Fitness, Nutrition

12 Fitness Myths Busted

Fitness advice abounds. Just ask Google. Or your friend. Or remember what you did in high school gym class many years ago. It’s hard to know what to believe anymore. Like the diet industry that tells you a new evil food, then later tells you it is healthy (hello eggs), fitness advice can be confusing. Read on to get the facts about 12 fitness misconceptions that will help you feel great and perform your best.


Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you must also keep your nutrition in line. Since muscle is metabolically active, simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. #science.


Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid workout. Being sore just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the muscle tissue. You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.


Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. However, not every workout requires a high level of intensity. If you are sore every day, muscle recover is limited which can lead to overtraining and injury. Target going extra hard two to three times per week, or as often as your body can recover from excessive soreness.


Truth: There is really no such thing as spot-training. Fat cells are distributed across your entire body. To lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat. High-intensity interval training can work wonders. After an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state. This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest. (Psst—here is an entire library of workouts that are insanely effective for weight loss. You can get them all for less than one lunch out per month)


Truth: Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (with a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is essential.


Truth: There is a broad range of yoga, so don’t be stuck on the “spiritual experience” and gentle, relaxing stretches. Speaking from personal experience, yoga is a legit workout, and should be added to your routine. Yoga is the ‘fountain of youth’ in that it helps to keep you flexible while stretching out the soreness that comes from other workouts, and the balance work is imperative for injury prevention as you age. If your vision of your future self includes keeping up with the grandkids and not waking up every morning stiff and creaky, then add simple yoga routines to your game. I learned yoga from the Beachbody Yoga Studio on BOD, so I never need to take a class. Yoga at home is the ticket.


Truth: Strength training simply means using resistance to work your muscles—and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. (Hello, killer bodyweight exercises!) Aside from your own bodyweight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance. None of that around? Try PiYo – the program that launched my healthy living journey.


Truth: Totally false—can I get an Amen! Exercise breaks down muscle fibers so they can rebuild stronger. Rebuilding muscle requires rest, so give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one or two days per week of active recovery rest days— doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, like gentle stretching or a walk. I’ve found a groove with 4 workouts a week taking Wednesday and weekends off, which gives me capacity to enjoy other activities without feeling too worn out.


Truth: There is no magic duration to do cardio or any workout for that matter. If you are not an exerciser, ANY extra movement is better than none. Low impact, low intensity, short duration, long duration… these exercise variables are less important that just challenging YOUR body. Everyone is different in how they respond to exercise, their personal goals, fitness level, etc., so challenge yourself without comparison to others. And let’s be clear about results & weight loss: Exercise is only part of the formula. Your fastest weight loss results come from what you eat, so getting nutrition right is key. You can’t outwork a bad diet. Get your free Clean Eating Guide here.


Truth: There’s an important difference between the terms ‘stretch’ and ‘dynamic warm-up.’ While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards. Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises, work longer and harder, and reduce injury than without proper warmup.


Truth: Meh. Crunches do work part of your abs, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. Abdominal muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright. Try Shaun T’s Focus T25 or Transform:20 on Beachbody on Demand for entire programs that will shred your core with zero crunches. My Progressive Plank challenge also works really well.


Truth: Sorry to burst your bubble, but exercising is not a license to eat junk food. What you eat is far more important than how much or how hard you exercise. While it’s true that exercise burns calories, you will be disappointed to know how much exercise it takes to cover a donut (run a 5k) for example. It’s important to change your mind about making food a reward for good behavior, because you will always underestimate the calories in your food, and overestimate your calorie burn from exercise. Instead, think of food as fuel for the finely tuned machine that you are. And don’t be discouraged about having treats now and then. When planned into your day as part of a mindful, balanced nutrition plan the overall impact of your treat is pretty small. One day of bad food choices will not make you fat, just as one great day of exercise won’t make you fit. Take the long term approach and make healthy eating a lifestyle and you will see results.

faith, Fitness

Physical Stewardship | Letter To My Son

I’m sharing a series of “letters” originally written by Vince Miller. I regard Vince as a trusted resource for wisdom and insight on faith and family especially as it pertains to men and fathers. His bio is at the bottom of the post. Look him up. What follows is his work entirely. Vince communicates the messages I want my son to hear in a far more clear and concise way than I could ever say. Consider using these as conversation starters. I encourage you to share these letters with the important men in your life.

