Fitness: Simple Answers to Common Questions

by Dr. Graham


    1. No, no food causes muscle gain.
    2. No, no diet, other than starvation, results in muscle loss, either.
    3. Yes, muscles are smaller than they look; they are insulated by fat and excess water.
    4. Yes, athletes need to consume more food than their sedentary counterparts.
    5. No, athletes, as a group, are not healthier; they are fitter. They often consume toxic foods and substances in huge quantities, and their health suffers as a result.
    6. Yes, the low-fat raw vegan approach is healthful for ALL athletes.
    7. No, you do not have to be an athlete to successfully benefit from the low-fat raw vegan approach.
    8. No, if your metabolism is high, you don't need to eat more fat, just more food.
    9. No, you won't lose muscle by running, but it will reduce your strength training time.
    10. Yes, training is specific. A varied approach is almost always better than a routine.
    11. Yes, balance will go away if you do not train this skill.
    12. Yes, I believe that most people are undermuscled.
    13. Yes, most people have less muscle than they think they have.
    14. No, I do not believe that to be fit one needs to train more than 1 hour per day.
    15. No, no one approach is sufficient to be totally fit: neither lifting, nor yoga, nor running. Variety is important.
    16. No, high-level fitness is not just for kids.
    17. Yes, every aspect of fitness is important.
    18. Yes, sleep needs rise in accordance with increases in training time or intensity.
    19. Yes, recovery is enhanced when you eat fruit ASAP after a training session.
    20. No, it is not possible to get back into shape in just a few weeks.
    21. Yes, ALL rapid weight shifts represent primarily water weight.
    22. No, it is unlikely that a person could gain more than 1 pound of muscle per month.
    23. Yes, speed training is important, even as we age.
    24. Yes, it is a good idea to hydrate before going for a long, hot workout.
    25. Yes, as a rule, you will play intensely but work out methodically, at best.
    26. No, injuries do not earn you time off. Think of them as cross-training opportunities.
    27. Yes, injuries provide opportunities to address often-ignored aspects of training.
    28. No, you don't need to train every day, only on the days you eat.
    29. Yes, going for a walk counts.
    30. No, you cannot hire someone else to do it for you.
    31. No, membership is not enough; you must show up and train.
    32. Yes, vanity does play a part. Ain't it great!
    33. No, the average person cannot lose much weight through fitness activities.
    34. Yes, it is true; you must run about 35 miles to lose a pound of fat.
    35. Yes, to be well nourished, you must participate regularly in physical activity.
    36. Yes, fit folks do have more fun.
    37. Yes, it is possible to fool yourself about the intensity of your training.
    38. Yes, intensity is as important in training as is duration.
    39. Yes, training for very short periods of time, but frequently, counts toward your overall fitness training.
    40. Yes, participation in fitness activities is very much like a license to eat.
    41. Yes, the more calories you eat, the more important food quality becomes.
    42. No, fitness activities will not make up for any other aspect of healthful living.
    43. No, none of the machines work miracles.
    44. No, none of the claims about miracle fitness programs are real.
    45. No, you can never get more benefit, in terms of time, than the amount of time you put in.
    46. Yes, you put in the effort; the rebounder simply provides a soft landing and spring-loaded take-off.
    47. Yes, your health IS only as good as its weakest link.
    48. No, you don't need to stretch before activity. Gently mobilizing before and stretching AFTER is your best bet.
    49. Yes, participating in sports activities helps you improve intelligence and maintain mental sharpness.
    50. No, not a fitness nut: a fitness enthusiast, a fitness connoisseur.
    51. Yes, all the records will be broken.
    52. Yes, a 40-year-old will run a 4 minute mile someday soon.
    53. Yes, expect many serious athletes to go raw in the foreseeable future.
    54. No, no one gets that big without taking drugs.
    55. No, fitness is not the key to health, but it is one of the keys.
    56. Yes, the money pro athletes make IS ridiculous.
    57. No, bigger is not better; fitter is better.
    58. No, fitness does not equate with health; it is simply one aspect of health.
    59. Yes, you must be fit in order to be healthy.
    60. Yes, if you eat more, you raise your risk of consuming more pesticides.
    61. Yes, fit folks tend to live longer and healthier lives.
    62. No, there is no substitute for fruit in the healthy diet.
    63. Yes, fruits and vegetables have plenty of protein.
    64. No, no supplements enhance performance.
    65. Yes, increase your training and you will likely have to increase your water intake.
    66. Yes, it is better to correct the diet than to supplement it.
    67. No, none of the machines will actually do the work for you.
    68. Yes, you can do it.
    69. No, it is not as easy as it looks on television.
    70. Yes, it is about the money.
    71. No, your team doesn't play as well as you would like. The competition is fierce.
    72. No, impressive abs come from strength, not endurance training.
    73. Yes, it is fun being fit, and can be fun getting fitter.
    74. Yes, fitness is sexy.
    75. Yes, food tastes better when you have earned it.
    76. Yes, fit people tend to sleep better, too.
    77. Yes, too much physical activity is bad for you.
    78. No, the mirror isn't lying. And yes, it would be nice to still look good naked.
    79. Yes, you can be fit for your entire lifetime.
    80. No, there are no shortcuts.
    81. No, you can't get an hour's benefit from 10 minutes with the miracle machine.
    82. Yes, what you think does affect your performance.
    83. Yes, digestion does generally improve with fitness.
    84. Yes, insufficient sleep actually inhibits muscle development and growth.
    85. No, there is STILL no food that promotes muscle growth.
    86. No, genetics only affect where you carry your fat, not how much you carry.
    87. No, healthful living is never contraindicated. (It's always a good idea.)
    88. Yes, overtraining and underrecovering yield essentially the same (undesirable) results.
    89. No, no aspect of physical training can make up for another.
    90. Yes, kids tend to be the fittest of all people, yet they neither lift nor jog; they play.
    91. No, one is never too old to benefit from strength training.
    92. Yes, ambidextrous people tend to see both sides of an issue as well.
    93. Yes, joint injuries occur when flexibility overshadows strength.
    94. No, being a spectator in a spectator sport does not count as you doing sports.
    95. Yes, if you want to reign like a champion you must train like a champion.
    96. No, athletes are not immune to the laws of nature, and they are often more vulnerable.
    97. Yes, Kenyans, the world's top runners, primarily follow a low-fat vegan approach.
    98. Yes, there is an athlete inside of you just waiting to be unleashed.
    99. Yes, if you train properly, you too will become fit.
    100. Yes, clothed and naked, you look and feel better when you are fit.