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What Are The Biggest Bodybuilding Myths?

What are the biggest bodybuilding myths? Our forum members dispel many of the most common and not so common myths facing fitness and bodybuilding today. Read on and get the facts...

By: Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: What Are The Biggest Bodybuilding Myths?

The Question:

When we were younger, how many times did we hear, "lifting weights stunts your growth," or "don't eat before bed or you'll get fat." There are so many unproven bodybuilding myths that are still around us.

What are some bodybuilding myths that must be dispelled?

Who creates these half-truths or completely false "facts?"

What can be done to dispel these rumors or myths and prevent new ones from arising?

Bonus Question: What is the dumbest bodybuilding myth you've heard?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.
      3rd place - 25 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - thebarbarianway
By Vince DelMonte.

When we were younger, how many times did we hear, "lifting weights stunts your growth," or "don't eat before bed or you'll get fat." There are so many unproven bodybuilding myths that are still around us.


Myths:
What are some bodybuilding myths that must be dispelled?

Bodybuilding Myth #1:
Train Like A Bodybuilder To Become A Bodybuilder.

    This is the message screamed by the bodybuilding world. While this mantra may have inspired millions via popular bodybuilding magazines, it has also mislead millions by re-printing and rehashing irresponsible training nonsense that will wreak havoc on your body and make you just another one of the herd.

    Imitating the training of the 'champion' bodybuilder is one of the most costly frauds in the exercise world because the 'instruction' from elite bodybuilders has no practical relevance for average people like you and me who are without gifted genetic potential and are drug-free.

    The traditional 5-7 day splits, 5 exercises per muscle, 24 set chest routine is training suicide for the average trainee not spending a couple thousand dollars a week on special 'vitamins.' Not only are these magazines useless but they will cause injuries, over-training, and illness.

    The books and magazines will not tell you that the drugs and genetics were responsible for curing their problem of being a hard gainer. Supplements, 'better training,' and more dedication are their 'secrets' so you are told.

Bodybuilding Myth #2:
Train For The 'Holy' Pump.

    The 'muscle pump' is described as putting your muscles under an extended period of constant tension. As your muscles stretch and contract they become gorged with blood which makes them feel tighter and fuller.

    Getting a muscle pump is not necessarily what causes the muscle to grow …amp;quot; doing 100 reps with a light rep will create a huge pump …amp;quot; but does this make a muscle grow? Of course not! Distance runners get a pump in their legs when they sprint uphill. Do they get big muscles? Heck no!

    Most bodybuilders swear by the 'pump' and preach that you are shuttling more nutrients into the muscle …amp;quot; but is that what is really happening? Sure it feels great, like Arnold says in the unforgettable scene in Pumping Iron, but all that is occurring is a 'back-up' of blood. The blood is 'stuck' inside the muscle, which creates that worshiped tight and full look.

    The blood that's backed up into the muscle has hit a dead end and has nowhere to go. If you had fresh new blood that would be great, but unfortunately you just have old, stale blood getting ready for a snooze. That will NOT help you gain weight or build muscle mass!

    The pump that is built up by the blood in your muscles will usually occur after you repeat set after set, which results in the famous "burning" sensation known as lactic acid. Lactic acid forms in the absence of oxygen. Lactic acid is a WASTE product and does NOTHING to build muscle weight.

    Now if you are lifting extremely heavy weights and achieving a pump then this is a very good indication that you are making the muscle fibers work fully. I would only use the pump as an indicator to reveal how well you are 'targeting' the working muscle. Not as your guide to mark your success.

Bodybuilding Myth #3:
You MUST Train Until Failure.

    Training to 'failure' has probably received more debate, misinterpretation, and improper logic resulting in too much wasted effort. Going to failure …amp;quot; going to the point in a set where you are physically incapable of going just one more rep, hence you 'fail' - is preached as the most promised way to make continuous muscle gains. Interestingly, there is no activity outside the gym that demonstrates this 'going to failure' principle is as critical as bodybuilders have employed.

