As a personal trainer, I’ve heard just about everything when it comes to building muscle and working out.
What I’ve learned over the years is that there are a ton of misconceptions about weight lifting. Some of these misconceptions actually develop into popular myths that many people mistake for fact.
This article reviews the top 10 muscle building myths out there, and tries to clear up some of the confusion about working out.
Let’s get to it…
Top 10 Muscle Myths
1. Weight Lifting is Bad for Your Joints – This is a very popular myth, and seems to have been around for quite some time. The truth is, lifting weights is easier on your joints than running. Weight lifting involves controlled movements with little to no impact. In fact, weight lifting actually strengthens your joints by building the muscles around them.
2. Weight Lifting Makes You Bulky – This is another common one, especially among women. But it simply doesn’t make sense. Lean muscle mass is denser than fat, so if you’re losing weight and building muscle, you’re actually going to look slimmer!
3. The More You Work Out, the Better – This is a pretty serious one, because working out too much can actually damage your muscles. It’s important that your muscles get a couple days to repair and recover after any intense workout. Ignoring recovery can actually hinder results. This is why a recovery supplement like Scivation Xtend is so important.
4. Women Should Train Differently Than Men – Absolutely not. If you’re a healthy one with no medical concerns, then building muscle requires the same technique and effort regardless of gender. The science is the same and it frustrates me greatly when I see women who think they are being superior by only doing yoga and other exercises which do not include significant resistance. Resistance and weight training is absolutely essential to strengthening not only your muscles but your bones as well and will help prevent very common issues like osteoporosis later in life.
5. Protein Shakes are Bad for You – I’m not going to sugar coat it for you. There are a lot of bad protein supplements on the market that have some pretty unhealthy ingredients. But this isn’t true for all. Getting extra protein in your diet is essential to building muscle, and high quality supplements Optimum 100% Natural Whey and Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer are great, healthy options.
6. Slow Lifting Builds Huge Muscle – Slow lifting is definitely an effective technique for building muscle, but it’s not going to build muscles that are any bigger. It’s simply a different method of training your muscles. Use it to change things up, but it’s not going to work magic.
7. Stability Balls are Better than Benches – Stability balls have gained in popularity over the years, and they are definitely an excellent fitness tool. While they help engage your entire body and improve balance, they aren’t right for every exercise. In fact, when it comes to lifting heavier weights, stability balls can actually be a bit dangerous. For a complete stability ball package with exercises, check out this Xercise Ball Package With DVD And Pump.
8. Stretching Prevents Injury – While stretching after a workout can help improve muscle recovery, it’s not going to prevent injury. Warming up your muscles with light cardio before a workout is the best idea, but when it comes down to it, safe lifting is the only real injury prevention. In fact, one of the most critical components of post workout recovery is what you include in your diet and this article dives deep into your post-workout nutrition – Post Workout Recovery Supplements
9. You Don’t Have to Be Strong to be Big – Unfortunately, the only real way to increase in size is to first increase in strength. This is why many people cycle through strength-building and toning/cutting phases, because without the strength, you won’t grow!
10. All Supplements are Bad – One of the most interesting things I’ve learned while studying human physiology, exercise science and sports nutrition is that many supplements are indeed safe and highly effective. You just have to be smart about what you pick and not just go by what the sales guy says at your supplement store as often times they have no educational background to help you make the right choices. One area that I believe could help you out in getting stronger are Amino acids which are based on the science of muscle building. Some of the best amino acids on the market include Optimum Glutamine and Optimum BCAA 1000 Caps.
Have any questions or feedback about these muscle myths? Please leave a comment below…