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Corps Strength – The Never Say Die “Myths Of Fitness”

fitness myth

Recently I came across a an article in a popular monthly magazine about the top ten “Myths” of fitness. Some of their list I agreed with, some I didn’t, but I found it an interesting article. In any case it got my brain working on what were some the biggest fitness myths, I that I encounter almost daily as a trainer? There were many that came to mind, but here are a few stubborn ones that I’ve heard a lot over many years. I have to say up font these are my own opinion, based on my personal experience, first hand observation and research over many years and I’ll be the first to say I don’t know everything about fitness, and I’m glad to be learning all the time, but some things I do know, as I learned them the way most Marines do, the hard way.

#1 There is one single best exercise, False. To be in superb overall physical condition you need a balance of strength, aerobic conditioning, flexibility and muscular endurance. No single exercise can provide this. Just swimming, running, or lifting weights alone won’t get it. People wrongly tend to think what their good at is best, but balance is the key to true overall conditioning.

#2 You need to take dietary supplements, False. The fact is if you eat real food in the right amounts you’ll get all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need for optimum health. I do recommend that everyone take a simple multi-vitamin as an insurance measure against not always eating a well balanced diet, other than that, IMO it’s just a waste of money. Extra vitamins or protein will not provide any real benefits unless you are deficient in that particular nutrient. The bottom line is that if your body doesn’t need it, it won’t use it. People can (and will) argue over this one forever, but I have witnessed first hand untold amounts of money spent by Marines and others on expensive supplements, (over many years) and have seen very, very little (if any) benefit from the vast majority of them. Other than the supplement industry, which is cleaning up to the the tune of about 30 billion a year it does nothing in the vast majority of cases but end up in our sewer system. Ask yourself a simple question; With more people taking more supplements than ever before, why is are more Americans overweight, sick and out of shape than ever before?

#3 You have to lift heavy weights to be strong, False. I have lifted weights for most of my adult life. I have competed in olympic and powerlifting competitions and have lifted some pretty heavy weights over the years. However other than for actual lifting competitions, or for sports like football and bodybuilding, lifting heavy weights is not needed to develop real world useful strength. In fact I think lifting very heavy weights, (more than your bodyweight) is not worth the injuries that are sure to come from it. Doesn’t mean training with weights isn’t beneficial to develop strength, it is, but bench pressing 300 lbs (which I’ve done) isn’t particularly useful. In comparison 50 lbs sounds light? However put that 50 lbs it in a pack and hump it 20 miles up and down some hills and you’ll see the difference in real world fitness I’m getting at here.

#4 Running will eventually damage your joints, especially your knees, False. Its been proven that distance runners have some of the healthiest strongest bones and joints of all athletes. Most of the people I’ve seen with knee problems are people who don’t run (or exercise ) at all and are overweight. I have been running almost daily since I was about 12 years old and have never had any knee issues. Not that I haven’t injured myself once and awhile over the years when running, I have. I just don’t think that following an intelligent program of running while wearing wearing properly fitting running shoes will cause knee problems, and honestly. its sounds more like just an excuse not to run than anything else.

#5 Staying in shape and maintaining a healthy bodyweight weight is extremely hard thing to do, about impossible if you are a busy person, especially as you get older. It takes 24/7 discipline, hours of daily exercise (in an expensive gym), and a monk like diet that requires special expensive foods. This one is completely false, actually it’s beyond that, it’s total bullshit. A balanced workout routine of 3-5 hours a week, combined with a commonsense eating plan and average “Adult” level discipline can yield not only good, but great fitness and health. Like most things that are worth having, people make this much harder than it really is. Check out my book Corps Strength for how to do it, no drama, no BS, just results. Try it.

Have a safe and happy holiday season

Semper Fi



11 Responses to “Corps Strength – The Never Say Die “Myths Of Fitness””

  1. Scott says:

    I can understand why people would think running causes joint issues. I’ve been running a lot since I was 13, and I developed a joint tracking problem because I overdeveloped the outer leg muscles and didn’t develop the inner muscles well. Over time the outer muscles pulled on the joint such that there was lots of inflammation that I hadn’t noticed, and that developed into scar tissue. It took ten and a half years before I discovered it, and since then I have to be careful about my running, and do physical therapy exercises. So in my opinion a proper running program should include plenty of hamstring and calf stretches and lots of exercises for the inner leg muscles to prevent a joint imbalance.

