12 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

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If you’ve ever felt lost in the sea of contradictory training and diet advice out there and you want to know the truth behind 12 of the most common, and most harmful health & fitness myths out there...then you want to read this book.

Let me ask you a few questions.

Do you believe that your genetics are preventing you from making great gains in the gym?

Do you do certain exercises because they're supposed to "shape" your muscles?

Do you stretch before lifting weights to prevent injury or increase strength?
When doing cardio, do you shoot for a "target" heart rate zone to burn the most fat possible?

If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, you're in good company as most people do the same. But here's the kicker: There's NO science behind any of it. Quite to the contrary, however, science actually disproves these things.

Thanks to the overwhelming amount of fitness pseudo-science and lies being pushed on us every day by bogus magazines and self-styled “gurus,” it’s becoming harder and harder to know how to get in shape.

Well, this book was written to debunk some of the most common and harmful myths in the health and fitness industry, and teach you what you really have to do to get lean, strong, and healthy.

SPECIAL BONUS FOR READERS!

With this book you'll also get a free bonus report from the author called “Muscle Meals: 15 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy.”

In this free bonus report, you're going to learn how to escape the dreadful experience of “dieting” and how to cook nutritious, delicious meals that make burning fat or building muscle easy and enjoyable!

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12 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don't Know You're Making

  1. 1. 12 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making Michael Matthews
  2. 2. Copyright © 2012 Waterbury Publishers, Inc.All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in anymanner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the useof brief quotations in a book review. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book viathe Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal andpunishable by law.Please purchase only authorized electronic editions of this book and don’t participate in orencourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials.If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy foreach person you share it with, or ask them to buy their own copies. This was hard work for theauthor and he appreciates it.This book is a general educational health-related information product and is intended forhealthy adults, age 18 and over.This book is solely for information and educational purposes and is not medical advice. Pleaseconsult a medical or health professional before you begin any exercise, nutrition, orsupplementation program or if you have questions about your health.There may be risks associated with participating in activities or using products mentioned in thisbook for people in poor health or with pre-existing physical or mental health conditions.Because these risks exist, you will not use such products or participate in such activities if youare in poor health or have a pre-existing mental or physical health condition. If you choose toparticipate in these risks, you do so of your own free will and accord knowingly and voluntarily,assuming all risks associated with such activities.Specific results mentioned in this book should be considered extraordinary and there are no“typical” results. As individuals differ, then results will differ.Cover Designed by: Damon FreemanPublished by: Waterbury Publishers, Incwww.waterburypublishers.comVisit the author’s website:www.buildhealthymuscle.com
  3. 3. OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL MATTHEWSThinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female BodyIf you want to be toned, lean, and strong as quickly as possible without crash dieting, “good genetics,” or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym and money on supplements...regardless of your age... then you want to read this book. Click here to learn more about this bookBigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
  4. 4. If you want to be muscular, lean, and strong as quickly as possible, without steroids, goodgenetics, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym, and money on supplements...then you want to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book Muscle Myths: 50 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making If you’ve ever felt lost in the sea of contradictory training and diet advice out there and you just want to know once and for all what works and what doesn’t—what’s scientifically trueand what’s false—when it comes to building muscle and getting ripped, then you need to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book
