Muscle Building Myths and Tips

Lifestyle, Training Myths,

Muscle Building Myths and Tips

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Guys go into the gym with different goals in mind. Most guys probably just want to gain some weight and put on some muscle. Some of them want to get ready for summer so they can look good on the beach. Others want to get “ripped” and get “six pack abs.” A few want to reach elite levels of strength and muscularity so they can compete in a bodybuilding or powerlifting competition.

Regardless of the long-term goal, every new trainee has to start from “square one.” He has to learn the basics of getting bigger and stronger. But he may make mistakes because he believes some of the myths or lies that are so common in the fitness industry. Let’s dispel some of these myths so you can avoid wasting your time, effort, and money.

Myth #1:

You have to spend a lot of money on supplements.

The bodybuilding supplement industry has been pushing over-hyped pills and powders for decades. There are a few products worth considering (like creatine monohydrate and whey protein), but the vast majority of supplements are just a waste of money. Remember what the term “supplement” is supposed to mean–something to help fill in the small gaps of nutrition or to make things a little more convenient. But generally speaking supplements just aren’t that important.

Myth #2:

You have to train 5-6 days a week.

You don’t want to go with the “more is better” approach if you are a beginner (or intermediate/advanced for that matter. You may read bodybuilding magazines and see guys who split their routines into 5-days and do numerous sets for each body parts. These types of workouts may be OK for steroid-using elite bodybuilders, but they are not idea for a typical trainee who wants to put on muscle naturally. You are much better off just training three or four times a week.

Myth #3:

You need a complicated routine to put on muscle.

There are endless kinds of routines online. You’ll hear terminology like “muscle confusion” and all kinds of different angles/variations of lifts. But the truth is you really only need to get stronger in the basic lifts in order to put on muscle. Focus on compound movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press, etc. They key is simply making progress and being able to lift increasingly heavy weights. Get progressively stronger and you’ll most certainly end up with bigger muscles. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.

Myth #4:

You need to eat six times a day to build muscle.

It’s hard to say exactly where this myth came from. Perhaps it was propagated by the supplement industry so we’d drink more protein powders. It may just be that bodybuilders tended to eat more frequently to get adequate calories. Regardless, it’s important to know that there’s nothing magical about eating six times a day. You may find that having an extra meal, snack, or shake does help. But your primary concern should be your overall calorie and protein intake–not the number of meals you eat.

Myth #5:

You have to eat massive quantities of protein to build muscle.

You may have heard of bodybuilders who eat 400 grams (or more) of protein per day. Increasing your protein is important for building muscle, but there’s a limit to how much is actually helpful. About.75 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is plenty. Anything over that really isn’t necessary and will just be excreted by your body.

Myth #6:

You can look like (insert famous bodybuilder’s name).

Bodybuilding magazines and websites may give you unrealistic expectations about what you (a natural trainee) can accomplish. That’s because the photos you see online are usually of guys with exceptional genetics who are also using steroids. And the guys you see posing for these pictures have usually undergone several weeks of dieting to reach single-digit body fat levels. They’ve also manipulated their water intake to make sure their skin looks “thin” and reveals their muscle striations. In summary, you can’t base your expectation on a temporary look that took exceptional (maybe extreme) measures to achieve.

Now that we’ve dispelled the myths we can talk about what really works. It’s not that complicated – here are a few simple rules for building muscle.

1. Training: Learn how to do the squat, the deadlift the bench press, and other basic lifts. As your strength increases you’ll build the foundation for a stronger, leaner body.

2. Nutrition: Consume a gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. You should also eat about 17 calories per pound of body weight per day: more if you don’t gain weight at this amount and less if you start gaining too much fat.

3. Supplements: Creatine monohydrate, whey protein, fish oil, and maybe a multivitamin are all you really need.

4. Rest/Recovery: Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night and be sure to you get plenty of rest in between workouts.

Hopefully these tips will help you get off to a good start. I’d recommend Vince Delmonte’s No Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0 if you’d like a more detailed guide to body transformation.


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