With summer fast approaching and everyone gearing up to get their bodies ready for our beautiful beaches many aspiring lean body enthusiasts will be disappointed in not achieving their Instagram and beach-ready bodies.
This, in many cases, is not because of a lack of commitment to the cause but because there are so many myths out there about how to exercise and diet in order to get an average looking body looking hot and sexy for the beach.
This article hopes to give you some insight and guidance to help you get your body healthy and ready for the beach this summer.
Let’s dispel some of the most common training and dietary myths.
Training Myth #1: More training is better and more effective to get into shape fast
Truth: Our bodies are very complex and sensitive, all at the same time. Understanding the importance of rest and recovery after exercise is very important.
The harder and more regular we train, the longer it takes our bodies to recover. Slow down the process of achieving your health and fitness goals. A maximum average of three to five training days is recommended; three if you are a beginner starting out and five if you are at an intermediate to advanced exercise level.
Training Myth #2: Doing plenty of cardiovascular training will metabolise (burn) more body fat
Truth: Health centres are filled with cardiovascular fitness exercise machines leading the public to believe that hours upon hours of cardiovascular training is the best way to get into shape.
However, scientific research has proven the opposite. For optimal fat metabolism, your body burns more calories (energy) during a resistance-based exercise routine versus a cardiovascular-based workout. Combining a resistance-based workout with a cardiovascular workout gives optimal results.
Training Myth #3: Weight training will make you grow big muscles
Truth: Weight training will only cause you to grow big muscles if that is your main goal. Unless you count under a very small percentage of the population whose bodies naturally grow muscle easily, the so-called mesomorphic body type.
Building muscle mass is a very complex and complicated process. You have to follow a very specific weight training routine, performing progressively heavier sets of various muscle-building exercises.
In addition, you should be consuming sufficient amounts of muscle-building nutrients from a number of meals throughout the day, combined with adequate rest time for recovery and growth.
Training Myth #4: When exercising for a toned and lean body higher repetitions of 20 and above work best
Truth: When you train your body with higher repetitions, what you are mainly improving is the muscles’ endurance ability under stress.
The key factors in getting a toned, lean beach body are firstly to follow a strict but sensible nutrition plan to encourage the body to metabolise body fat. Secondly, you should follow an effective resistance training routine combined with an average amount of cardiovascular training of 30 to 40 minute sessions three to four times per week.
Dietary Myth #1: To lose body fat I must eat less food or as little as possible
Truth: Reducing your body’s total calorie intake to the extreme slows down your basal metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories at rest). This, in turn, makes it harder to lose body fat.
A sound nutrition plan is one that encourages four to six small meals a day with an average of two to three hours’ break between each meal, keeping your metabolic rate working consistently throughout the day.
Dietary Myth #2: To lose body fat I must eat zero carbohydrates
Truth: Carbs are not your enemy. Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. Carbohydrates have a protein-sparing effect, which is important for repairing broken tissue. If you prefer a low carb diet remember that it is a ‘low’ carb diet, not a ‘NO’ carb diet.
Your carbs should be slow burning, complex carbohydrates, e.g. sweet potato, brown rice, oatmeal, wholewheat, low GI bread, and green leafy vegetables.
Dietary Myth #3: I can eat anything I like. As long as I exercise everyday, I will lose body fat
Truth: One of the most common reasons why most people who exercise to lose body fat see little or no improvement in their body composition (that is, reduction in body fat and increase in lean muscle mass) is because of the misconception that overtraining will compensate for poor dietary habits.
Your improvement and reduction in your body fat will ultimately depend on how disciplined you are with your eating.
Dietary Myth #4: When following a nutrition plan for fat loss, I must cut out all fats from my diet
Truth: Our bodies need good healthy fats for effective hormone balance, which plays a key role in burning body fat. Healthy fats found in nuts and omega 3, 6 and 9 oils help the body with metabolising (burning) stored fat as energy in the body.
Following these basic, yet very important training and dietary guidelines should assist you in achieving your healthy and fit beach-ready body this summer.