  5. 5. The Shredded Chef: 115 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying HealthyIf you want to know how to forever escape the dreadful experience of “dieting” and learn how to cook nutritious, delicious meals that make building muscle and burning fat easy and enjoyable, then you need to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book Cardio Sucks! The Simple Science of Burning Fat Fast and Getting in Shape If youre short on time and sick of the same old boring cardio routine and want to kick your fatloss into high gear by working out less and...heaven forbid...actually have some fun...then you want to read this new book. Click here to learn more about this book
  6. 6. CHAPTER 1You Have Been Lied to, and It’s Time to Learn the TruthThe health and fitness industry is notorious for scams, fallacies, and pseudo-science.CHAPTER 2The War Against BS and BroscienceLearn about the biggest lie factories in the industry, and how to inoculate yourself.CHAPTER 312 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re MakingMyth #1: “I have bad genetics”Myth #2: You can "shape" your muscles with certain exercisesMyth #3: You should always stretch before working outMyth #4: When doing cardio, you want to get your heart rate into the "fat burning zone"Myth #5: Sweating more during cardio burns more fatMyth #6: Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fatMyth #7: The body can only digest 30 grams of protein per sittingMyth #8: Diet sodas are good for dietingMyth #9: Salt is bad for youMyth #10: Steroids make you look awesomeMyth #11: Stress and cortisol make you gain weightMyth #12: Alcohol doesnt affect muscle growth or fat lossCHAPTER 438 More Disastrous Health & Fitness Myths that Keep PeopleFat, Weak, and Unhealthy
  7. 7. Here’s what most people will never know about burning fat, building muscle, and stayinghealthy.BONUS REPORTMuscle Meals: 15 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean,and Staying HealthyIf you hate dieting and wish you could eat tasty, nutritious food and still build muscle or loseweight, then you want to read this special report.WOULD YOU DO ME A FAVOR?You’re awesome for reading my book, and I have a small favor to ask...OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL MATTHEWSMore practical health and fitness advice to help you get into the best shape of your life.
  8. 8. You Have Been Lied to, and It’s Time to Learn the Truth When I started training nearly a decade ago, I was full of wrong ideas. I thought that my genetics weren’t good enough, that it took hours and hours ofgrueling cardio to lose weight, that I was a hardgainer, that a really sick pump was the key tomuscle growth, that I shouldn’t eat at night if I didn’t want to get fat, and many other fallaciesthat were foisted upon me by workout magazines and trainers (many of whom get theirinformation from magazines). Like many other people, I would hit the gym regularly only to see little or no results.Naturally, this leads to frustration and many people eventually quit or turn to steroids ordevelop unhealthy eating habits. Fortunately, I chose the path of better education, and Istarting writing books to help people get great results from training naturally and eatinghealthily. Because the fact is—and this is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the last tenyears—building a great body just isn’t that complicated. It’s like good sex—sure, it requireseffort, but the principles are few and simple and if you stick to them, you get the job done. Here’s what it boils down to: If you’re willing to train for 45 minutes per day, 3 – 5 timesper week, and follow a sensible eating plan, you can have a great body that you’re proud of.And if you’re not already a seasoned lifter, you can easily gain 15 – 20 pounds of lean mass inyour first 10 – 12 weeks of training—a pretty dramatic change. If you’re looking to lose weight,you can lose the same amount in the same period. In this book, I’m going to address a dozen myths and bogus claims in a scientific andstraightforward manner. I’m not going to bother with pictures or fluff material because you canget more than your fill of that in other fitness books or on various websites. I’m going to giveyou the straight facts and help you approach your training and nutrition in a smarter way. But first I want to talk about the lie factories that spawn many of these bunk fallaciesand how you can avoid the many more variations that are sure to come. So let’s get to it.
