Saturday, August 19, 2017

Top Bodybuilding Myths You Should Know

A lot of people are going crazy over bodybuilding for the many benefits it gives: a healthier outlook in life, a leaner body, a feeling of well being, improved muscular strength, and many others.  However, not everything you hear from the gym is true when it comes to bodybuilding tips.  Here are some of the more common myths about bodybuilding that you should know and therefore, avoid.

1. There are certain exercises for specific muscle parts.

You always hear trainers say, "Do decline presses to enlarge your lower pecs."  They actually insinuate that by doing decline presses, you only enlarge your lower chest and not the chest as a whole.  The truth is, when you hit the muscles of your chest, you will get a larger chest, not a larger lower part of the chest or upper part of the chest.

Your muscle shape is affected by your genes, and you cannot change that no matter how hard you train a specific area.  The best way to enlarge your muscle is to mimic the way it primarily works.  So for chest muscles, choose an exercise that looks like you are pulling your arms across and down your chest.

2. To grow muscles, you should exercise more.

A lot of beginners actually believe that more exercise can lead to bigger muscles, sometimes training for more than twenty sets per body part for more than five days a week.

Or as beginners, you have been told that you should start doing a limited number of reps and fewer sets then increase these as you get stronger.

Both lines of thinking are definitely wrong, and have been the reason why most people see very little improvement in their physiques.  What is more, with more work being put into bodybuilding and little improvement to show for it, you get frustrated, and you would feel that your efforts are not worth it.  Either that or you are driven to exercise more and more, without really seeing any significant improvements at all!

As you grow stronger, you should allow your body more time to rest and recover.  This means that you should decrease the number of sets and reps you perform for each exercise.  As a general rule, you should do three, four or five sets for major muscle areas and up to four sets for minor ones.

3. You can do exercises that shape you and do exercises that build mass.

Bodybuilders often think that there are different sets of exercises that are designed to build mass or tone your muscles.  This thinking holds that exercises like cable crossovers, dumbbell fly and others will only tone your muscles.  The truth is, these toning exercises are actually exercises that isolate a certain area.  And that both toning and mass building exercises function the same.

The thing is, for people on the go, or those who have little time, doing a lot of isolation exercises can become detrimental to their bodybuilding aims.  Why?  Because your muscles in particular and your body in general need time to recover.  Unlike compound exercises wherein you get to hit a lot of muscle groups, isolation exercises hit only a specified area.  So you waste more time in building your body.

4. More reps for cuts, fewer reps for mass.

Another repeated bodybuilding myth is that to lose fat, you should aim for more repetitions; and to gain mass, you should exercise with fewer repetitions.

The truth is, there is only a slight difference between the amount of fats being burned with a 5-rep exercise and the amount burned with 20-rep exercise.  To lose body fat, then go on a disciplined diet or hit the treadmill, or jog or do other aerobic exercises.

High repetition leads to more muscle mass.  Though high reps are not recommended for most people, it will grow your muscles.  The only downside is, it will not build your strength.

5. One week of rest will cause atrophy in your muscles.

This myth varies.  Others would tell you to wait for two days or 48 hours before you train a muscle area again.  Remember that it is important for you to give your body time to rest to allow for maximum muscle and strength gain, and the optimum recovery period varies from person to person.

To make sure that you give your muscles enough time to recover, you would have to figure it out for yourself.  The general rule would be to try and determine if you feel stronger during your next workout and if this is true, then your recovery time is sufficient.  What’s more, be aware that your training routine, strength level, genetics and outside factors like stress can either lengthen or shorten your recovery time.