5 Muscle Building Myths
It's summer time and you don't have a second to waist in the gym. If you are not experiencing the type of growth you think you should, a little education can go a long way. Too frequently we see others day in and day out hitting the gym, yet their physical appearance does not change. This may have happened to you as well. That's because a few key rules to muscle building are not being adhered. We've compiled a list of the Top 5 Muscle Building Myths that may be derailing you from a square chest and six pack.
Myth #5: You need to exercise to burn fat
Although exercising is the optimal way to burn fat, your body is also doing this in it's resting state. Your metabolism is the natural mechanism for regulating the amount of fat you carry. With that being said, it's all about nutrition. You need to burn more calories than you consume. Meaning if you are burning 2,000 calories a day, but consumed 3,000 calories worth of food, you're going to gain excess weight.
Myth #4: Pasta and bread are fattening
Truth be told, anything you consume is fattening. The body recognizes unburned calories and stores it as fat. Exercise helps to burn off these excess calories so you can keep your body fat percentage low. Bread and pasta are great sources of carbs which gives you the energy to work out. More energy equals more effort. More effort equals more muscle. It's not about what you eat, it's about how much you eat. Trim down on the portions.
Myth #3: Light Weights & High Reps Increase Muscular Definition
The thought behind this myth is that the type of weightlifting that should be done for weight loss is one that calls for a large number of repetitions. Increased reps equals increase calories burned. Wrong. Hypertrophy (that's fancy for muscle building) occurs mostly through a range of 8-12 reps. Any lower and you're building strength. Any higher and you're building endurance - not muscle. Hypertrophy is triggered by resistance and this resistance is best brought upon by using heavy weights. If you want to build large muscles, you have to lift heavy. There's no cutting corners.
Myth #2: More Training Always Equals More Muscle
Muscle builds and repairs itself while you're at rest, especially when you are asleep. Working any muscle group frequently can lead to overtraining and a loss in muscle mass. You must give your body enough time to recover from the previous workout in order to obtain more strength and muscle mass. The general rule of thumb is to allow 48-72 hours rest before you work the same muscle group again. Also, aim for a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Myth #1: Machines Are Better Than Free Weights
Everyday we are bombarded with ads showing off the latest fitness gadgets. None of these things can replace the benefit of free weights. Those ads are always false, as machines, have just as many disadvantages as they do advantages. Free weights allow for free range of motion and the use of stabilizer muscles - which leads to substantial muscle growth. Machines restrict your range of motion and do not work the stabilizer muscles, which will put a damper on your muscle development. Be a man - stick to the free weights! It's perfectly fine to use machines, but not as your primary form of lifting.