  9. 9. The War Against BS and Broscience A couple decades ago, there wasn’t enough information on working out. These days, with the Internet and magazine racks full of glossed-up magazines featuringchemically enhanced athletes, the workout information market is like a mountainous garbagedump. Somewhere in the muck are the basic, workable truths—the stuff we’re actually lookingfor—but they’re greatly out-numbered by the worthless crap. If you hit the Internet and start participating in health and fitness forums, you’reentering a land ruled by broscience and idiocy, where it’s almost impossible to sort out what’strue and workable, and what’s not. “What’s broscience,” you ask? Broscience is the predominant brand of reasoning usedby amateur bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts where the anecdotal stories of people thatreally have no idea what’s going on inside their bodies takes precedence over credible scientificresearch. Just because a guy is big thanks to steroids or a girl is thin thanks to starvation dietsthat wreck your body doesn’t necessarily mean they have good advice for you. A million bad advices fall under the heading of broscience. You should do high reps andlow weight to tone your muscles—BZZZT. The more sets you do, the better—BZZZT. Deadliftsare bad for your back—BZZZT. Women shouldn’t lift weights because they’ll get bulky—BZZZT.Wrong, wrong, wrong, bro. And what about the magazines? Here’s a fun fact that you probably didn’t know:MuscleMag, IronMan, Flex, Muscular Development, Muscle & Fitness, Muscle Media, and therest of the mainstream bodybuilding magazines are owned by supplement companies and areused simply as mouthpieces for their products. Yup. MuscleMag is controlled by MuscleTech;IronMan is controlled by MuscleLink; Muscular Development is Twinlab’s shill piece; Muscle &Fitness and Flex are owned by Joe Weider, and are thus promotion catalogues for hiscompanies, such as Weider, Metaform, MuscleTribe, and several others; and MuscleMedia isthe EAS cheerleader. The primary goal of these magazines is to pimp supplements for the companiescontrolling them, and they work damn well. The magazines push products in various ways. Theyhave pretty advertisements all over the place, they regularly run “advertorials” (advertisementsdisguised as informative articles), and they balance the sales pitches with some articles thatactually provide workout and nutrition advice (which also, in many cases, end with productrecommendations of some kind). So, this is the first blow that magazines deal to you: They give you a lot of “advice” thatis geared first and foremost to selling you products, not helping you achieve your goals.
  10. 10. The supplement companies know that if they can just keep getting these magazines intopeople’s hands, they will keep selling products. So, how do they ensure that you will keepbuying? By coming up with a constant flow of new advice and ideas, of course. And this is the second, probably more harmful, blow: They inundate you with all kinds offalse ideas about what it takes to get into great shape. If they told the simple truth everymonth, they would have maybe twenty articles or so that they could re-print over and over.Instead, they get quite creative with all kinds of sophisticated (but useless) workout routines,“tricks,” and diets (that include certain supplements to really MAXIMIZE the effectiveness, ofcourse). The bottom line is that you can’t trust these types of magazines. They’re nothing morethan shiny lobbyists for the supplement companies. So how do you get good information, you wonder? Well, this book will give you a headstart. Forgive the shameless plug, but another book of mine, Bigger Leaner Stronger, is also anexcellent resource that gives you everything you need to create your own training program anddiet that will help you achieve your goals as efficiently as possible. Alright, now that we have all that out of the way, let’s get to the myth busting, shall we?
  11. 11. MYTH #1 I have bad genetics This one gets tossed around a lot. Genetics are a favorite scapegoat for people whocan’t build enough muscle or lose enough fat. But how much do they actually influence yourresults? A lot less than these people want to believe. Sure, your genes determine certain thingslike which muscle groups tend to be your “strong points,” your hormone levels, how much fatyou tend to hold on your body, and where you tend to gain fat, but they’re not standing in yourway in terms of gaining muscle or losing fat. You can get in amazing shape if you know whatyou’re doing. Period. I’ve known quite a few “hardgainers” over the years that have gained 30, 40, and even50 pounds in their first year or two of training correctly (and with no drugs). I’ve knowncountless men and women who were convinced that they were genetically programmed to befat get in the best shape of their lives once they fixed what they were doing wrong. Now, genetics can make it easier or harder. Some people have naturally hightestosterone levels, which means faster muscle growth and an overall leaner physique. Somepeople’s metabolisms are naturally faster than others, making weight loss an easier endeavor.Genetics also play a role in the shape of your muscles. Not all guys can have that perfect squarechest or ridiculous bicep peak, and not all women can have a gravity-defying, round butt. Butnone of these things are limitations. So, who cares if you gain muscle or lose fat slower than the other person? As long asyou get to where you want to be, the added time is irrelevant. And big deal if you can’t havethe same aesthetics as a fitness cover model. You can still look awesome and feel great, andthat’s what it’s all about.
