Woman in wedding dress with boxing gloves on

Working out? Pfft! You're in college! You're just naturally sexy and you're going to be that way forever and ever and that's never going to change, and then you'll ride away to the Moons of Sexy Abs on the back of the Rainbow Kitten of Eternal Oral and Pleasure (please note, that is just the kitten's name—oral sex from a kitten would be both traumatizing and horrendously painful). And once you're there everyone is going to stay hot and in shape forever and you never even need to worry about what the hell a "carb" is (it's the opposite of titties, that's what).

Or maybe I was lying to you.

Maybe one day you're going to notice that your six-pack has slipped slightly into a four-pack. Your biceps aren't quite as bulgy as they once were. Or maybe your toned stomach is covered up by your saggy, droopy boobs (that statement is not gender exclusive).

Shit. Looks like you found a huge box full of "The Real Fucking World." And guess what? You ate the whole damned thing.

You know why your skinny, scene friend Toby has abs? Well, he doesn't, but his ab muscles are visible because he has little to no fat covering them.But contrary to what quite literally everyone is telling you, this isn't the end of the world, and you shouldn't curl up into a ball and die. You can get back into shape, and then proceed to rub your finely toned body all over those naysayers. Maybe in a sexy way.

But before you try and diet, or pump some iron, or arm wrestle trains, there are a few myths about working out that I, as the absolute pinnacle of human perfection (I did a sit-up once), feel inclined to warn you about, in order to increase the speed at which you dash towards your inevitable rendezvous with the pure manifestation of sexiness.

1. Eating less means you lose weight faster!

Skinny bitch model"But Cole! Gandhi didn't eat, and he was really skinny! Are you saying that Gandhi was wrong? Do you hate Gandhi?"

No, but I'm starting to hate you, because you keep interrupting my articles.

Now this is, and has been, a fact understood by the healthy world for a long time: if you aren't eating what your body needs, then your body freaks the fuck out, man. It starts to go into survival mode, doing what it can to cut energy consumption, burning fewer calories overall. It's also part of why you start to feel tired when you don't eat enough. Your brain is shutting down non-essentials and keeping you from spending the energy it needs to stay alert and awake.

In other words, you eat little, you benefit little.

It's the same as when you sleep. Your body is in conservation mode. When you don't fulfill the nutrition quotient, your body will burn fat slower than if you were eating.

But yes, that skinny bitch friend of yours who never eats and is also really skinny is probably skinny because she doesn't eat, and hasn't really for a long time. She's also a lot more prone to getting sick (and to a wide cocktail of diseases most people don't concern themselves with, especially at that age) and will probably die young. No, that has nothing to do with the prayers you make to the dark lord Lucifer late at night, to smite her skinny ass. It has more to do with the body beginning to cannibalize itself.

If you starve yourself your body will have no choice but to eventually eat all of that fat (in a cruel twist, this happens last in survival mode)… and muscle tissue… and your organs. And that will murderfuck your ass. And no, I'm not joking. And yes, I know that a certain group of people stopped reading this when I said "eventually eat all of that fat" and ignored the rest of the awful things that came after, patting themselves on the back for only eating seven crackers and nothing else all week.

Don't worry. I have their addresses. I'll be over later tonight to inject gravy into them intravenously.

2. You can control where on your body you lose weight.

Lose weight at your feet - scaleGuys, let's face it, we just can't stand up to Jacob. I don't care if the whole Twilight craze is on the waning end of the spectrum, those abs are going to be carved into the world's collective conscious until the sun goes supernova.

I'm more or less ok with that fact.

And guys are all about getting those abs to impress the women who supposedly want them. So what's the solution? A prescription for about twelve million sit-ups, right?

And ladies? …Well, I'm actually woefully out of touch with what it is that women want. Probably has something to do with my whole "living in a basement" thing.

Either way, both sexes have bits of fat where they would rather not have bits of fat. So they work out those areas. And boy (or girl) are they going to be sorely disappointed. Because no matter how much Cosmo rambles incoherently about so called "spot-reduction," it's not a thing. Not really.

Your body draws on stores of energy (fats being chief among them) from all over the body. So you lose fat by working out the body.

So you know the best way to get that flat belly? Your damned diet. And cardio. But really, the diet.

You know why your skinny, scene friend Toby has abs? Well, he doesn't really, but his abdominal muscles are visible because he has little to no fat covering them. We all have those abs, technically. And you know how you get your jiggle to vanish? You eat healthy. And exercise. Seems simple right?

…no joke here. It actually is that simple. You just have to stick to it.

3. You might have to worry about getting "too buff."

You want to get into shape? You should try lifting weights. Strength training is really good for any sort of getting into shape. Whether you're trying to tone up, just lose a few pounds, or arm wrestle a rugby team, lifting weights is a great way to get that process going.

"But I don't want to get too buff."

You won't. I promise. Do you know why everyone isn't an Abercrombie and Fitch model and/or body builder? Because it turns out it's really hard to get into that kind of shape. The kind of hard where it takes obscene amounts of effort and determination and a long long time to get to that level.

Women especially. It's just an innate part of female physicality that makes it more difficult for them to put on muscle mass. It's not sexist, it's just biology.

