Over the past 5 years, while working as a personal trainer, I've discovered a lot of muscle building hype floating around the internet.
Here are some of the most common myths that will effect your muscle building goals. Next to the myth, I've revealed the truth so you can learn how to do it right.
1. You need to drastically cut your calories to lose weight and build muscle.
False. You need to actually eat more food, it just has to be better food and smaller portions. The goal is to increase metabolism and this can be done by eating a smaller meal every 3 hours.
If you reduce calories by too much, your metabolism will actually slow down, causing you to hold onto stored fat. That is why diets DO NOT WORK!!!
My clients eat more food and still keep losing body fat. Eating often keeps metabolism running smooth and it helps keep nutrients on tap for your body to utilize in the repair of muscle.
Not only that, building muscle without enough calories is impossible. It takes calories (energy) to build muscle.
2. Aerobic exercise should be done every day.
False. Over-training can be done by doing too much cardio as well as too much weight training. Doing anything everyday will have a negative impact on your muscle building results.
When do you rest? Imagine yourself going to your job and working 7 days a week, 365 days a year. How long until you go crazy? Keep cardio to 2-3 sessions per week. Any more than that and you negatively impact your muscle building and your recovery time between workouts.
3. The longer the aerobic session the better.
False. It's not the duration, it's the intensity level of what you are doing. Again, more is not better. Doing something better is better. So instead of doing long, drawn-out cardio sessions, make them short (no more than 30 minutes) and intense (work harder!) This will bring about better muscle building results.
4. You need to spend hours a day, many days a week weight training to see results.
False. This is the quickest way not to see results. The process of building muscle is fairly easy. You just lift weights to stimulate muscle growth and then you allow that muscle to recuperate before you train it again and then you try to lift a bit more the next workout.
Keep workouts under an hour and try not to weight train more than 4-5 days a week. Adopt the "more is NOT better philosophy" to all you do.
5. Ab stimulators and energizers will give you a great set of Abs.
False. Abs, just like any other muscle group, need to be worked with resistance training in order for them to develop. Not to mention you need to do cardio to help burn off fat around the midsection and focus on proper nutrition to make sure you keep the fat off.
Abs are developed through overload and these electric stimulators do not overload the muscle. Ab stimulators create involuntary contractions. This may help the therapeutic effect on abdominal muscles but not the muscle building process. These will do nothing for the abs, plain and simple. They will work your wallet more than the abs.
6. You need to work a muscle more than once a week.
False. If done well and intensely, a muscle will not need to be worked more than once a week. In fact, you may get less results if you train a muscle group directly more than once a week.
Muscles need rest and recovery time in order to grow and get stronger. If you are training them all the time, they will not get the needed rest. It's like trying to get a good tan when you are always sunburned.
These are a few of the top myths I've found floating around the internet. These myths have a negative impact on your muscle building goals, so avoid them at all costs!
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