  12. 12. MYTH #2 You can "shape" your muscles with certain exercises In my dreams, I can do Cable Flyes to make my chest squarer—you know, the type of pecsthat look like symmetrical armor plates. I can then do Concentration Curls to get a scary highpeak on my biceps, followed by Reverse Decline Crunches to get symmetrical, sculpted abs. Well, unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a “shaping” exercise. You can make yourmuscles bigger or smaller and your genetics will determine their shape (think of “adding clay,”as Arnold put it in Pumping Iron). That being said, you can still do quite a bit with your physiqueand compensate for weak areas. If you feel you lack bicep peak, for example, you should focus on growing your biceps withgood ol’ heavy weight training and include reverse or Zottman Curls and Hammer Curls to workthe brachioradialis and brachialis muscles, which can push your bicep up. If you’re unhappy with some aspect of your chest—the upper part, lower part, middle,etc.—make it bigger with proven mass-builders like the Dumbbell and Barbell Bench Press(I liketo do them on both flat an incline benches), and Weighted Dips. If you’re not happy with the width of your shoulders, you can really isolate the middledeltoid with an exercise like the Leaning Lateral Raise. Let’s talk about girls for a minute. The claims that certain forms of strength training willmake “long, lean” muscles like a dancer’s while others will result in “bulky, ugly” muscles like ashe-male are bogus. Whether you do Pilates, yoga, or weight training to strengthen and buildyour muscles, their shape will come out the same, with the difference being that weighttraining will grow your muscles faster than Pilates or yoga (and yoga and Pilates offer thingsthat weight training doesn’t, of course, such as flexibility, intense sweating, inner calm, etc.). “Sculpting” best describes what is actually possible. You can build your muscles and reduceyour body fat percentage, which will give you that thin, athletic “beach body” that so manywomen envy. The key takeaway here is that you can work out your muscles in such a way as to achievefull development, but in the end, the overall shape is going to be determined by your genetics.
  13. 13. MYTH #3 You should always stretch before working out Some guys believe that stretching before lifting makes you stronger. Others believe ithelps prevent injury. Others do it just because it feels good. Many people stretch beforerunning or doing other cardio activities for the same reasons. Well, stretching before lifting is actually terrible. Studies have shown it weakens thosemuscles being stretched by up to 30%, and it not only doesn’t prevent injury, but can actuallyincrease the risk of injury because it loosens the muscles which should be tense and tight whilelifting to ensure everything stays in its right place. Stretching to loosen your muscles afterworking out is totally fine, however. Stretching before doing cardio may be equally bad. According to a study done by theUniversity of Hawaii-Manoa, pre-workout stretching was linked with a higher risk of injury inwhite, male runners (females that stretched before running were not injured any more thanthose that didn’t, and the same went for males of other races—strange, indeed!). A previousstudy by Dutch researchers found that stretching before running had neither a preventativeeffect in terms of injury, nor caused more injuries. Now, don’t confuse stretching with warming up, which is very important with bothlifting and cardio. When lifting, you should do 3 – 5 warm-up sets with light weights beforeyour first heavy, “working” set for a muscle. You should never go to failure on warm-up sets asthis saps strength that you could otherwise use in your muscle-building sets. So, to summarize, stretch after lifting or cardio. This not only follows science, butcommon sense: The best time to stretch your muscles is when they’re warmed up and able toachieve a full range of motion. Before a workout, your muscles are “cold” and tight, whereasafter a workout they’re completely warmed up and engorged with blood. As a note, when doing static stretches (stretches that you hold), make sure to hold themfor 30 – 45 seconds or they won’t have much of an effect.
