About the author: Kevin Van Voris is an aspiring physique competitor along with being a nutritional guru, current division II football player, co-founder of clothing company Contagion Athletics and overall fitness badass. Personally, I have known Kevin for quite some time; during our time on the West Texas A&M football team, I got to know Kevin fairly well. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that Kevin and I ended up having the same class schedule that we became pretty good buds. His knowledge for practical fitness across multiple domains is unsurpassed. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this mans’ face in some muscle and fitness magazine soon.
Fellas and yes women too, some of you disappoint me because you fall for some of the most absurd things regarding fitness and diets. For some reason, if a guy who is bigger or more shredded than you are gives you advice, you automatically assume the advice that comes out of his mouth is true because he is doing what he told you. You could not be further from the truth. First off no two bodies are the same, even twins have their own optimal way of doing things for their own bodies and they are genetically the same. Second, just because something works for someone does not mean it will work for you, just because the “bigger” guy says eating a certain amount of chicken helped him get to the size he is at does not mean his methods are correct. So, I have come up some fitness and diet myths that I will be myth busting if you will. I am hoping this list will help you realize that you have been fooled and tricked by the fitness industry, but hey it’s not their fault they spew out bullshit into their magazines and websites, they have to otherwise they would make no money.
1. Carbs before bed will make you fat
-Oh man, I don’t even know where this myth started or came from but this is just crazy. Now before you sit there and start questioning this myth let me explain why this in fact is a myth. The human body, as complicated as it seems, works off of calories. Now without get too scientific, carbs by themselves cannot make you gain fat, your overall caloric intake is what decides if you gain, lose, or maintain your current weight. So, how would eating carbs at night make you fat? I know stupid question know right, exactly. As long as you hit your macronutrient/caloric goals before you go to sleep at night, it doesn’t matter what you have before bedtime. Just last night I had sushi and then went to bed, I am even currently dieting and I always eat carbs before bed as long as I have room for them at the end of the day.
2. That is a bad carb, get it out of my face
-I know what you’re thinking, is this whole list going to be about carbs? No, but I gotta get this one off my chest before I go insane. There is no such thing as a “bad” carb, your body does not know the difference between a poptart (“bad carb source”) and a sweet potato which is a “good” carb. As losing fat or gaining muscle is concerned there is no such thing as a bad carb or a good carb, same thing with dirty or clean foods but that’s for a whole separate article. Again, the human body works off of calories, a carbohydrate has 4 calories per 1 gram of carbohydrate. “Bad” carbs don’t have higher calories than “good” carbs, so why do magazines and other sources say so? Well its very simple they do not understand simple nutrition, it’s all about calories in versus calories out or expended. You could eat straight sugar as your main source of carbohydrate and that’s not going to make you fat as long as you are staying within your caloric needs, now if we are talking about performance that is when certain the human body can benefit from certain carbohydrates as opposed to others but as far as fat loss is concerned there is absolutely no difference, so enjoy those poptarts.
3. If I do sit-ups my fat on my stomach will go away
-I can’t tell you the number of overweight people I have seen doing hundreds and hundreds of sit-ups thinking that they are going to get abs and get rid of body fat on their stomach, I think to myself get your fatass on the stair stepper and start burning some actual calories. Listen, guys hold fat around their love handle and midsection area that’s just how we are programmed. We can’t change it, back in the day before fast food restaurants ruled the earth, humans did not know when their next meal would be so as a survival technique men hold body fat around their midsection so their bodies don’t starve. Now obviously in today’s society things are a little different and when you over eat you hold fat around your midsection. The human body loses fat at the same rate, for example when you diet you notice your arms as one of the first body parts to get lean but that’s because we don’t hold much fat there, unlike our midsections which hold the most fat. The only way to get six pack abs is stay on a consistent diet for a period of time and you will see your midsection decrease as the weeks go by.
