Words you NEED to STOP using on your fitness journey

Rick Copley online coaching

There are certain words that you need to stop using on your fitness journey. Seriously.

I think I am going to get in trouble with this post today. Honestly, I really don’t care. It’s the bold who change the world. I’m trying to change the world so I’d might as well be bold.

What I am going to tell you today is that much of what you hear from the “experts” is totally wrong. I can only speak from experience so it is 100% up to you whether of not to believe me. Hopefully my arguments are compelling enough to at least get you to stop and think for a moment.

Are you ready to cast aside some things that you “know” and learn a little? I hope so.

#1 thing you NEED to STOP saying: “low carb”.

Rick Copley Online Coach

Drives me totally and completely nuts when I hear people say “low carb”.

I mean, like fingers on the chalkboard crazy.

So why do people insist and putting those two words together and why does it bother me?

Dr. Atkins started the whole low carb craze back in the 1970’s. His premise was completely and utterly wrong and dangerous but did a have an upside. In a nutshell the diet eliminated carbs so your body processed fats and proteins like crazy and thus your body shed it’s own fat like crazy. It’s called ketosis and it’s just not natural and it’s not sustainable. The diet runs in popularity cycles. People lose a ton of weight and others see this and want to get the same results. Eventually everybody gains the weight back when the mad cravings take over so the fad dies out only to be brought back again years later.

The good that came out of this is that people are more leery of simple carbs. The high sugar foods like pastries and candy are being looked at more as unhealthy. This is good but the one good doesn’t make up for the ridiculousness of this diet.

The team “low carb” comes from all this mess. For some reason people perceive carbs as being bad. This is FALSE. Carbohydrates are the best and most efficient energy source for the body. Why avoid carbs?
Everything that we consume can be broken down into one of three “macronutrients”: carbohydrate, protein and fat. If we go “low carb” then we are loading up on protein and fats. While we need protein and fat we also need a little thing called ENERGY.

I don’t want to spend all day on this. Please take my word, trying to go “low carb” is a mistake that will NOT yield you results long term. If you want to learn how to eat properly then listen to my “How to Eat” podcast episode. It will teach you the specifics of how to eat.

#2 thing you NEED to STOP saying: “gluten free”.

Rick Copley Online Coach

It’s the new health nut thing that you see at the store. Everything these days seems to be gluten free.

It’s like gluten is some sort of radiation or something.

It’s just not true; or at least it’s not definitely proven.

Listen, I am not a professional researcher. There are plenty of those out there. A simple Google search, however, reveals some interesting stuff. According to an article in FORBES 30% of Americans would “like to eat less gluten”. As is usually the case in American, when there is money to be made there are people making crazy claims.

In 2016 the “gluten free” products industry is estimated to be a $15 billion industry. That is a 50% increase from 2013. (FORBES)

Is gluten bad for you? Do some people have sensitivity issues? Maybe. The facts aren’t as clear cut at the health crazies will lead you to believe. If you want to read further I found 3 articles that give some compelling evidence that your “gluten free” diet just isn’t helping all that much.

Gluten Intolerance May Not Exist, Forbes. 

13 Biggest Nutrition Myths Busted, Eating Well. 

The Myth of Big, Bad Gluten. NY TIMES. 

You can find lots of “evidence” of both sides here. It is my humble opinion that gluten insensitivity isn’t the problem that they people that sell you food are making it out to be. There are issues that you need to address but this isn’t one of them.

#3 thing you NEED to STOP saying: “toning”.


STOP THE INSANITY! [*Insert picture of me standing on my chair jumping up and down*]

Really, people. Stop using the word “toning”. It’s dumb, it means NOTHING, and it is dis-empowering.

Please define, toning. THANK YOU.

You can’t because there is no such thing. So why do you use the word?

So many people say, “I’m not into weight lifting, I’m toning….” or they go to “muscle toning” class. Just typing that sounds silly.

People think that when they do cardio or the circuit that they are toning. The truth is that in order to be tone (which I would assume is having more definition or “tone”) you need to do a variety of things and what people usually do doesn’t work.

OK, the biggest reason that I don’t like people talking about toning is that, in general, the perception is that toning means a lower intensity. Have you ever heard this or thought this yourself? “I’m not into doing heavy weights or high intensity. I’m into toning…”

The truth is that if you want to have more definition and be more tone then lifting weights and doing high intensity exercise is the only way to do it. Shying away because you are just toning is WRONG. This is why the term can be did-empowering and it needs to leave your fitness lexicon.

Besides, it sounds stupid. Please stop. Thank you.

#4 thing you NEED to STOP saying: “target area”. 

Rick Copley online coach

I have written many blog posts about this over the years yet people still put the words “target” and “area” together and it also drives me crazy.

You want to torture me? Put me in a room and play a recording over and over the gain the sentence, “I am eating low carb and I am gluten free so I can work on toning my target area.”

Lord have mercy, shoot me now.

If you have an area on your body that you don’t like then do burpees, squat, intervals and learn to eat properly. You can NOT influence a target area so stop trying. If you want you can chastise your mother for birthing you and or feeding you like crap as a kid but, for the love of God, don’t do endless crunches with the hopes of getting abs.

It’s just not going to work. You can’t spot reduce and the term “target area” is a term that you need to never use.

Sorry for the long post today. This topic always fires me up. I despise the myths that are so entrenched in fitness that they come back over and over and over again. It this post helps just one person then my mission is complete. If you found value please share. Rock on my friends. Rock on.

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