5 Building Muscle Myths in the Gym

By on February 6, 2019 in Exercise with 0 Comments

It’s all about the goals that you want to achieve and how you structure your training programs, that get you the results you want.  Looking and feeling good is all about how you feel inside. For some people it’s about losing weight, for some it’s about gaining muscle.  There are so many building muscle myths out there.  That we want to take a deep dive into the top five myths for building muscle in the gym.

building muscle myths

It’s fantastic that you have a muscle-building goal.  Whatever your goal is don’t get caught between fact and fiction.

As a young person, at the time of the Rocky movies.  I seriously thought that drinking raw eggs before a workout at the gym would, give me muscle mass.  That was a myth.

So let’s look a the myths and fiction of training.  If you are in the gym and looking for building muscle here are:

5 myths of building muscle in the gym

The 12 Rep rule

A lot of trainers in the gym will give you weight training programs, with that repetition target for gaining muscle.

The truth is this approach does not place enough tension on the muscle for effective muscle gain.

High tension = Heavy Weights

Lifting heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, which in turn improves endurance.

The standard prescription of eight to 12 repetitions can provide a balance but just using that repetition target all of the time.

You won’t generate the greater tension levels that are provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions.

Tip: Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

Three Set rule

The truth is there’s nothing wrong with three sets but then again there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be based on your goals and not on a half-century-old rule.

The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the total number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

Tip: 2 – 6 sets are just fine.

muscle building myths

Three to four exercises per group

The truth is this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If you’re doing this many reps for a muscle group you’re not doing enough.

Tip: Instead of doing too many different exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

My knees, my toes

It is a gym folklore that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” Truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely to cause injury.

In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

But hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted.

Because the squatters needed to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Tip: Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee.

Try keeping the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. This reduces the stress generated on the hips and back.

To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degrees to the floor.

Lift weights, draw abs

The truth is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise.

The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercises, the body automatically activates the muscle group that is needed most for support of the spine.

Tip: If you focus only on the transverse abdominis.  It can recruit the wrong muscles and limit the right muscles.

This increases the chance of injury and reduces the weight that can be lifted.  I lost count of how many well-meaning physios advised this over the years,

That’s it, five building muscle myths you often hear about in the gym.  Take the time to develop a gym routine that works for you.  Talk to a personal trainer if you are starting out.

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About Health Ninja

Jack Rourke is the Health Ninja.

A truly average person who has worked his butt off to be awesome fit and healthy. Well maybe just the best version of himself.

With a little effort, the average person can achieve better than average results.


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