4. High rep workouts make you shredded
-Really, really guys, this makes no sense but I see dudes in the gym fall for this all the time. Doing reps of 15-30 so you can get shredded, WHAT????? Ok, let me explain the only way to get shredded aka lose body fat is to stay in a caloric deficit for a period of time, doing ridiculous amounts of reps is not going to burn any more calories than lifting heavier but less reps. Actually, lifting heavier burns more calories, so the next time you see a friend doing high reps because he wants to look good for summer tell him to check his diet not change his rep scheme because it’s almost summer time.
5. Dude this pill is magic
-How many of you have walked into a supplement store and have been harassed by the employees to buy their newest pill or powder that is magically going to make you huge and shredded just by taking a little pill? I know I have, that’s why I buy my protein online. There is and never will be a magic pill the only real way to get big or shredded is diet and exercise, oh yeah and hard work. I hate that people are so lazy that they want an easy way out, I don’t know what happened to our society but we are some lazy people when it comes to exercise and diet. Everyone is looking for that magic” pill instead of busting their ass in the gym, don’t fall into all the b.s. that people try and sell you. If something sounds too good to be true then 99% of the time it’s too good to be true. Just bust your ass, keep your diet in check and stay motivated and that will get you to your goal physique.
6. Low GI foods are better for you
-Now this one is a myth for sure but I can understand why people would fall for this one. Oh the glycemic index, how misleading you are. Now for those of you that don’t know the GI is a list of foods that either spike insulin a lot or a little bit. The problem with the GI is that the way it was done makes no sense. Participants in the GI study were fasted before eating any of the foods listed on the GI, and all they ate were carbohydrates. Now tell me how many people eat just carbs and fasted for atleast 24 hours, the answer is 0. Everything you eat unless you are just eating sugar has some type of protein, carb, and fat in it. Protein actually spikes insulin more than carbs, and fat slows digestion of the food you eat. So in essence, a carb is carb, it doesn’t matter if it’s a low GI or high GI food because all carbs are the same when it comes to caloric intake.
7. If it says it in a magazine it must be true
-Um no, remember that fitness magazines put out material that will almost always benefit one of their sponsors. Sponsors or ads you see in the magazine is what keeps the magazine running, so why would the magazine put out information that contradicts what we know scientifically about fitness or diets. Almost everything you read in a fitness magazine is geared towards you eventually buying some supplement that will make you HUGE, when in reality the magazine would not be around if it wasn’t for their misleading claims because what we know about diet and exercise can be published in just a few articles not years and years of magazines articles. So if it comes out of a fitness magazine its most likely a bunch of b.s.
8. I spend like 200 bucks a month on supplements
-YOU WHAT?? If you are one of these idiots who just go into a supplement shop and buy every supplement under the sun because they claim it will get you shredded or whatever, you should slap yourself right now. First things first, if your diet is not in check then you will not be making optimal gains in the first place, people tend to forget that supplements are to supplement what your already doing. Supplements have a roll but not like what you think or hear from by supplement company employees, use them as a tool not as a means of getting bigger because when it comes down to it you need to focus on your workouts and diet more than worry about what new pre-workout just hit the market.
9. The post workout shake
-Now I will admit I followed this one for a long time till my research showed my otherwise. How many of you have heard that if you don’t have a protein shake within 45 minutes after your workout you will miss you protein synthesis window? Just to let you know there is no such window, as long as you consume protein within 24 hours of your workout it will still be fed to the muscles because protein synthesis is elevated for 24-36 hours after your workout. So, don’t worry if you don’t have a shake immediately after your workout you won’t lose any muscle, just drink it or eat protein when its convenient for you after your workout.
10. Glutamine helps me be not so sore
-Really, that’s funny because your body naturally produces glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body, meaning taking glutamine will have absolutely no effect on the human body because it already has all the glutamine it needs. This myth will be around for a long time because supplement companies still push this product even though they know it does nothing, really not a damn thing. You’re paying for something that the body produces naturally when it needs it, so stop buying it and save your money for fresh gym clothes.
I hope everyone has learned something today, this is just part 1 of what I hope will be a continued series. We will get more in depth with each article as I slay these myths down one by one. Stay tuned for the next episode.