Bodybuilding Myth #4: Low reps are for size and high reps are for cutting.
Your muscles do not have much personality – they are either growing, shrinking or staying the same.
If you want your muscle to grow then gradually force your muscles to do more work and outperform your last workout’s performance. If you are content with the size of your muscles right now then this is easy – just keep doing what you are doing. And to make the muscle smaller, this is even easier – simply do not train it.
You can not pick certain exercises to get a muscle ‘cut’ or make a muscle ‘huge’ – this theory holds no water. Muscle ‘cuts’ are a reflection of two criteria on the body: pure muscle size and low levels of body fat (in the single digits). So if you want to build massive muscles get ready to apply the fundamental principle of progressive overload. And if you wish to get ‘cut’ and ‘ripped’ be prepared to drop your body fat levels into the single digits.
Next time you hear someone say, “I just lift light weights to get toned,” then pat them on the back and point them in the direction of the cardio room as a better option. Light weights do not build muscle, period. They will burn calories and that’s all. You’re better off maximizing your time by burning calories running or doing jumping jacks. And if you see someone with the goal to get bigger and they are a cardio junkie – grab their hand and lead them to the heavy weights.
Bodybuilding Myth #5: Monday is chest day, Tuesday is Leg day, Wednesday is Back day…
Splitting up a routine is preached like ‘gospel’ and is rarely on trial or questioned as the way to structure a muscle building routine.
And sure, splitting up a routine is fine and has some benefits BUT it is also the fastest way to over-train and burn out. Remember that you do not get stronger in the gym – you get stronger and bigger when you go home, rest, sleep, eat and FULLY recover.
To SUPERCOMPENSATE from your previous workout your muscles are not the only things that must experience a full recovery. Do not neglect the fact that you are taxing and depleting your central nervous system, hormonal system, and immune system – systems that, in fact, take longer than your muscles to recover.
Just because your muscles say, “OK we feel fine, let’s train again,” you must still experience a FULL recovery prior to attempting to stimulate your muscles again for more muscle growth.
Consider this practical example. What is the best way to cure a sickness? By taking an entire bottle of aspirin in one sitting? Or taking smaller dosages at more frequent intervals? I hope you agreed with the second solution. So what is the best way to build muscle? Taking one huge dosage per muscle group per week? Or taking smaller and more frequent dosages on a muscle group?
Bodybuilding Myth #6: Shock’ your muscle and keep them ‘guessing.’
This has got to be one of the silliest and most misleading statements ever made (no hard feelings because in theory it can be convincing). Interestingly, the people who used to give me this advice must have been ‘shocking’ or ‘tricking’ their muscles the wrong way because they had no muscle mass on their bodies to back up that statement.
If you think about this myth long enough you might start to laugh. Do you think you can really change your exercises and training routine to ‘surprise’ your body and get a different reaction out of them?
Your muscles do not have outside eyes that reward you with new muscle growth if you ‘confuse’ them. Your muscles understand MOVEMENT and that’s all – push, pull, curl, extend, contract or release – that’s it. You can be lifting bags of sand or dead lifting 400 pounds and the action on your back is the same – your knees bend and your trunk flexes. So where is the shock? Why would your back muscles say, “Holy Macaroni Batman, you’re lifting with an Olympic bar and not sand bags anymore. Better pack on some muscle.”
Or maybe you can switch up the order of your routine by hitting a weak body part twice in the week. If you only train your arms once in the week and then ‘strategically’ throw arms in twice one week they will be ‘confused’ and ‘shocked’ into growing. Please! Your muscles operate on laws of science, not on laws of trickery.
Forget trying to shock, confuse, trick or ‘keep the muscle guessing.’ The only thing that will be shocked and confused is the person messing around with this theory who has no clue why their body has not changed in a month since they started this magic show.