    Growing up as a long distance runner I often stood by and watched the sprinters compete, and was astonished by their tremendous quadriceps and hamstring muscle. Yet I never remember watching any sprinter on my team train until failure, nor do I recall them ever sprinting through the finish line and collapsing. Yet they demonstrated a greater amount of muscular work in less time each time they practiced and raced.


    "Sprinters demonstrate a greater amount
    of muscular work in less time each time
    they practiced and raced."
    Click To Enlarge.

    Also, I will never forget the phenomenal muscularity of the construction workers I used to work with when I laid bricks and framed houses. Yet I never recall them carrying timber around the yard until they could not pick up one more 2 x 4. Nor do I remember the bricklayers moving the bricks around until they could not move them anymore.

    Both of these groups had incredible muscularity and were able to stimulate muscle growth without going to failure. So why do so many command that 'failure' is an absolute law for stimulating muscle growth when much evidence shows otherwise?

    Improving your body's sensitivity to the cold does not require you to go outside in the middle of winter with no clothes on prior to passing out. If you want to improve your tan, it isn't necessary to subject your skin to the sun prior to the moment of blistering. If you want to improve your ability to hold your breath under water, do you need to go to the point just prior to losing consciousness?

    Since your body's primary function in life is to survive it will adapt only to the point where your body has sufficient defense to whatever element it is exposed. Similarly, when lifting weights your body will adapt to the intensity you have exposed it to over time while maintaining your recovery resources. As you can see, muscle growth stimulation operates on the same principle and does not require over killing your muscles' absolute limit.

Bodybuilding Myth #4:
Low Reps Are For Size & High Reps Are For Cutting.

    Your muscles do not have much personality …amp;quot; they are either growing, shrinking or staying the same.

    If you want your muscle to grow then gradually force your muscles to do more work and outperform your last workout's performance. If you are content with the size of your muscles right now then this is easy …amp;quot; just keep doing what you are doing. And to make the muscle smaller, this is even easier …amp;quot; simply do not train it.

    You cannot pick certain exercises to get a muscle 'cut' or make a muscle 'huge' - this theory holds no water. Muscle 'cuts' are a reflection of two criteria on the body: pure muscle size and low levels of body fat (in the single digits). So if you want to build massive muscles get ready to apply the fundamental principle of progressive overload. And if you wish to get 'cut' and 'ripped' be prepared to drop your body fat levels into the single digits.

    Next time you hear someone say, "I just lift light weights to get toned," then pat them on the back and point them in the direction of the cardio room as a better option. Light weights do not build muscle, period. They will burn calories and that's all. You're better off maximizing your time by burning calories running or doing jumping jacks. And if you see someone with the goal to get bigger and they are a cardio junkie …amp;quot; grab their hand and lead them to the heavy weights.

Bodybuilding Myth #5:
Monday Is Chest Day, Tuesday Is Leg Day, Wednesday Is Back Day...

    Splitting up a routine is preached like 'gospel' and is rarely on trial or questioned as the way to structure a muscle building routine. And sure, splitting up a routine is fine and has some benefits BUT it is also the fastest way to over-train and burn out. Remember that you do not get stronger in the gym …amp;quot; you get stronger and bigger when you go home, rest, sleep, eat and FULLY recover.

    To SUPERCOMPENSATE from your previous workout your muscles are not the only things that must experience a full recovery. Do not neglect the fact that you are taxing and depleting your central nervous system, hormonal system, and immune system …amp;quot; systems that, in fact, take longer than your muscles to recover.

    Just because your muscles say, "OK we feel fine, let's train again," you must still experience a FULL recovery prior to attempting to stimulate your muscles again for more muscle growth.

    Consider this practical example. What is the best way to cure a sickness? By taking an entire bottle of aspirin in one sitting? Or taking smaller dosages at more frequent intervals? I hope you agreed with the second solution. So what is the best way to build muscle? Taking one huge dosage per muscle group per week? Or taking smaller and more frequent dosages on a muscle group?


Who's Responsible?
Who creates these half-truths or completely false "facts?"