  14. 14. MYTH #4When doing cardio, you want to get your heart rate into the "fat burning zone" Like much BS advice in the health and fitness industry, this myth is given an air ofscientific legitimacy. Many cardio machines show pretty graphs indicating where your heart rate should befor “fat burning” versus “cardiovascular training.” You calculate this magical heart rate bysubtracting your age from 200 and multiplying this number by .6. If you keep your heart rate atthis number, the legend says, you’ll be in the “fat burning zone.” The (il)logic given for this isthat by keeping your cardio training at a low intensity, it will burn fat instead of carbs (huh?). Well, it’s a crock. You can’t trick your body’s complex metabolic system by making yourheart beat a certain number of times per minute. There is no special way of exercising that willget your body to burn only fat for its energy—it will always use a combination of glucose andglycogen (substances your body creates from the carbs you eat), and fat, and even a bit ofmuscle too. Long, low-intensity cardio sessions tend to negatively impact muscle growth and burnrelatively few calories, thus rendering them ineffective in helping with fat loss. Studies such as those conducted by Laval University, East Tennessee State University,Baylor College of Medicine, and Florida State University have shown that shorter, high-intensitysessions, however, not only cause less muscle breakdown than low- intensity, steady-statecardio, but they burn more calories and stimulate more fat loss. Therefore, I recommend doing HIIT for all cardio, and keeping your sessions between 20– 30 minutes long. Here’s how it works: 1. You start your workout with 2 – 3 minutes of low-intensity warm-up. 2. You then go all-out, as fast as possible, for 1 minute. 3. You then slow it down to a low-intensity recovery period for about 1 minute. 4. You repeat this cycle of all-out and recovery for 20 – 30 minutes. 5. You take the last 2 – 3 minutes to cool down at a low intensity. You can apply the HIIT style to any type of cardio that you would normally do. You canhead outside and walk and sprint, or you can hop on the elliptical trainer or recumbent bike toget it done. Give it a try next time you’re planning on losing weight. You’ll be amazed at how muchmore effective it is.
  15. 15. MYTH #5 Sweating more during cardio burns more fat Many people still don heavy sweat suits or plastic suits while doing their cardioworkouts. The idea is that by making yourself sweat more, you’ll burn more calories. This has no basis in science. More sweating doesn’t mean more fat loss. Any extraweight you lose is simply water, and your body will quickly gain it back once you drink someliquids. Not only does inducing heavy sweating like this not do anything in terms of fat loss, itcan cause severe dehydration and even heat stroke. Not fun. The body also interferes with fatloss when it’s dehydrated. The journal of Medicine in Sports and Exercise even found that colder environmentscause the body to burn more calories than warm environments (according to one study, 13%more calories are burned).
  16. 16. MYTH #6 Exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat Many people wake up and immediately work out in order to burn more fat. Calling this one a flat-out “myth” is a bit unfair because it’s true that the body will tapinto fat stores quicker when it’s been without food for many hours. The other half of the story,however, is that when you haven’t eaten for several hours, your body enters a state of“catabolism” wherein it begins to break down muscle tissue for energy. If you go do cardio or weight lifting when your body is in this catabolic state, you’ll burnfat, but you’ll also accelerate the muscle loss. For this reason, you shouldn’t do it. If you train shortly after you wake up, make sure you have a protein shake (Irecommend whey, as it’s absorbed quickly) right when you get out of bed to halt the cataboliccycle that your body has entered while sleeping. If I’m lifting, I also like to eat about 25 grams ofcarbs before training to help fuel my workout.
  17. 17. MYTH #7 The body can only digest 30 grams of protein per sitting Many different numbers are used in this myth. Some sources say 50 grams is the maxwhile others say 60 and still others still claim 20. Who’s right? Here’s the bottom line: Science has not given any conclusive answer on thesubject. Everyone’s body is different. I highly doubt that an NFL linebacker’s body deals withprotein the same way as a computer programmer’s 120 lb body. To make a long story short, studies have shown that it’s safe to assume that your bodycan absorb 60 – 80 grams of protein in one sitting. That doesn’t mean you have to eat thatmuch, of course, but your body shouldn’t have a problem with up to that amount. It’s a good idea to spread your daily protein requirement over 4 – 6 meals throughoutthe day. This keeps your body anabolic (a state wherein it grows muscle and other tissues) andensures there’s a steady stream of amino acids in the blood for cellular repair.
  18. 18. MYTH #8 Diet sodas are good for dieting Many people drink diet sodas to cut down on their sugar intake and thus the number ofcalories eaten each day. Theoretically, this should help with weight loss. But that’s not how itpans out. According to a study done by the University of Texas, diet soda drinkers gained nearlythe same amount of weight as regular soda drinkers. How could this be? A couple reasons were identified. Studies on mice showed that the artificial sweetenersused in the diet sodas caused almost the same insulin reaction as sugar. This insulin spike andcrash leaves people feeling hungry and irritable, which leads to overeating. People also felt they could eat more because they had diet soda, thus losing the benefitof calorie savings. This just further highlights the importance of planning your daily meals whendieting to lose weight, and sticking to that plan.
