#4: Squats will hurt your knees
Preventing injury is all about proper technique. If you squat correctly, you will never get knee or back pain, but if you half-a*s your way through it, squatting will hurt you just as much as any other poorly performed exercise would. Squats are one of the best compound movements out there, so you should never avoid them. In fact, every routine you perform should include a certain form of squats.
The first thing to keep in mind when performing them is to maintain the knee position and don’t let your knees drift out over your toes – a straight lower leg is the best way to protect your knees. Also, keep your whole body tight all throughout the movement and keep your eyes towards the ceiling to prevent dropping your chest and putting too much stress on the lower back.
#5: Cardio is the best way to burn fat
No, only dieting can help you lose the majority of your excess body weight through creating an adequate calorie deficit. Cardio is great for supporting fat loss, especially HIIT workouts, but doing only endless amounts of cardio won’t give you the results you want – it can actually burn off a lot of your lean mass. The fact is that cardio does not build or maintain muscle. And if not for anything else, you need those muscles to keep your metabolism high and burn more fat every day by maintaining them.
So if your weight loss plan relies only on cardio, you could have a decent start but unfortunately won’t get very far. The best way to enhance fat loss without risking muscle mass is to pair a diet plan that involves a sustainable calorie deficit and weight training.
#6: Cutting all carbs will get you ripped
It’s true that a drastic cut in your carbs will lead to a significant drop in bodyweight. However, this is only a loss of water weight. Each gram of glycogen in your body is bound to 3-4 grams of water, as your body burns its way through your glycogen stores, the water gets flushed away and you will lose a surprising amount of weight in a short time, thanks to all the water getting squeezed out of the muscles.
The trick is not in dramatically cutting carbs and BOOM, you’re ripped. As we said, fat loss can be achieved only through maintaining a calorie deficit, while consuming too much of any nutrient will lead to body fat gains. Your best shot is to eat a balanced diet that includes quality carbs, protein and healthy fats alike, and start decreasing the calorie intake in a slow, controlled manner (usually at the expense of carbs) . So cutting carbs drastically is a no-no, rather cut about 500 calories, see how your body reacts and fine tune from there.
#7: Supplements will help you lose weight
Supplements can’t make you lose weight on their own. Even their role in supporting weight loss is very questionable. Popular diet supplements are often advertised as ‘extreme fat burners’ that even try to eliminate exercise from the equation, but tons of research evidence shows these claims are mostly false and many products lack clinical trials that would inspect their effectiveness.
Although correct supplementation can help you with getting the nutrients your diet can’t optimally provide, you should never rely on supplements to lose weight. There is no magical way to become incredibly lean overnight, period. Instead of waiting for that to happen, start cutting down on calories, train regularly and maybe consider taking some protein shakes to support your gym efforts or creatine to help you increase muscle mass faster.
If you however decide to take a certain supplement, make sure you check all of its ingredients and consult with your dietitian about its efficiency and potential side effects.
There is nothing overly complicated about getting fitter and bigger, when you really think about it. Whenever you feel like you’re lost in an ocean of popular advice and novelty methods, just return to square one – all you need to focus on is training hard, eating right and getting enough rest. And finally, building enough mental strength to stick with it long enough to see great results. Good luck!