It’s almost impossible to pick up a fitness magazine or read a blog post about working out, without being bombarded with the word protein. We need protein to survive but the recommended level of dietary protein is only about 10% of our total calories. About 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is generally considered enough to build muscle. So, the reality is that it isn’t as gargantuan a task as it is sometimes made out to be to take in reasonable levels of protein. But what about when I consume protein, it’s gotta be right after my workout, right? Wrong. Studies show that muscles replenish glycogen just fine regardless of when you consume protein, so giving yourself indigestion for the sake of ‘gains’ is not a smart move. This doesn’t mean we should just give up on protein, but obsessing over how much protein you’re eating everyday, and rushing home from the gym to gulp down that shake of yours, is not only boring, but probably isn’t helping your progress all that much.
You’d be hard pressed in this day and age to find someone who hasn’t heard through the grapevine that carbs are bad. This is perhaps one of the biggest nutritional myths of all time. Carbohydrates are one of the macronutrients that the body needs every day for energy.
Unfortunately today, aesthetics regularly comes before function or health in most people’s reasons for hitting the gym. For the average gym goer, how you look in comparison to models and movie stars has taken priority over living a healthy lifestyle. With the sheer saturation of fitness influencers and brands presenting the image of human perfection and impossible standards, it’s no wonder we are made to constantly feel inadequate. It might surprise you then to hear that muscle mass, strength and potential muscle growth are “highly heritable traits”, with 30-80% of muscular potential being genetic (NCBI). The reason your friend may have a more muscular stomach or bigger biceps than you may not be solely because she’s more “dedicated” in the gym (despite what every instagram post or fitness influencer might tell you). It’s possible genetics are at play as well.
Time is not the enemy. Who doesn’t want to get in shape overnight? To show up to work with your newly crafted physique and wow all your colleagues, is something we’ve all fantasised about. Unfortunately, changing how we look and feel takes time. There is no quick fix. It comes as no surprise then, that 50% of all new gym members quit within 6 months (IHRSA). Why? Because working out is hard that’s why, and a lack of progress can demotivate us. Especially when so many workout plans promise unrealistic results in short amounts of time…think ’28 days to your perfect summer body’, it is no wonder people get disheartened.
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