BlackAndWhiteThinking

all-or-nothing

People tend to think in either black or white when it comes to fitness. You’re either training for strength or size. Certain foods are labelled as either good or bad. You’re either right or your wrong.

Sometimes you need to step back and use some critical thinking skills to look at things from a different perspective. Placing yourself in a false dichotomy can tip you to failure. Depending on the dichotomy, this classic mindset trap can prevent you from reaching your goals.

A good example of this is looking at rep ranges for building muscle. You will hear that low reps build strength and high reps build muscle. While there is some truth to this statement, the reality is that it works on a continuum. 12 reps will be good at building muscle and some strength, 3 reps will build good strength and some muscle, while 6 reps will give a good blend of both. 10 rep sets and 3 rep sets have a place in nearly everybody’s training in a well written program. Its not an either or approach. If I were to say that I train with low reps for most trainees and purposes, what a lot of people will hear is low rep training is good a high rep training is bad and that’s my dogmatic approach. This is incorrect. It’s about picking the right tools for the job.

I will say that it is not necessary have a complex training program with 40 different exercises to achieve an aesthetic physique or compete in strength sports. Its doesn’t mean your silly if you do so, its just a personal preference, there’s two means to an end. You can achieve your goals on both end of the extremes and all the spots in between.

This is also true when looking at at food. I will tell some people that they are eating a lot more protein than they actually need. A person can make the same amount of progress eating 150g of protein compared to 300g of protein. That does not mean that eating 150g of protein is better and that I have a bias approach to low protein diets. Some people will feel more satiated eating higher protein or just enjoy high protein foods and that’s completely fine.

Don’t let black and white thinking sabotage your fitness and weight loss goals. Next time you come across any statements like the ones mentioned in this article, take and step back and think, ‘is that the way I’m interpreting the situation or is that really what they mean’. I wish more information was black and white because it would make things much easier. I hope you can appreciate the human body is not black and white so sometimes you need to think in shades of grey instead.