What you can do about it
LIE #1 – Once you touch a barbell you will become the hulk
“I don’t want to get too bulky, or look too muscular”.
Don’t worry . . . . it won’t happen overnight, and that’s a good thing! It takes months, but more likely years to see those kinds of gains. The more likely scenario as you spend more time in the gym is that you will become stronger mentally and physically and more confident in your ability.
The cool muscles will come later, but the biggest and most important gains, in the beginning, are usually between the ears. As you get stronger and more confident with the different movements in the gym, you start to see that new confidence trickle into the rest of your life, and that is where the real magic happens!
LIE #2 – You can outwork a bad diet
“Abs are made in the kitchen.”
Sometimes sayings like, “You can outwork a bad diet” are cliché for a reason. Maybe people keep saying it because it is true. Yes, hard work in the gym is a big part of a healthy lifestyle and staying fit. And who doesn’t love a great workout with friends? But if that’s where you’re stopping, you’re leaving a lot on the table (pun intended). Nutrition is a huge part of fitness and healthy lifestyle. If you’re not paying attention to your diet and wondering why you can always get within reach of your goals but never quite reach them, this may be your answer.
The analogy of a racecar fits very well when talking about nutrition. You may have a super cool race car that has the ability to go very fast, but if you keep putting bad fuel in the tank, it’s never going to reach its top speed. Same goes with your body, you could have the ability to be a superstar athlete and be crushing workouts, but if you don’t fuel your body with the right food to make that happen, you might never reach your full potential.
LIE #3 – The scale is king
“Sometimes. . . the scale is a liar.”
Many people in fitness just starting out or not, have a goal of losing body fat and gaining muscle. Many times people who are hyper-focused just on their weight get a little freaked out when they start gaining muscle because muscle adds weight. On top of that, the scale can sometimes be discouraging even when everything’s going according to plan, they’re losing fat and gaining muscle but the scale says they haven’t changed at all. What gives?!
Many times, especially when starting a new fitness plan, you will be gaining muscle. In the beginning, you may have both new muscle and fat you are trying to lose. Don’t get discouraged, this is totally normal, and will balance out after a few weeks. After all, you need muscle to burn fat, so embrace the scale in the beginning and trust your hard work in the kitchen and in the gym.
The scale is a great metric to have and can be a good measure of progress sometimes, but it shouldn’t be the only one you use because it can only see a small part of the picture. You can’t always just look at the scale, you need to have multiple measures of progress. Whether that is a machine like the InBody or through the way you feel, your energy levels or your performance in the gym. All of these are important measures of progress. So don’t worry about what the scale is saying, if you’re showing up, feeling good and performing well, you’re probably crushing it, so keep it up!