• 3 Muscle Myths That Won’t Die

    3 Muscle Myths That Won't Die | stupideasypaleo.com
    It seems like every time I’m in the gym training or I read an article in an online fitness magazine, I run across at least one of these three big muscle myths that just will. not. die.

    Science may not be perfect, but these three gym fears no longer need to prevent you from getting stronger:

    Muscle Myth #1 That Won’t Die: Spot training removes fat in specific areas.

    A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that isolating and exercising certain fat areas of their body will help to burn calories in that area more; the most common example are crunches around the stomach. Dr. Carly Stewart says “Fat is burned or lost throughout the body on a more even basis.” In reality, aerobic and anaerobic exercises are the best ways to burn fat, not isolating specific body parts.

    Muscle Myth #2 That Won’t Die: The more you work out, the stronger you become.

    If you’re not feeling psyched to get in the gym, you’re irritable and not sleeping well and you’re feeling like every workout is a total drain, these are signs you may be overreaching or over-training.

    Muscle Myth #3 That Won’t Die: Carbs are bad and will make you fat.

    Eating real Paleo food has been equated with a low-carb craze, and it’s made people severely restrict their dietary carbohydrates. In reality, high-intensity training of any kind requires adequate carbohydrates for glycogen replenishment. Eating healthful starches, like starchy veggies, rice* and potatoes is an important part of nutrition people doing high-intensity training.

    If you consider any of the above three to be true, you’re not alone. However, these myths may be detrimental to your goals and working against you.

    Tuesday was the launch of the Muscle Collective bundle, a collection of 36 ebooks and resources with much more myth-busting goodness about training and nutrition. It’s available for 97% off the total price.

    *Note: White rice, a safe starch, is a possible glycogen refuel for athletes with good body composition and good metabolic function. As always, please test new foods for potential sensitivities. I do not recommend starch-dense, relatively nutrient-poor sources like white potatoes, white rice, tapioca, etc. to folks dealing with weight management or metabolic issues.

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    3 Muscle Myths That Won't Die | stupideasypaleo.com

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    Steph Gaudreau is a certified holistic nutrition practitioner, weightlifting and mindset coach, and the author of the best-selling Performance Paleo Cookbook. Her recipes and expert advice have been featured in SELF, Outside Magazine, Elle, and Greatist. Steph loves barbells, cats, and anything Lord of the Rings. She lives in San Diego, CA.

    14 thoughts on “3 Muscle Myths That Won’t Die

    1. Very interesting about spot training. Sometime in the last year someone told me about an exercise I could do that would get rid of the fat in a particular area. And that person is someone I encountered through a nutritionist I trust. Hmmmm… I wasn’t sure how that would work anyway.

      About carbs: the biggest problem that most of us have with carbs is eating way more of them than our bodies need for our activity level. The key to carbs is to eat balanced meals, but make certain you eat enough carbs if you’re doing serious strength training. Eating very low carb is as wrong as eating very low fat. Our bodies need all types of nutrients to be healthy.

    2. I read a lot of “Paleo” websites and am always confused by someone claiming to promote Paleo and then recommending the consumption of grains. Now, I feel that everyone’s diet is a very personal thing and they should base their diets on what they feel they need. However, the Paleo diet is quite specific in regards to; dairy, sugar, grain and legumes. So, to claim this is “Paleo” advice yet recommend the consumption of rice is contradictory. My issue isn’t with recommending someone eat rice, it is that you recommend rice as part of a Paleo diet. We could debate endlessly the reasons why grains are good/bad for you, and that isn’t my point. The point is that you simply cannot claim this to be a Paleo friendly piece of advice while recommending any grains.

      1. I do suggest the possibility of white rice for some people—specifically athletes—in their diet for recovery purposes, and I’m clear in other writings about who it’s appropriate for and who it’s not. Is rice appropriate for fat, sick and metabolically broken people? No. Is it a safe starch option for recovery for lean athletes with none of the above issues? Yes. I suppose I should make yet another asterisk with this explanation so it’s clear.

        If you want strict Paleo rules, please see Dr. Cordain’s site. Keep in mind, you won’t be able to use salt in your diet if you follow those rules. When you speak of the Paleo Diet(TM) and those black and white rules, please consider that you are referring to Cordain’s ultra-strict version.

        Also, please see the writings of Dr. Jaminet re: white rice.

        One final point: How do you feel about the endless promotion of Paleo baked goods? Are those Paleo in your eyes? If so, there’s a whole world of Paleo sites to visit and talk to.

    3. I don’t see how a paleo site can recommend rice. Grains are a big no-no.
      Root veg,yes. Plenty of starch there. But rice?

      1. Please read my caveat, Brian. Yes, for some folks, it works and it’s benign. As far as Paleo “no-no’s”, I have a few thought experiments for you: How do you feel about the preponderance of “Paleo” baked goods, cookies and treats? Are those Paleo? What about salt? Is that Paleo? According to the dogmatic portion of Paleo, it’s not. Lots of grey area here.

        Rice is a non-gluten containing grain that’s basically a packet of glucose. It’s certainly not for everyone. However, you have to see things from the other side of the fence here. If I have an athlete with a hard training schedule, doing 1 (or more) sessions a day, and that person has good body comp and blood sugar regulation, rice and other starchy, non-gluten containing foods are options that could keep that athlete from 1) completely screwing themselves hormonally because they’re under consuming carbohydrate and 2) staying compliant with the REST of Paleo. I’d rather see that person potentially eat rice than eat bread or pasta. In theory, would I love to see that person getting all their carbohydrate from nutrient-dense starchy veggies? Yes. Is that reality for most people? No.

        Everything isn’t always cut and dried.

        For more reading re: white rice, please see this: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/is-rice-unhealthy/. Note that Sisson’s eventual conclusion (that white rice is a benign grain that shouldn’t feature in the diets of sick, metabolically broken folks) is essentially the same as mine.

    4. This is a great article. I ate strict Paleo for a while, went away, and am coming back again as I felt so much better. I just want to eat real food ha! My question is, what constitutes an athlete? In my mind, because I am an extremist, an “athlete” is someone who trains 6-8 hours a day–like an Olympian or something. Would you consider someone who does Crossfit regularly, lifts regularly, does things like cycling classes (basically works out hard 5-6 days a week) an athlete?? I don’t feel like I am eating enough carbs for decent recovery but it could be because I don’t feel “athletic” enough! Your thoughts???

      1. Hi Ashley…based on your description of working out hard 5-6 days a week, yes, I’d put you in that class. Even if you aren’t putting yourself on the competition floor, you’re training like a performance-minded person. Gotta watch that carb intake and make sure it’s not too low.

    5. I get the spot training concept in theory. But fat does seem to “pool” in certain areas on my body making me need one size clothing on the top and a different size (larger) on the bottom. Do you have any insight for combatting this issue?

      1. Hi Shon,

        I have that “problem” as well. Women and men naturally more fat in different places than others (women around the hips and thighs, for example). I put quotation marks around problem because I actually think it’s not a problem…it’s normal. Clothing manufacturers and designers just don’t seem to have caught on that we all come in different shapes and sizes. There’s nothing abnormal about wearing different sized tops and bottoms!

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