Article By Chris Chew, Singapore based AMFPT Certified Master Trainer|
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A Dozen Bodybuilding Myths Exposed!
Every so often, you will hear lies being told in the gym. Yet to these people, they are not lies, but the gospel truth because they have heard it from someone else with the best of intention, and now, they are telling you the same gym myths. Then you will probably tell it to some one else. Do you know, you are helping to spread myths that are untrue?
You think I am kidding you? Ok. Here are some common myths that you have probably heard and may have even helped to spread. So brace yourself for some shocking truth.
Here we go!
Duh!!???? I am sure you have heard of this one. Come on, my toes are laughing! Fats and muscles are 2 completely different tissues and their molecular structure is so different. When you say muscles can turn into fats or vice versa, you might as well say if water when left overnight will turn into petrol? Are you laughing with me now?
This myth probably arises because when people stopped training with weights, they will atrophy or they will loss muscle mass. So when muscle mass is loss, their metabolism slowed down and thus they gain fats. Why? Simply because your muscles are fat burners. They rev up metabolism rate. So it is because your muscles are wasting away that you will put on fats. Not because of muscles turning into fats.
Similarly when you start to exercise again, you will burn fats by your activities and at the same time, you will build muscles which in turn burn more fats. So the end result? You lose fats and gain muscles. This is NOT fats turning into muscles. These are the reason why you must exercise.
What is muscle definition? It is the result of low body fats so that your muscle can show through and become very visible. But if you have small muscles and high body fats, how are they going to show through?
So you must cut your body fats by a caloric deficit diet, cardio and weight lifting exercises. Your weight lifting exercises must be intense enough to force your muscles to grow. How can a light weight done to high reps have the same intensity as a heavy weight done in low reps but forceful enough to overload your muscle thus stimulating muscle growth? Without the muscle growth, then how can your muscle show through your skin producing the well defined ripped look? Ahhhhh..., I think you are getting the point now.
Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrgghhhh!!!!! This is one myth that you will see people keeping religiously to in gyms everywhere. Crunches after crunches, side bends after side bends, day in day out, without realizing that they are building bigger bellies and wider love handles which are completely against what they wanted in the first place.
Look folks. I have emphasized many times in other articles that if there is a layer of fat around your belly, you will never see your six packs. You are better off being a belly dancer. You see, when a layer of blubber is wrapped around you and you exercise the muscles underneath those fats, your muscles will grow. But your fats will still be covering them. So when your abs and oblique muscles grow under those fats, what will happen? Your belly gets bigger and your love handles get thicker. Do you really want that to happen?
Now there is a great irony going on. Often times when I spotted somebody doing hundreds of crunches, in a kind bid to ease the poor fella's suffering, I told them about this myth. They seemed to understand. But the next time I see them, they are at it again, crunching non stop and to make matters worse, performing crunches in terrible form. See article "No rippling six packs?" I guess bad habits and mindsets are the greatest obstacles to overcome in this myth. Or rather, you are your worse enemy.
How many times have you seen somebody jumping on some fad diet and lost a bit of weight and then put them back on in no time? Or somebody else on a calorie restriction diet month after month but still look the same without any results? Of course you have seen these folks or you may have tried out some diets yourself and were disappointed.
Diet is only one part of losing fat program. Yes, caloric restriction will help you lose fats. But what you will achieve will only be a smaller version of your old self. You won't look more attractive because you will be losing muscles as well. With diet alone, your body will scream to your brain that you are starving and you will switch to the famine mode. Your body will the start to store fats and burn muscles for energy. Worse, if you skip meals too.
To achieve permanent fat loss, note, I said fat loss and not weight loss as we do not want to lose muscles, you must incorporate cardio and resistant exercises into your routine.
You must build muscles to give you an attractive figure and at the same time, muscles help to burn fats. It is your body's own fat burner. So if your muscles stay with you, you will be burning fats continuously even after you stop your diet.
Then by adding cardio workout, you will provide variations to your fat loss plan to keep it interesting. Not only cardio exercises burn up calories fast, it will also work out your cardiovascular system to give you a healthy heart and lungs. That will also put a glow on your face and skin.
You will thus not only lose fats permanently, but glowing with health too.
This is a very common question directed at me. When I tell them that I hit the gym only twice a week and at most 3 times a week with less than an hour each time, I can see their face contorted with disbelief.
Everyone thinks that you need to train almost everyday for long durations to have a muscular or toned body. In fact, that is not true. More is not always better.
Every time you train intensely, your muscles suffers millions of microscopic tears. You need rest and time for these injuries to repair itself. So if you train everyday, before your muscles can recover and grow, you destroy them again. Now tell me, how can your muscles grow then? So never train with weights on consecutive days. How many days of rest in between? Well, people recover differently. Listen to your body.
Why less than an hour? If your training is intense enough, you won't have much more energy after the hour. That means any more lifting will not be at your maximum effort and thus your results will also be compromised. Furthermore, your stress hormone, cortisol would have built up. Cortisol is a muscle eating hormone. So stop training before it becomes counter productive.
Yes...for the average Joes and Ah Lians. But not for athletes like us. Depending on how rigorous your training is and what objectives you are trying to achieve, that will determine the type and quantity of supplement you will need.
As a guide, for people who train with weights, protein shakes and multi-vitamins with anti oxidants are necessary. For mass builders, some may want to add Creatine. For muscle preservation, L-Glutamine can be good.
Look at the wrestlers. They are huge and muscle bound. Can you say they have inflexible bodies?
Mohammad Ali, the world's greatest boxer ever, weighs over 200 pounds and he floats like a butterfly and sting like a bee with lighting speed jabs. He trains with weights extensively.
Tell me why most, if not all, professional sportsmen from basketballers ,gymnasts, soccer players, swimmers to golfers etc..train with weights? Are these people clumsy and inflexible? To sportsmen, this myth is an insult!
I have written an entire article on this. Check it out at "For ladies only. Guys stay out!!!"
Machines has its usefulness. But nothing beats good ole dumb bells and bar bells. Otherwise, they would have become obsolete but yet, all the big boys train with them. So what does that say? There are plenty of reasons for this. But that is for another article.
Hah!!! Then don't step into the gym. Doing light weights is not going to build any thing. You may as well go and do cardio or some other activities instead of wasting your time. Of course, unless you have plenty of time and want to go to the gym to chat up some buddies or ogle at beautiful bodies.
It is a fact that your metabolism slows down as you get older and thus your fat burning rate decreases correspondingly. One of the main reason for this syndrome is that you lose muscles progressively as you get older. Also your bones will get weaker and heck... your entire body is degenerating.
So don't you think for exactly these reasons, you have got to build strong bones, heart, lungs and muscles? So the older you are, the more you need to exercise to stay fit and healthy so as to enjoy life instead of being plagued with immobility, low immunity, fat and cholesterol problems, osteoporosis, heart problems and a host of other old age related ill health.
You will also be able to maintain a younger and healthier look while your friends are wasting away.
Arnold Schwarz won many body building titles when he was a teenager. He is a strapping 6 and half foot giant. Was his height stunted? Not at all isn't it?
Some experts have said that you can start with lifting light weights as young as 8... its never too young.
Now... how many of these lies you were told that have actually set you back because you believed in them? By the same token, do not help to spread these myths. You are empowered with the truth now!! SFO