Now, it is utterly possible to get bulky and buff (plenty of people do), but it's not going to happen overnight. Not even close. Hell, it can take weeks and weeks to even "up" the amount of weight you're lifting with any given exercise, depending on how far along you are and how much you lift.

And do you know why this misconception is bad? Because not only is lifting weights great just for overall exercise, but having more muscle actually helps you lose fat. Like, just having muscle burns calories. Seriously. Up to 50 calories a day per pound of muscle. This is not a thing I am making up. Muscle is good. And weight training builds muscle. And even if you somehow, magically, without noticing, got super buff and didn't like it. Just stop working out for a while. Your body will return to normal.

So go ahead and lift some weights, get some muscle, and don't worry so much about turning into the Hulk. You're probably safe from that. Unless you're PIC columnist Andrei Trostel; he just has to think about weights in order to sprout six-packs from his elbows.

4. You need 8 cups of water a day!

Girls drinking 8 cups of water a dayDon't get me wrong, hydration is one of the most important aspects of any exercise regimen, so you should absolutely get as much water as your body is telling you it needs, and maybe a bit more on top of that. But the idea that you need to make sure you get at least eight cups of water a day, whether working out or not, is just plain wrong.

Ok it's only kind of wrong.

I hate blanket rules. They make people say and do stupid things. Instead of figuring out what your body needs on a day to day basis, people try and cross some imaginary finish line because someone once told them some fact about health. (Note to self: remove that line at a later date. Telling people to ignore random health tips from uncredited sources while giving people random health tips from uncredited sources may make you seem unreliable.)

You do need water. A lot. But that blanket rule isn't actually that far off. It's more of a phrasing problem. You should be getting about eight cups worth of water every day. What's the difference?

Well, unless you have a weird astronaut fetish that extends into your kitchen, most food has water in it. Hell, cucumbers are 99% water. You think your body is going to ignore that fact just because you didn't absorb it through a glass? Hell no!

So the truth is, you're actually getting a good chunk of your "daily requirement" of water through the things you shove down your food-hole, especially if you get your fruits and veggies in. And no, I'm sorry, but as much as I honestly wish I could recommend Fruit Gushers as part of a balanced diet, the liquid inside has still not been proven to be anything other than sucralose and roofing tar.

5. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) matters even a little bit.

Your Body Mass Index matters. Except the opposite of that. Forever.

For those of you outside the loop (we're looking at you, Tom), your BMI is calculated roughly by using some black magic involving your height and your weight (my black magic experts have informed me that "black magic expert" isn't actually a job. Also, I'm probably just talking about math again).

In the most general sense of things, it sort of makes sense. If you're a certain height, you should be around a certain weight. And then you think about it for like, four seconds and it stops making sense.

What if we have two guys to compare? We'll call them Punch McSmashcrash and Dongmongulous, then we'll see some very different results.

Now, both Punch McSmashcrash and Dongmongulous are six feet tall and 250 pounds. Convenient, right?

Well, Punch McSmashcrash is an ex-Navy Seal who spends most of his days throwing planes cross-country to save on fuel costs, and trying to perfect time travel in the hopes of finding a truly formidable wrestling partner in a Spinosaurous. On the other hand, Dongmongulous has never made any sort of physical effort that extended beyond the range of his couch, and certainly not beyond forcing bags of Cheeto powder down his throat.

And they have the exact same BMI.


The BMI system does not take into account what is being weighed (humans, duh), so it doesn't care if you're 250 pounds of chiseled abdominal muscles, or if you're 250 pounds of something resembling a pile of phallus's. It is a broken system. Don't let it ruin your day.

Speaking of fat….

6. Fat is bad!

"I'm lovin' it" fat arm from McDonald'sI mentioned this rumor in that one article where I told you to give alcohol-covered food to children, and I feel like I should expound on it here.

People tend to see fats on their nutrition information and assume that it's all going to go straight to their ass. But they get confused as to what kind of fat they're butterballing.

Now, right out of the gate, fats have more calories per gram then your proteins or carbs, and that's where the bad street cred comes from. But they have good street cred too. Loads.

Here are the four main fat players.

You have your healthy fats, which want to help your body function and perform more tasks then I have room to list here, and they usually hang out behind their stage names, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. These guys are your friends. They'll have your body's back if you get into a turf war. I have no idea why I'm still running with this "street cred" theme. It's working for me in more ways than one though, so fuck it, I'm gonna keep at it.

Your body has a list of uses for those healthy guys, but what it doesn't have a use for are these motherfuckers: trans fats and saturated fats. Those fuckers will turn on you for the first crack whore they can get their greasy, KFC-esque fingers on. And believe, me, your body is full of crack whores.

Now, your body can and will use these for their base function of energy, and other things, but one of their drawbacks is that they fuck with your cholesterol. Yes, there are also good and bad cholesterols. If you need to take notes, don't, because that would be silly. It's all written down right here. Silly nilly.

Now then, those nasty fats will get you way too much "LDL" cholesterol, while simultaneously gang banging (street for "lowering") your "HDL" cholesterol, which is the kind that your body wants to be more than friends with. LDL is the kind that jerks off outside of its window at night. The kind you don't want around.

Your body and the things you need to cram into it are a long and complex labyrinth of weird bullshit, but when it comes to fats, don't rule them out, because you need them. Just make sure you're getting the right kinds.