  19. 19. MYTH# 9 Salt is bad for you Salt has gotten a pretty bad rap over the years. It’s blamed for high blood pressure,heart attacks and stroke, water retention, and other health nightmares. On the other hand, salt is a vital nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure (too much isas bad for your blood pressure as too little), helps the nervous system do its job, helps musclescontract properly, and more. What is salt, exactly? It’s a combination of two electrolytes (substances that conductelectrical currents): sodium and chloride. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day as theadequate intake level for most adults (less than one teaspoon per day). According to the CDC,the average American aged 2 and up eats 3,436 milligrams of sodium per day. Too much sodium intake causes water retention (which gives you that puffy, soft look)and it can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. Too little sodium in your body can lead to nausea, lethargy, dizziness, vomiting, andother health problems. Frozen and canned foods are full of sodium, as are cured meats like bacon and sausage(one slice of bacon has 1,000 milligrams of sodium!). When you add salt to foods, I recommend sea salt or Himalayan rock salt (sounds likefancy BS, but it’s actually great stuff) because it has many naturally occurring minerals, whilerun-of-the-mill table salt has been “chemically cleaned” to remove “impurities,” which includesthese vital elements. It’s also important to ensure your body gets enough potassium. Potassium helps balancesodium levels by pumping it out of the cells. A good potassium/sodium intake ratio is one-to-two, and some good natural sources of potassium are bananas, avocados, fish, and beans. Youcan also buy potassium tablets that you can take as a supplement.
  20. 20. MYTH #10 Steroids make you look awesome Many people are quick to chalk up a guy’s great physique to steroids. “Who cares, he’sobviously on steroids,” they say. The mystique of steroids lies in the false belief that you takethem and magically transform into a Greek god. It isn’t that simple. Steroids are certainly effective, and there are certain levels of muscle size and density thatyou just can’t reach without them, but they are far from wonder drugs. First, what are they, exactly? Anabolic steroids are synthetic hormones that mimictestosterone and thus trigger muscle growth (and many other reactions). The truth is that steroids do work incredibly well. They enable you to build muscle veryquickly. They speed muscle recovery and dramatically increase strength. But they’re alsoillegal—just possessing them is a felony offense here in the U.S. But the illegality of steroids isn’t the only reason you should stay away from them. First,they don’t guarantee anything in terms of obtaining a great physique. It takes a lot more thanout-of-control muscle growth and webs of slithering veins to look good. Many guys havehorrendously unattractive bodies thanks to steroids (bulging stomachs, severe acne, and anoverall puffy, bloated look are common side effects). Not only that, but steroid use increases your risk of injury because your muscle strengthoutpaces the development of your supporting tendons and ligaments. So, while it may feel likeyour chest, arm, and shoulder muscles can handle that massive Bench Press, a tendon orligament might tear under the strain. Another reason to stay away from steroids is that if you don’t know exactly what you’redoing in terms of what drugs to take together and in what dosages while you’re “on,” and alsowhat to take when you’re off (post-cycle therapy), you can cause serious and even permanentdamage to your endocrine system. Many guys have ruined their body’s natural balance ofhormones and suffer the consequences, which includes “man boobs” (gynecomastia), hair loss,testicular atrophy, prostate enlargement, sterility, and other emasculating consequences. Last but not least, I believe you shouldn’t do steroids because they’re just not necessary tolook great. Many people have thought I’m on steroids over the years, which was a nicecompliment considering the fact that I’ve never done a single performance-enhancing drug. Through proper dieting and training, you can not only reach your fitness and aestheticgoals, you can also do it healthily and with longevity. Many ‘roiders are going to wish they
  21. 21. hadn’t turned to the dark side when they’re in their 50s and suffering from grim healthcomplications (one guy I know was a big drugger in the 70s, and now he can’t get an erectionanymore—not worth it!).
