If you are serious about making a commitment to a muscle building program, you need to be very careful of where you get your advice. Bodybuilding and fitness is a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day. Many of the so-called “experts” out there really don’t have a clue of what they are talking about and are only motivated by selling expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs”. If you are not careful, you may end up falling for some fatal muscle-building pitfalls that will literally destroy your gains and prevent you from ever achieving the muscular physique you desire. This article exposes 4 very common muscle building myths in order to keep you on the proper path to the mind blowing muscle and strength gains you deserve.
Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a “pump” during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.
For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel fantastic, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow. A pump is simply the result of increased blood flow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous weeks, then you did your job.
Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.
This one goes back to the old days when people described bodybuilders as being “muscle bound” and “bulky”. Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass will actually speed you up rather than slow you down. Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther. Strong muscles are able muscles, not the other way around. With any muscle building program it is important to incorporate a proper stretching regimen to maintain healthy ranges of motion in the joints. Without stretching your muscles will shorten (become tight) and cause injury.
Related Article: How to Weight Train for Muscle Gain
Myth #3: Don’t worry about perfect form, lift as heavy as possible.
Using good form on every exercise is one of the most important factors to growing muscle. If you are using bad techniques like swaying, dropping head, or using momentum while lifting then you are not maximizing the benefits of that exercise. Using these bad lifting techniques will engage “helper” muscles and limit the isolation of the primary muscle causing over training injuries and bad posture. To get maximum muscle growth focus on contracting the primary muscle while keeping your core tight and good posture.
Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”
This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise. Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 12 and above.
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