Diet and exercise traps are everywhere just waiting to trap you, and your progress for years on end. Some of them are outright scams that steal your time and money. Others are pseudo-science fads that have little merit.
Today I wanted to expose on the biggest and most damaging traps that almost everyone falls into. I’ve fallen victim to this fitness trap for years myself and continue to see countless victims fall into it all the time. It’s usually snaring those who are new to the diet and exercise game, but even elite veterans can quickly fall for the bait and find themselves trapped.
This trap is the belief that your success depends entirely on using the correct tools when it comes to diet and exercise. Here are a few of the most common examples you often come across:
- You can only lose weight with a low-carb or keto diet.
- Free-weights are best for building muscle and strength.
- You have to take a whey protein supplement to build muscle.
- You can’t build strong legs without squats.
- You’ll get fat if you eat junk food.
- Dips are bad for your shoulders.
This list includes both good and bad examples of what would happen if you do, or do not, use a particular tool. They claim your outcome rests entirely on what sort of exercise, equipment, or food you use.
The tools you use are very important to your success, but they are not that important. A barbell can’t make you stronger all by itself. A cookie or scoop of ice cream can’t make you fatter just because it has fat or sugar in it. Yes, those things are important, but they are not what is truly in control of your success or failures. Believing they are controlling your health and fitness fate is the trap that’s so easy to fall into.
The truth is your success depends much more on the skills and abilities you bring to the tools you use than the actual tools themselves. It’s the skills the powerlifter brings to the barbell that allows them to build impressive amounts of strength. It’s the abilities of the healthy eater who can feel healthy and refreshed after eating a burger and fries. A set of pull-ups only builds strength and muscle if you improve your ability to use your muscles.
The better your skills improve, the better your results become, even if your tools are far less than optimal. The tools you use by no means doom you to failure or promises your success. Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of believing such is the case.
Listen to this week’s podcast for more on the biggest trap in health and fitness and how to prevent yourself from getting caught in it.