Muscle Building Myths and Lies

by : Jimmy Smith

There is many times throughout the day where I will just sit and read training articles and books. I will thumb through a few magazines or visit a few websites with my jaw to the floor. There are so many unrealistic training recommendations out there that it is no wonder why people are not growing. The worst part is when I go into the gym and actually see these people following this misguided advice.

Muscle Building Myth Advice 1 The Safety Of The Smith Machine

The most common piece of misguided training advice that I have ever seen is to use the smith machine because it is safer than barbells or dumbbells. The thought is that using the Smith machine will allow you to safely handle heavy weight since the machine is locked in on two columns. While this is good in theory, it does nothing at all to help save us. The advantages of a barbell or dumbbell is individual characteristics are taken into account.

Spend five minutes watching the Smith machine. You will see a five footwoman going to use it for squats then you will see a six foot two hundred pound guy go and use it to squat. This should clearly illustrate that the machine does not account for any differences. That is not safe!

Barbells and dumbbells account for individual muscle tightness factors as well. Someone who works at a computer all day has different muscular restrictions than a mechanic. Plus, it is also actually harder to lock the machine into place when you are training with a heavier load since you have to force your wrists into a awkward position. Just showing more benefits of dumbbells and barbells

Muscle Building Myth Advice 2- You must always stay with higher reps to build muscle

Yes, higher reps are better for building muscle since they cause more muscle tissue breakdown All things considered, you should train with higher reps. However there is a big backlash for anyone who advocates the need to go with lower reps. Lower reps do not cause as much damage as higher reps but they still have a place.

If you do not train to get stronger, you will not increase your muscle size. You must push yourself past your current limits. By pushing yourself, I amtalking about increasing your ability to handle greater training loads. This will then allow your higher rep work to cause more muscle damage and growth. Too many psuedo-trainers advocate going to failure as the only way to grow. They will point to years of professional bodybuilders having success with this type of training.

That is an awful argument for higher reps. Sure, higher reps will cause you to grow but there is a direct relationship to higher rep training and steroid usage. As drugs became more popular so did higher rep training. Higher rep training is just another tool in the toolbox.

Muscle Building Myth Advice 3 Never Train Your Core First

This is another piece of misguided training advice. Most people leave ab or core training to the end of the workout and think that they need to leave it there. The common thoughts are that you need to do bigger muscles first. That is false. What if your core is weak? What if you have low back pain which hurts you every time you squat?

What if your workouts are more productive if you activate your core before you train? There are specific circumstances that do require your core to be worked first. Provided that you do not do too much work then you will be fine. Look at people who struggle squatting. You will see that they end up bending in their upper body as they continue to go higher in reps. This is not going to happen if you do some core activation work first. Ensure stability then take it from there.

Muscle Building Myth Advice 4 Always Advocating High Intensity Training

No one ever looks at the drop off rate during muscle building programs. The mind is ready before the body is ready when most people go to train. If you want to get the most out of your training, you go into the gym with the intent to really have a good workout.

That, however, can be a problem. If we consistently go into the gym and train at a ten, like most people do, the chances of us having sustainable progress is not going to be as good as it is going to be. We need to train at lower intensities in terms of our mental capacity to allow ourselves to consistently go into the gym and hit it hard.

This is more important than you think. Do you ever feel like you fade as your training week goes on? This is due to continually training at high intensities. It is better to go at an eight for four to five days a week than a ten for two days.