Some of the fitness rules that you’ve been following for a long time may not be based on hardline facts. Even the exercise routine provided by your personal trainer may work well for others but may not for you.
It may be time to recalibrate your fitness program. This blog from PuriSure will give you a tap on the shoulder and tell you, “Hey, that’s a false belief.”
Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions about muscle building.
1. Workout Every Day, Push Yourself Harder To Build Bigger Muscles – Myth
You hit the gym and look for that heavy pair of weights to work with. You exert effort to do as many reps and sets as you can until muscle exhaustion sets in. Then, you return the next day to do the same routine or you decide to increase the numbers.
The widely followed idea that pushing harder to build muscles faster is actually a misconception. All workouts yield results, but overexerting yourself does not directly translate to the amount of muscles that you’ll build. Instead, this will result in overtraining, which can strain your muscle tissues and result in injury.
What to do: Focus on the quality of the routine more than the quantity. Personalize your workout according to your needs and allot some days for resting. Give your muscles time to repair themselves and recover.
2. Do Some Stretching To Prevent Injuries – Myth
Stretching has been associated with warming up, and this is perhaps the reason why many people believe that stretching is key to preventing injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stretching can increase flexibility but “most injuries occur within the normal range of motion.”
What to do: Warming up helps prevent injuries because by increasing heart rate and blood flow, you prepare your body for exercise. Stretching should be just one part of the warm-up session - incorporate a variety of other exercises as well.
3. Don’t Do Cardio – Myth
You may have had other gym-goers tell you to forget about cardio because you burn up fats and calories needed for muscle building. Some may have even told you that cardio exercises are only for obese individuals who need to shed some fats.
Both are not true. Cardio is, in fact, one of the best ways to increase muscle mass.
What to do: Studies have shown that cardio or aerobic exercises can bring in as much muscle growth as with resistance training. The key is to focus on intensity, which means working up to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate.
4. Lifting Weights Transform Fats Into Muscle, Taking A Break Transforms Muscle Into Fats – Myth
There is more to the metabolism of fat than it turning into muscle or vice-versa. Since these are two different kinds of tissues, one cannot be transformed into the other. What really happens is that fat is metabolized either into energy or carbon dioxide, and letting your muscles rest without consistent training can lead to atrophy, and therefore, your muscles losing mass. Taking a break from training may also lead to layers of fat covering your muscle tissues and your muscles losing tone and firmness.
What to do: Consistent muscle build-up and consuming the right amount of calories is the secret to balancing muscle mass and fats.
5. Muscle Building Needs Tons Of Protein Intake – Myth
Does this mean that you don’t need protein? While protein is important in muscle repair and growth, muscle building requires the balanced combination of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Copious amounts of protein intake is not necessary for bulking up.
What to do: Increase every aspect of nutrition in your diet. Add more carbs, fats, and protein depending on your body shape and its needs. Not improving your diet as you work out may also have downsides.
6. The Secret To Better Muscle Building Is To Just Eat The Egg White, Throw Away The Yolk – Myth
This is a classic misconception that started in the 1980s and that many misinformed fitness enthusiasts are still adapting today. As a matter of fact, the yolk is where most of the vitamins and minerals are found. It also contains more protein that the white part.
What to do: While it is true that the egg yolk also has high cholesterol content, consume the entire egg. This food source will give you the nutrients you need as you exercise.
7. Work Out One Body Part Per Day – Myth
Social media is abuzz with hashtags that read “Leg Day” or “Chest Day.” This classic myth revolves around the idea of doing a split routine or working just on the legs, for instance, on a given day.
What to do: Varying your workout is one of the best strategies you can incorporate. One example is to do around three high-intensity interval routines a week, which will enhance all your body parts. In the other parts of the week, try lower-intensity activities such as yoga, walking, or jogging.