Top 3 Muscle Building Myths & How To Overcome Them
Like every other popular activity humans do in all aspects of life, bodybuilding is full of concepts and doctrines that have been elevated to the pedestals of the gods. Given the mass commercialism of the industry, muscle building myths are everywhere. But the good news is they are just that. Myths.
By different means: propaganda, popularity, lack of information, rapture about idolised figures or personalities, even by fashion trends, many incorrect assumptions have become a kind of law regulating this exciting discipline of building muscle as a means of acquiring and maintaining a fit physical condition and health.
How to get the best muscle building results
So maybe you, a weightlifter, or you, an average person looking for a way to improve your wellbeing, are contemplating adopting one of these doctrines to ensure success and guarantee good results.
Be careful then. Muscle building is pretty much a science and every year discoveries in physiology, sports psychology, equipment design, and training techniques, give us a better understanding of it. The good news is that muscle building myths fall with every advance in these fields and others.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 muscle building myths
Muscle building myth number 1: It has been said: it is not possible to burn fat and gain muscle at the same time.
In fact, the two processes go hand in hand, and you cannot have one without the other, just because the exercise, any exercise, will transform fat into muscle.
And before you jump out of your chair because I said that by some strange alchemy a person could change a molecule of fat into one of muscle, which is not what is happening in your body, let me clarify the meaning of what I said.
The fuel you need to build muscle can and will be provided by food and the fat accumulated in your body by years of being less active than you had hoped.
How can fat be used to gain muscle?
Fat is stored energy; muscle building requires energy; human metabolism knows how to dismantle fat molecules liberating energy in the process. This energy is used to build new muscular tissue, new thicker and stronger muscle fibres.
Don’t worry if you are on the fatty side of the spectrum and are contemplating entering a gym or beginning a workout routine.
Don´t think for a moment that you first need to lose that loved love handle.
One of the most rewarding experiences in this business is to watch how all that adipose curves get reshaped in hard, lean body.
Muscle building myth number 2: It has been said: you have to train every day.
This is hard to swallow if you don´t know how your body works and how new muscle is made. You need to understand this basic counterintuitive fact, to build new muscle you have to damage it first.
When you work out, you submit your entire body, bones, ligaments and muscles, to muscle tension, mechanical stress, taking them beyond the usual limits that regular everyday activities impose on them.
This overwork will tear apart the muscular tissue microfibers, triggering like this metabolic responses: augmented blood flow, the liberation of enzymes and hormones, protein synthesis, sugar processing, the whole nine yards repair kit.
Your body, as a survival response, will build the new microfibers to be stronger, more prominent, preparing itself for further stressful events.
With time these new fibres accumulate, supporting each other, making you tougher, faster, and more resilient; this is what is known as muscle gain.
Your body needs rest to grow muscle
Now, for all this to happen, your body needs to rest, a period when it can recover and let its biology do its magic. Borrowing an example from boxing, I´ve heard that the fight is not won inside the ring but outside of it, in the gym.
Well, it is the same here, the muscle doesn´t grow in the gym but out of it, when you are resting; this makes perfect sense; the downtime is recovery time, that´s why we have to sleep every day.
Nevertheless, many people think working out continually is the way to go to build muscle fast. You can train every day for short periods of time if circumstances demand it, but never as a routine. Doing so will lead to injuries and depletion.
Muscle building myth number 3: It has been said: you have to strive until you fail.
Training until muscle failure is very popular, and a lot of experimentation has gone into proving or disproving the worth of it.
To fail a rep, to get to the point where you cannot complete the movement, failing to finish the repetition, is to take to the maximum the stress your muscular and skeletal system is taking.
Naturally, it will produce the most damage to the microfibers ensuring the creation of plenty of new fibres. The muscle will gain in size and strength.
While this is technically true the thing is this is not necessary; it doesn´t have to be that way. You can get a lot of muscle gain with regular, well designed, and executed training.
A lot of athletes are successful without taking his training to failure.
You don’t see a baseball player doing swings until the point that he no longer can lift the bat. Or a swimmer, training to the point where he can no longer do strokes and drown.
So, if you don’t feel like wanting to endure the pain and stress of exertion to failure, don’t do it. It is not something to feel sorry for. Don’t sweat it; you’d do great without fail.
Don’t get stuck by the usual muscle building myths or get frustrated by not reaching the high terrain the myth prescribes.
Get good coaching, keep studying and learning the theory and keep up with research results.
Remember to eat adequately and supplement your nourishment the best you can. That way, these muscle building myths will remain myths and you will laugh the next time a colleague brings them up.
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Work hard, be disciplined and enjoy success.
Blast your way through these muscle building myths and see for yourself the new level of results you can achieve. Don’t let anything hold you back.
- Wilson, Jacob. “Overtraining is the bogeyman of the bodybuilding world. But is it the menace it’s cracked up to be? Our Muscle Prof, Dr Jacob Wilson, looks at the research and explains how to safely increase your workload.”
- Schoenfeld, Brad. “The use of specialized training techniques to maximize muscle hypertrophy.” Strength & Conditioning Journal 33.4 (2011): 60-65.
- Lambert, Charles P., Laura L. Frank, and William J. Evans. “Macronutrient considerations for the sport of bodybuilding.” Sports Medicine 34.5 (2004): 317-327.
We have, in preparing this information, used our best endeavours to ensure that the information contained herein is true and accurate, but accept no responsibility and disclaim all liability in respect of any errors, inaccuracies or misstatements contained herein. Information guide only and any other further information should be considered by a professional.