Fitness magazines are always trying to let you in on their special weight loss secrets. But the magazine industry has 5 secrets that they don’t want you to find out about. Fitness magazines can be great for keeping you motivated or coming up with new ideas, but always keep a clear head about what they are really trying to sell you.
1. You don’t have to do complicated exercise routines
The routines featured in fitness magazines are always complicated, isolation-based exercises. If magazines revealed that all you need to get strong is your own body weight and a barbell, they wouldn’t be able to fill their pages with tear-out routines. Don’t overcomplicate your workouts: you can achieve results with 30 minutes of basic, compound weight lifting moves and 20 minutes of high intensity interval training.
2. Our fitness models didn’t get ripped by following our routines
Fitness models are hired to pose for magazine spreads because of the way they already look. Just because they’re posing with 2-pound dumbbells or doing a 50-minute elliptical routine, doesn’t mean that’s how they got fit. Most likely, any woman posing in a strength training spread earned her muscle by lifting heavy. But showing a model squatting 125 pounds might intimidate browsers, so magazines tend to stick to the status quo: keep women in their comfort zones. Why not challenge yourself and see how your body responds?
3. There is no fast/easy weight loss secret
This one’s just another harsh reality check. There’s not always some easy, speedy way (on page 137!) to lose weight. Sometimes it just takes time and effort. Magazine headlines set the bar pretty high, but don’t be disappointed if the pounds don’t melt away when following a 2-week diet plan. Every body is different, and you can experiment to find the method that works for you. Remember that cutting calories is the simplest way to lose weight and you don’t have to follow a plan that dictates every bite of food you eat.
4. Spot reducing doesn’t exist
This is the industry’s biggest secret. “Lose 2 Pounds and Hope that it comes off your Love Handles” isn’t an effective headline, but it is reality. You can’t spot reduce body fat through exercise. You can’t “crunch away your belly pooch” or “slim your thighs with 50 lunges a day.” Strength training moves build muscle and help you burn a little extra fat, but you can’t control where it comes off. With diet (calorie reduction) and exercise, you will start to lose fat all over, and eventually it should come off your trouble spots too.
5. You don’t have 5 pounds to lose
Magazines have to prey on the assumption that most women feel that they have at least a few pounds to lose. There aren’t many articles suggesting that maybe those last 5 pounds are all in your head. Sometimes just reading a “lose 8 pounds in 4 weeks!” headline makes me feel like I have 8 pounds to lose. Be honest with yourself and evaluate the real needs of your body. Maybe you’re perfectly happy with your weight but just want to exercise for health. Maybe you are at a healthy weight but would like to have more visible muscle tone. Afterall, fitness isn’t all about dropping a few extra pounds.
Are there any changes you’d like to see in the fitness magazine industry? Please share your thoughts in the comments.