  2. Jet says:

    I ran 15-20 miles a week for 26 years. the result is worn out patellas and a quarterly injection of hyaluronic acid under the knee cap to lubricate them. I don’t think sitting on the couch did it as I do dang little of that. 22 years of climbing up and down tanks probably added to the issue but distance running was the main cause.

    So I must through the BS flag on the claim that running does not wear out joints. (grin)

  3. JLo says:

    Disagree with # 2….supplements most definitely have their place especially if your at a high level of fittness. Otherwise your talking about a $hitload of food to gain/maintain/repair.

  4. Stick says:

    Long distance runners don’t have the damage, and that really is the point. Some people are very affected by running, and others are not.

    If long distance runners had the same knee damage that others do, they wouldn’t be able to run anymore. This article should have taken into account thin fit guys who have run since childhood, and still have damaged knees.

    I’ve never heard anyone say that proper supplements are a waste of money. Again, some people might not need or want them, but that is a far cry from making them worthless.

    On his website the author points out he has never been hurt, which is fantastic for him, but it also points out his body seems to be a little different than that of some others. I hope it doesn’t happen, but if he does suffer a serious injury, he may be making some different points in his next book.

    Seems like a good guy with a good drive and direction, and I wish him the best of luck.

  5. Will M says:

    I am a physical therapist and I can tell you that both from a research and anecdotal standpoint, running does cause a high percentage of injuries. It definitely sends me a bunch of clients, so keep them coming.

    Totally spot on about the supplements. You urinate most of them out and do not absorb the majority of the stuff you buy in stores. Steroids are another matter. If you really wanted to be stronger, leaner, and have a faster recovery, that is the only real supplement that actually works.

    I like the authors attitude, but he seriously needs to look at some modern research and sports and conditioning. What these articles keep putting out is about par for the course if I was back on the teams and this was 1996.

  6. balais says:

    Surprised this one wasn’t mentioned:

    “doing squats will destroy your knees!”

    Utter baloney

  7. Bushman says:

    I’d like to summarize the words said above regarding joints.
    People are different, and there are tons of factors, affecting joints (as well as other parts of human body, involved in PE): genetics, nutrition, metabolism, history of deceases, history of excessive loads and improper PE.
    Running itself should not damage joints of healthy, properly developed person. But if that person is, in any single important aspect, far from ideal – anything can happen. And, of course, running will not make joints better, if there already is a problem (even hidden one).
    Therefore, any statements, where “running” and “joint damage” mentioned as only cause and direct effect (in any direction), are definitely false, because situation is significantly much broader.

  8. Billy says:


    I agree with most your write and opine.

    However, as a Marine (different stage of life) I now weigh 12# more than I did when I entered OCS in 2/80. And that 12# is muscle. Yes, not a lot of muscle to begin with on a 70″, 144# chassis, but, muscle none-the-less.

    IMO, the complete, in-tune body, starts with DIET. Followed by exercise and rest.

    DIET, first and foremost, determines your physique. Pour alcohol and stuff fast food down the cake hole and your chassis is going to suffer, plain and simple.

    Some folks like to say everything in moderation is OK. Trouble is, 99.9% of us (readers and fitness addicts) don’t know a thing about moderation. We tend to be excessive and compulsive.

    I can honestly say I have not touched fast food in years. But, I like my beer. I just limit myself to 2 in any given day. And I first have to earn those beers in the gym or through some other physical activity. I think adopting the “earning” concept is the way to keep those adverse food/drink that one enjoys from gaining a adverse foothold in the diet.

    Expensive gyms. Yes, I belong to an expensive gym. Is it required? Absolutely not! But, it is an enabler as it allows me to get a quality workout in a minimum amount of time due to the close proximity of all the gear, swimming pools and outside track.

    I will be 60yo in a few days. And I am in the best shape of my life!

    Semper Fi!

  9. Paul says:

    Love the feedback guys, thanks!

  10. Whit says:

    I’m going to respectfully disagree with MGunz regarding running. At age 40, I developed back pain that would not go away. After going through all the MRIs, etc, I sat down with a neurosurgeon. He asked me if I ran a lot when I was a teenager and in my 20s. Check. He asked me if I played sports back then. Check.

    It turns out that I have osteoarthritis in my back. The neurosurgeon said that folks that were my age that developed osteoarthritis were very active in their teens and twenties, playing sports and running. For me, all the things I did to keep in shape when I was young, I am now paying for in middle age.