Low-cost ways to battle fitness myths - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Low-cost ways to battle fitness myths

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Are fitness myths holding you back from reaching your potential?  Fitness expert Jeff Baird of Chaos Conditioning shared three low-cost ways to battle myths that might keep you from reaching your goals:

Myth #1 - Fat Loss - You'll burn more fat if you work out in the "fat burning zone" (lower intensity for longer periods)

This is completely false. You will burn a larger PERCENTAGE of calories from fat during moderate exercise, but overall you are still burning fewer calories than you would from a high intensity session. Higher intensity workouts burn more calories from fat AND carbs, and have an extra bonus: you will continue to burn more fat for 24-48 hours after the workout is over. Shorter, harder workouts cause your body to release hormones that increase the likelihood that excess calories will be used for muscle repair rather than stored as fat. Longer workouts cause the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which actually inhibits fat loss.

Bottom line: You need to workout harder, but for a shorter duration.

Solution: High-intensity interval training

Price: Free (for bodyweight exercises), or $20-$25 for a medicine ball or kettle bell, or join a high intensity interval program (variable)

The plan: pick several intense exercises (or just sprint!) and perform them (after a warm up) at maximum effort for 20-30 seconds, then rest. Repeat several times, eventually increasing the number of rounds. It's tough, but it's over fast.

Demonstrate the following exercises: burpees (body weight, or with med ball), squat hops (body weight, or with medicine ball), and swings (kettle bell)



Myth #2 - Strength Training - Weight machines are safer than free weights or other strength training methods

This is also completely false. Weight machines often force the body into an unnatural plane of movement, and they must be perfectly adjusted for your height/size/etc. Furthermore, they ISOLATE muscles rather than encourage multiple muscles to work together, so it's possible to develop an imbalance of strength between muscles groups.

Bottom line: You need to skip the machines, and don't necessarily need a gym membership.

Solution: FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

Price: Free (for bodyweight exercises), less than $25 for a set of dumbbells (or med ball, kettle bell, weighted bar, etc) variable (gym membership), expensive (TRX Suspension Trainer)

The plan: Work as many muscle groups together in the same movement.

Demonstrate the following exercises: push ups (with and without medicine ball), squat press (medicine ball), rows and pull ups with TRX (if possible)

Myth #3 - Diet - Eating fat makes you fat

False. Eating too many carbs makes you fat. A high-carb diet will encourage your body to store excess energy from ANY source (fat, protein, or carbs) as fat, and will make it more difficult to burn the fat once it's stored. A steady supply of carbs releases the storage hormone insulin, which tells the body to use carbs for energy and store everything else as fat. Healthy fats are great sources of clean, sustained energy that will make you feel fuller, and won't make you fatter in the context of a low carb diet.

Solution: Decrease carb intake, increase healthy fats and protein consumption; consider a paleo or primal diet.

Price: Read some great research/tips online at marksdailyapple.com (free), buy a book on the subject (I recommend "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson, under $15 on Amazon.com) or dine at Urban Pl8 (local paleo-friendly restaurant) to see what you think of the diet.

LINK: CHAOS CONDITIONING WEBSITE

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