There are so many unproven bodybuilding myths that are still around us. Would you believe me if I said you are being scammed out of 90% of the muscle growth you should be getting because you have been mislead and misinformed by one or all of these deadly bodybuilding myths. Here are the first three of six bodybuilding myths that must be dispelled!
Bodybuilding Myth #1: Train like a bodybuilder to become a bodybuilder.
This is the message screamed by the bodybuilding world. While this mantra may have inspired millions via popular bodybuilding magazines, it has also mislead millions by re-printing and rehashing irresponsible training nonsense that will wreak havoc on your body and make you just another one of the herd.
Imitating the training of the ‘champion’ bodybuilder is one of the most costly frauds in the exercise world because the ‘instruction’ from elite bodybuilders has no practical relevance for average people like you and me who are without gifted genetic potential and are drug-free.
The traditional 5-7 day splits, 5 exercises per muscle, 24 set chest routine is training suicide for the average trainee not spending a couple thousand dollars a week on special ‘vitamins’. Not only are these magazines useless but they will cause injuries, over-training, and illness. The books and magazines will not tell you that the drugs and genetics were responsible for curing their problem of being a hard gainer. Supplements, ‘better training’, and more dedication are their ‘secrets’ so you are told.
Bodybuilding Myth #2: Train for the ‘holy’ pump.
The ‘muscle pump’ is described as putting your muscles under an extended period of constant tension. As your muscles stretch and contract they become gorged with blood which makes them feel tighter and fuller.
Getting a muscle pump is not necessarily what causes the muscle to grow – doing 100 reps with a light rep will create a huge pump – but does this make a muscle grow? Of course not! Distance runners get a pump in their legs when they sprint uphill. Do they get big muscles? Heck no!
Most bodybuilders swear by the ‘pump’ and preach that you are shuttling more nutrients into the muscle – but is that what is really happening? Sure it feels great, like Arnold says in the unforgettable scene in Pumping Iron, but all that is occurring is a ‘back-up’ of blood. The blood is ‘stuck’ inside the muscle, which creates that worshiped tight and full look.
The blood that’s backed up into the muscle has hit a dead end and has nowhere to go. If you had fresh new blood that would be great, but unfortunately you just have old, stale blood getting ready for a snooze. That will not help you gain weight or build muscle mass!
The pump that is built up by the blood in your muscles will usually occur after you repeat set after set, which results in the famous “burning” sensation known as lactic acid. Lactic acid forms in the absence of oxygen. Lactic acid is a WASTE product and does nothing to build muscle weight.
Now if you are lifting extremely heavy weights and achieving a pump then this is a very good indication that you are making the muscle fibers work fully. I would only use the pump as an indicator to reveal how well you are ‘targeting’ the working muscle. Not as you guide to mark your success.
Bodybuilding Myth #3: You MUST train until failure.
Training to ‘failure’ has probably received more debate, misinterpretation, and improper logic resulting in too much wasted effort. Going to failure– going to the point in a set where you are physically incapable of going just one more rep, hence you ‘fail’ – is preached as the most promised way to make continuous muscle gains. Interestingly, there is no activity outside the gym that demonstrates this ‘going to failure’ principle is as critical as bodybuilders have employed.
Growing up as a long distance runner I often stood by and watched the sprinters compete, and was astonished by their tremendous quadriceps and hamstring muscle. Yet I never remember watching any sprinter on my team train until failure, nor do I recall them ever sprinting through the finish line and collapsing. Yet they demonstrated a greater amount of muscular work in less time each time they practiced and raced.
Also, I will never forget the phenomenal muscularity of the construction workers I used to work with when I laid bricks and framed houses. Yet I never recall them carrying timber around the yard until they could not pick up one more 2 x 4. Nor do I remember the bricklayers moving the bricks around until they could not move them anymore. Both of these groups had incredible muscularity and were able to stimulate muscle growth without going to failure. So why do so many command that ‘failure’ is an absolute law for stimulating muscle growth when much evidence shows otherwise?
Improving your body’s sensitivity to the cold does not require you to go outside in the middle of winter with no clothes on prior to passing out. If you want to improve your tan, it isn’t necessary to subject your skin to the sun prior to the moment of blistering. If you want to improve your ability to hold your breath under water, do you need to go to the point just prior to losing consciousness?
Since your body’s primary function in life is to survive it will adapt only to the point where your body has sufficient defense to whatever element it is exposed. Similarly, when lifting weights your body will adapt to the intensity you have exposed it to over time while maintaining your recovery resources. As you can see, muscle growth stimulation operates on the same principle and does not require over killing your muscles’ absolute limit.