Exercise fake news is everywhere in the fitness industry – ignore it and do this instead:
Normally I wouldn’t focus on the negative. And really, normally I wouldn’t even give advice. I’d rather inform, educate, and support people to develop THEMSELVES than criticize or tell them what to do. But combatting fake news can require a more direct approach.
But my advice might run counter to what online gurus, exercise programs, social media, and even your friends tell you. I’m ok with that. I just want you to be healthier, happier, and more resilient. There are simple, proven, and effective ways you can get there. And I am happy to share.
Don’t believe the exercise equivalent of fake news:
- Exercise routines need to be complicated or intricate. Not true
- Rest and sleep are critical or you won’t get any benefit from exercise. Not true
- Females will get bulky, huge muscles if they lift weights. Guys will get ‘muscle-bound’. Not true
- Everyone cares about or is judging what you are doing at the gym – sets, reps, weights, how you look, etc. Not true
- Your friends, family, and coworkers care about the details of workout routine. Not true
Do these things for exercise success:
Keep it simple and program your exercise, don’t just ‘exercise’. You should know what you are going to do before your session starts. This allows you to program progressive overload, it sets a goal for the session, the structure helps combat the idea you should just not bother exercising today, or if exercising, you should just cut it short.
Get rest, get sleep, sure, but life isn’t perfect. Don’t use it as an excuse to not work out (in most cases). I find a lot of people say they had a night of poor sleep, so no exercise today, just toooo tired. Or they worked out hard yesterday, so they need 2 days off. It just doesn’t work that way. That doesn’t mean you program maximum heavy or intense days back to back to back of the exact same exercise and rep range either.
I’ve seen a lot of girls work out HARD. Only a sliver of those gets big muscles and ONLY the ones who are trying to get bulky. None of the ‘exercise hard to become healthier, more athletic, and stronger’ girls got bulky. None. And trust me on this, if you are one of the females who genetically get more muscled than you would like, dialing up cardio and down your weights a bit will fix that in a hurry. It is all in your control. The same goes for guys who are worried they will turn into elite powerlifters in 4 months. It takes a LOT more work than you can imagine. If your program is taking you in the wrong direction, then simple changes can fix it.
If you are loud, obnoxious, unclean, brash, lift way too heavy for your capability or are creepy, then yes, you will be judged. If you are overweight, underweight, brand new and ask for help, but put in a good effort in and are not a jerk, you will not be judged. Or judged by people you should care about, I should say. So please, just exercise and not worry about what other people think. It is just you navigating your life. It is just you and your mirror before bed. It is just you trying to be healthier and set a good example for your kids. It is just you trying to be more capable to be able to do the activities you enjoy. It is just you ageing more gracefully.
Nobody wants to hear about your working out – unless they ask. Please don’t be that person. Just do your thing. Don’t brag, don’t try to make other people feel bad about their health or strength, don’t evangelize your particular workout routine or that you go 9x/week. Just stop with the condescension and shaming – you aren’t lifting yourself up by putting others down. Just do your thing with some humility and set a good example by being quietly confident, having good posture, and be healthy. By being capable to do a variety of sports and activities, eating well (quietly) and setting a good example with your actions and your life, it will speak a lot louder to others and might just be that spark of motivation someone needs to start exercising themselves.
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