  22. 22. MYTH #11 Stress and cortisol make you gain weight The “stress hormone” cortisol is a favorite scapegoat of the pseudo-scientific weight-loss pill pushers. The marketing pitch is that when your body is stressed, it releases cortisol. Thiscauses your body to become bloated and to store fat, especially in the belly area. Therefore, ifyou simply take some pills that block cortisol production or absorption, you can lose weightwithout changing how you eat or exercising. It sounds enticing, but it’s bogus. Cortisol, like every other hormone in the body, has a specific purpose, which includesregulating the energy levels of the body. It does this by moving energy from fat stores to tissuesthat need it and, when the body is under stress, by providing protein for conversion intoenergy. Cortisol levels rise when the body is under stress due to things like very restrictiveeating, weight lifting, traveling, getting angry, and so on. This isn’t bad—it’s just how the bodyworks. Cortisol can increase the amount of fat stored in the abdominal area, but you have toprovide your body with excess calories to store. Cortisol can’t magically create fat if the bodydoesn’t have the additional calories needed to form it. Cortisol does increase your appetite, however, so this is how the dwindling spiral ofstress and weight gain goes. You get stressed out, your cortisol levels rise, you over-eat to feelbetter, and your body tends to store this fat in your belly area. Drinking alcohol when you’restressed leads to even more cortisol production. So, as you can see, there is value in keeping your cortisol levels low. It doesn’t requirethat you take cortisol suppressors though. Taking Vitamin C and glutamine every day helpsreduce cortisol levels. More importantly, though, you should try to remove the causes of stressin your life. Simple stress busters are getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and exercisingregularly. You might be surprised how far these simple actions go in making you feel good.
  23. 23. MYTH #12 Alcohol doesnt affect muscle growth or fat loss Yes, it certainly does. In fact, drinking alcohol regularly is one of the most effective ways tohalt muscle growth and fat loss. Why? First, alcohol is very calorie dense, with between 25 – 100 calories per ounce, and itprovides no nutritional value. To make matters worse, when alcohol is in the system, the bodywill burn it for energy over fat, stopping fat loss. I’ll repeat this point: If alcohol is in yoursystem, your body will not burn fat for energy until the alcohol has been metabolized. Studieshave shown that this can take up to 12 hours. Dietary fats eaten during this time are muchmore likely to be stored as body fat, too. According to research done by the University of Verona, moderate alcohol consumptionleads to increased levels of visceral fat (fat that encases your organs), primarily in theabdominal region. That’s where the “beer belly” comes from. Visceral fat is much harder to losethan subcutaneous fat, which is the fat in between your muscles and your skin. Alcohol stimulates the appetite, which often leads to over-eating (and over-drinking). Andwhat kinds of food do watering holes provide? Fatty, processed, junk like pizza, chicken wings,hamburgers, etc. I’m not done yet though. The case against alcohol is still building. Studies show that alcohol suppresses testosterone production in the body (anywhere from7 – 23% according to research, depending on consumption levels). This effect can last for up to16 hours. If you can’t give up alcohol, I recommend that you pick one day per week and limit yourselfto two drinks. Don’t drink the sugary mixed drinks, either.
  24. 24. Want to Learn the Truth About 38 More Myths that Keep People Fat, Weak, and Unhealthy?If you’ve ever felt lost in the sea of contradictory training and diet advice out there and you justwant to know once and for all what works and what doesn’t, then you need to read MuscleMyths.Thanks to the overwhelming amount of fitness pseudo-science and lies being pushed on usevery day by bogus magazines and self-styled “gurus,” it’s becoming harder and harder to get inshape.Muscle Myths was written to debunk the most commonplace and harmful gimmicks, fads,myths, and misinformation in the health and fitness industry.Here are just some of the things you’ll learn in this book: • Why you don’t have to completely cut out carbs or fat, or eat weird combinations of food to lose weight. • The truth about supplements and why 99% of them are a complete waste of money (and the few that are actually scientifically proven to work). • Why women shouldn’t be training differently than men if they want the lean, toned, and sexy type of body that they see in magazines, TV shows, and movies. • The scientific secrets of getting a six-pack. Forget 6-minute gimmicks, doing endless crunches, and hours of grueling cardio—it’s actually pretty easy when you know what you’re doing. • Training and diet methods that will completely shatter any perceived “genetic barriers” that you think are holding you back from building muscle or losing weight. • And much more.This book will save you the money, time, and frustration of falling into the traps of misleadingdiet plans and products, and teach you how to finally start seeing real results with your diet andexercise.
