6 Fitness Myths That Need To Die

  • You have to bulk up and then cut.

Not really, the fact is the more body fat you have you LESS insulin sensitive you are and the more fat you will gain compared to muscle. This is one of the reasons why so many guys fail at adding quality size and strength, they lack insulin sensitivity so more of those “bulking calories” are going straight to fat cells.

This  causes  a lot of problems…besides the excess fat gain, continuing down this road could lead to metabolic syndrome a.k.a Insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can turn into type two diabetes, cause heart disease and increases stored fat in the abdominal region.

Getting lean (below 10% bf) then aiming to add muscle is a much more advantageous approach from a hormone standpoint. Plus will look bigger at sub 10% bf even if you have less muscle. However, the main advantage is insulin which is a KEY anabolic hormone that can either make your fat or make you jacked. If your leaner your more insulin sensitive and can use carbs and nutrients much more efficiently than if your 15 % body fat or more.

Most guys make the mistake of bulking at a higher body fat % than what is optimal for faster muscle gains. Leaving them to pack on more fat than muscle in the long term.

Get lean, then add size. When your around 14% body fat go into a mini cut for 3 to 4 weeks to rest insulin sensitivity and then continue to gain size at a lower body fat %.

  • You need slow steady cardio to peal off the last few layers of fat.

No quite, in fact too much will raise cortisol levels which will have a negative effect on body composition. In fact I was a culprit of this I’ve done the hard running on no food 7 am fasted cardio routines…do they work? Yes they strip of a lot of fat but leave you looking skinny, not strong plus raise cortisol to testosterone wrecking levels. So the results of this…?

  • Less testosterone (when cortisol is raised chronically)
  • Less muscle mass (without having a buffer to avoid tapping into muscle tissue your eating away muscle)
  • Less energy and recoverability from training.
  • Less sex drive (I’ve felt this after 4 to 5 days of steady state cardio 20+ minutes ) It adds up and plunges your want for sex..

Don’t get me wrong cardio is good when don right. By right I mean used as a tool not as the ONLY tool. High intensity cardio, and weight training with low rest periods (less than 60 seconds) is much better from a hormone standpoint and a muscle building standpoint . Prowlers, sled pushes, weight carries and some brisk  walking  are more effective than marathon type training.

In addition research has shown that having more muscle mass increases your metabolism speed (i.e. burn more calories while sitting on your ass when you have more muscle) and high intensity interval training  is by far a more effective method for stripping off fat as far as time economy, metabolism speed post exercise and the hormone response you get afterwards compared to steady state cardio. Tip: resisted HIITE is more advantageous than just sprinting and using a tabata-like protocol is hard but works the best for fat loss.

  • Eat 5 to 6 small meals a day to stroke your metabolism.

No, lets be real if your at a relatively sedentary low intensity job 5 days a week and are training to get  single digit body fat lean then  5 to 6 meals a day is a pain in the ass, hard to prep and worst of all will keep your insulin high given your following conventional advice about “healthy foods”.

Here’s a secret…insulin is the main hormone for regulating fat storage. What raises insulin? Eating! Not just carbs, high protein foods (think protein shakes/bars/ etc), artificial sweetness, and other 0 calorie and “healthy snack are often a culprit for this.   When you raise blood sugar you raise insulin and without a muscle building stimulus your leaving yourself open to more gaining more fat instead of using your stored fat.

  • You need to carbs before your workouts to fuel your training.

The BIGGEST lie in the fitness industry in my opinion…If your going into the gym and looking to tap into some stored fat during your training session then carbs before a workout is the LAST thing you need. The reasoning behind this is simple. When you eat carbs before a workout blood sugar will rise and therefore insulin will be secreted. When insulin is high your fat burning hormones are down regulated and not able to use your stored fat during the workout.

This means your workouts (the time where your MOST capable of burning fat at a rapid rate) are completely ineffective at burning fat.

No apples, oats or banana’s before hitting the gym if you want to get lean fast.

  • Abs are made in the kitchen!

Yes and know, The truth is your biceps, quads, pecs, and shoulders are also made in the kitchen because they need fuel too right? Yes abs have the unfortunate reality of being hidden by stored fat BUT you cannot just focus on eating clean or starving yourself. It takes training hard, sculpting your abs in the gym and understanding how to progress your diet and training to continue to pull off fat to reveal those abs. There’s more to it than cutting out the junk.

  • You need carbs in the morning to bring cortisol down.

The intermitted fasting crowd has already proven that carbs in the morning or any food for that matter isn’t superior if your goal is to see your abs. Yes cortisol is high but thats no necessarily a bad thing if its not constantly high. Cortisol actually has the ability to access stored fat to use for energy. Dumping a bunch of carbs into your blood stream first thing in the morning is basically fat loss suicide..Insulin will spike and then crash soon after leaving you with brain fog and sleepiness. This is the same reason why carbs before a workout is a bad IDEA!

The last thing you need to be when stepping into the gym for a kickass workout is groggy and sleepy. To be sharp and lean avoid carbs in the morning and before training.

You can read more about why here and here

  • You need to do higher reps when your trying to get “cut”  

Though I LOVE high volume work you don’t need it to get “cut” or lean. You need to stimulate muscles using compound lifts and place a muscle under more tension for longer periods of time. You see guys in the gym yanking around weight using all the muscle besides the money the machine is made for just to get those extra reps. It kills me. Training when your aiming to get lean doesn’t have to look like a new dance or require loads of crappy reps. It does require intensity, more time under tension and shorter rest periods. Just adding 20+ more reps for more of that “burn” won’t do much without theses other variables in place.

  • Its “80% nutrition 20% training”

No, its 100% nutrition and 100% training.  Getting ripped and seeing your abs (not just in the perfect bathroom lighting) requires a high level of effort on both sides. I’ve been wrong in the past by trying to lie to myself by saying this only to find out that skipping workouts, half-assing it and trying to make up for it with perfect eating. If fails, this is a common thing you hear trainers say which is an excuse quite frankly..


There you have it friends..


Luis Diaz

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