, they just have different amounts of calories and macro nutrient compositions. Having a couple squares of chocolate each night is not going to make you unhealthy if its not abused in excess.
As long as you adhere to your calorie goals you can include whatever you want into your diet. It does however make logical sense to eat foods high in protein, complex carbs and a decent amount of fibre because it will keep you full for longer. As well as this it will decrease your chances of cravings and eating healthier will benefit you long term.
Its time that you all start asking why?
Sadly it’s not the flashy jumping HIIT session that you see on Instagram or the shake diet/juice cleanse, or the supplements people push to you on a daily basis,. Its not the detox teas , countless hours of sit ups, avoiding carbs like an STD that will get you in shape.
It’s the less ‘interesting’ version where you consistently track your calories, weight training 3 to 4 times a week, sleep 7 to 8 hours a day, stay hydrated and stress-less that is what will get you the best and most sustainable progress.
Until next time…
Georgia & Mark