  25. 25. Click here to learn more about this book!
  26. 26. BONUS REPORT Finally! Escape the Horrors of “Dieting” and Build Muscle or Lose Fat by Eating Tasty, Nutritious Food!If you want to know how to build muscle and burn fat by eating healthy, delicious meals thatare easy to cook and easy on your wallet, then you want to read this special report.Do you lack confidence in the kitchen and think that you just can’t cook great food?Are you not sure of how to prepare food that is not only delicious and healthy but also effectivein helping you build muscle and lose fat?Are you afraid that cooking nutritious, restaurant-quality meals is too time-consuming andexpensive?Do you think that eating healthy means having to force down the same boring, bland food everyday?If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, don’t worry—you’re not alone. And this bookis going to help. Inside you’ll find 15 fast, healthy, and tasty meals that will help you buildmuscle or lose weight, regardless of your current skills.
  27. 27. Download this report now and learn how to escape the dreadful experience of “dieting” andlearn how to cook nutritious, delicious meals that make burning fat or building muscle easy andenjoyable! Click here to get this report now!
  28. 28. WOULD YOU DO ME A FAVOR?Thank you for downloading my book. I hope you enjoyed reading it and have found it helpful.I have a small favor to ask. Would you mind taking a minute to write a blurb on Goodreadsabout this book? I check all my reviews and love to get feedback (that’s the real pay for mywork—knowing that I’m helping people). Click here to leave me a review on GoodreadsAlso, if you have any friends or family that might enjoy this book, spread the love and send it tothem!Now, I don’t just want to sell you books—I want to see you use what you’ve learned to buildthe body of your dreams.As you work toward your goals, however, you’ll probably have questions or run into somedifficulties. I’d like to be able to help you with these, so let’s connect up! I don’t charge for thehelp, of course, and I answer questions from readers every day.Here’s how we can connect:Like me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/biggerleanerstrongerFollow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mikeblsAdd me on G+: www.gplus.to/mikematthewsAnd last but not least, my website is http://www.buildhealthymuscle.com and if you want towrite me, my email address is mike@buildhealthymuscle.com.Thanks again, I hope to hear from you, and I wish you the best!MikeP.S. Turn to the next page to check out other books of mine that you might like
  29. 29. OTHER BOOKS BY MICHAEL MATTHEWSThinner Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Female BodyIf you want to be toned, lean, and strong as quickly as possible without crash dieting, “good genetics,” or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym and money on supplements...regardless of your age... then you want to read this book. Click here to learn more about this bookBigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
  30. 30. If you want to be muscular, lean, and strong as quickly as possible, without steroids, goodgenetics, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym, and money on supplements...then you want to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book Muscle Myths: 50 Health & Fitness Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making If you’ve ever felt lost in the sea of contradictory training and diet advice out there and you just want to know once and for all what works and what doesn’t—what’s scientifically trueand what’s false—when it comes to building muscle and getting ripped, then you need to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book
  31. 31. The Shredded Chef: 115 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying HealthyIf you want to know how to forever escape the dreadful experience of “dieting” and learn how to cook nutritious, delicious meals that make building muscle and burning fat easy and enjoyable, then you need to read this book. Click here to learn more about this book Cardio Sucks! The Simple Science of Burning Fat Fast and Getting in Shape If youre short on time and sick of the same old boring cardio routine and want to kick your fatloss into high gear by working out less and...heaven forbid...actually have some fun...then you want to read this new book. Click here to learn more about this book

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