 I think permitting the game to become too physical takes away a little bit of the beauty.

-John Wooden

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

I Timothy 4:8

Son I think today most would agree we worship sports and athletic accomplishments based on how much money we spend on the pursuit of these things. But it is fascinating because, amidst our attraction, many nevertheless miss seeing and understanding the value of bodily stewardship. We, by far, enjoy the drama, the competition, or discussion but sometimes fail to see the great life lessons in fitness, exercise, coaching, and athletic pursuit.

I wish that many years ago when I was a teen and young adult that someone would have reinforced to me that I only get one body—a single physical machine—for an entire lifetime and that I must care for it for a lifetime. While we might think this is intuitive, my younger mind always thought I was invincible and unbreakable, and what I put into it and got out of it could be pushed to the limits every day without consequence. Yet this state of mind overlooks the importance of stewarding the physical machine we are given.

Here are a few essential thoughts on good physical stewardship.

One | Physical care is good stewardship

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23

In this life, we are called to steward many things as men. One of the things we often default to thinking about is the stewardship of money. But there are a lot of other things we steward—one we often overlook is our body. The “machine” God gave to each of us during our lifetime is important. It serves an essential purpose, and we must steward it with care. This means we should understand physical care and exercise as needed, and not something we should neglect. We are only given one biological machine for carrying around our spirit and soul, and therefore, we must steward it with excellence. Notice Jesus’s remarks in the Book of Luke:

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?

Luke 16:10-12

The life principle is this: how we steward the small things, wealth, or otherwise matters—this is true of anything, including the body. Our body is our means of human existence, interaction, witness, and communication with others. We feed it so that we can have the energy we need to be faithful and fulfill our responsibilities in living out the good news as a witness to the world. This machine needs quality inputs and outputs to ignite strength and vitality to do God’s daily work. And it’s our individual responsibility to care for it.

Two | God cares about your physical body

And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Matthew 8:3

If Jesus didn’t care about our bodies, he would not have healed people. But he did so frequently and for many reasons. With renewed energy, men and women who were healed by Jesus went on their way, praising God and telling the world about the One who heals not only the spiritual afflictions but physical ailments. These men and women went forward in life, walking again, seeing again, and experiencing community again. If they were hungry, Jesus fed them. If they were bleeding, Jesus touched them. If they were dying, Jesus saved them. Jesus did these things for people who wanted healed machines, and these people went forward, knowing that they should care for their bodies, stewarding them, because God values spirit and body.

Three | God cares primarily about your eternity

And when he saw their faith, he said [to the paralyzed man], “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—”I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”—Luke 5:20, 24

This instance is interesting. Jesus heals both the paralyzed man’s spiritual and physical needs, but notice that Jesus addressed his spiritual needs first. Which if you read the story, you’ll discover created an interesting moment of tension and controversy for a few religious leaders. But this is Jesus, always stirring up controversy by ordering things precisely and correctly.

The general principle is we discover from the order that Jesus performed this healing is “stewardship of the body,” not the “worship of the body.” And we know that we can overdo anything—including how we care and tend to the body. While care for the machine we are given, we should be careful about giving our bodies, sports, or even athletic pursuits priority over God—to the point they become God. Our bodies are the means of worship, not what we worship. Our primary need is for a relationship with God through the forgiveness that God provides, which is why Jesus does this first in the case of this paralyzed man. And at this moment, Jesus puts a big punctuation mark on its importance by doing it first.

So the lesson is this son—steward with care what God has given to you. And steward it in such a way it gives glory to God, not yourself. The body God gave you is your means of witness to the greatness of God. So run this life with endurance and do so with the health and physical stamina God gave you and so run the race with endurance.

Vince Miller is an author and speaker to men around the world on topics that include manhood, masculinity, fatherhood, mentorship, and leadership. He has authored 18 different books for men and is hosted on major video platforms like RightNow Media and Faithlife TV. He hosts a weekly podcast, writes weekly articles, and provides daily thoughts from God’s Word all just for men. He is a 27-year ministry veteran and the founder of Resolute a Men’s Ministry Platform that provides bible studies aimed at building better men found at See his latest study Men & Marriage: Overcoming 6 Unspoken Tensions.