Ask yourself an honest question. Who in the last 10 years has influenced you the most with regards to how to train? Where have you and where has everyone else learned how to build muscle? Would you agree that bodybuilding magazines have contributed to the bulk of the training information and misinformation today?

I don't want to be completely critical but I am sure you would agree that the majority of mainstream bodybuilding literature caters to the genetically gifted or drug user …amp;quot; and that leaves the rest of us wandering...

I believe that the majority of half-truths and completely false 'facts,' that are leading to a jungle of conflicting and misleading messages, are a result of specifically the following:

1. Taking Advice From Unqualified "Experts."

    The majority of these 'experts' have absolutely no real-world experience, zero credentials to stack up and are muscle nerds writing from their basement for a quick buck.

2. Authors & Writers Of Rehashed Magazines.

    I can't wail until it is common knowledge that almost all training articles that are supposedly written by bodybuilders in the bodybuilding magazines are in fact written by ghost writers and are influenced by hype and marketing tactics rather than real-world result and science.

3. Supplement Companies.

    Supplement companies have one job - to 'prove' their product is better than the other guys. Their weapon of war is advertising and they will go as far as dishing out false training information on purpose so that you will fail! This will force you into a deadly cycle of buying more and more of their supplements to fix the 'problem.' Hard to swallow, but it's true!

4. The 'Big' Guy At Your Gym.

    Absolutely no offense to this friendly giant and I am sure he has all the best intentions in the world but training is an extremely individualized approach, almost an art. Sure I know, "It works for him," and "He swears by this training approach..." and "He has the body to show for it."

    Just because I start training like Tito Ortiz does not mean I am going to become an Ultimate Fighter. You must look at the entire picture of someone's success before taking selected advice.

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Dispelling These Myths:
What can be done to dispel these rumors or myths and prevent new ones from arising?

Criteria #1:
Only take advice that is grounded to solid science and from those successful in the real world.

    Every promise should be backed up with some solid references and not just some blind statements that promise the world but end up in fairy tale land. Take advice from those successful in the 'real-world' and have an impressive resume of results from average everyday people like yourself. Examine the person's reputation and the length of time they have been around. Mostly likely this information will speak for itself.

Criteria #2:
Have confidence in yourself and don't follow the mooing herd.

    I believe most people are seeking instant results in the quickest amount of time without any appreciation of the amount of time, consistency and hard work it takes to achieve a physical goal. This leads to naive trainee's seeking out information in the wrong places from the wrong sources and never questioning anything they read or hear.

    Society does not teach people how to think for themselves and come to their own conclusions. The popular mantra is,

    "If everyone else is doing it then it must be right..."

    which leads to thousands of young trainee's being mislead and spinning their wheels trying to figure out why the latest 'bodybuilding' advice did not work for them.

    True results are learned by DOING, not by talking about it. How often does someone enter a chat room on a bodybuilding forum asking, "Is training program ABC going to work for me?" I always shake my head in sympathy because this guy is about to get bombarded with 20 different opinions that are all going to conflict. His better option, instead of posting on the forum, would be to go out and test it out for himself.

    Follow the program as prescribed and measure the results. Keep what is working and throw away what is not. Results are the only thing that truly matters, not what any person, text or research study claims or thinks. If you can value and live this philosophy above all else than you will learn to discern from the disastrous and false bodybuilding myths.

    Until trainee's understand that you will only learn from trial and error, testing and tweaking and manipulating training variables regularly then bodybuilding myths will come to the rescue for those wishing to be spoon fed with cookie-cutter answers.


Bonus Question:
What is the dumbest bodybuilding myth you've heard?

"'Shock' Your Muscles And Keep Them 'Guessing.'"

This has got to be one of the silliest and most misleading statements ever made (no hard feelings because in theory it can be convincing). Interestingly, the people who used to give me this advice must have been 'shocking' or 'tricking' their muscles the wrong way because they had no muscle mass on their bodies to back up that statement.

If you think about this myth long enough you might start to laugh. Do you think you can really change your exercises and training routine to 'surprise' your body and get a different reaction out of them?

Your muscles do not have outside eyes that reward you with new muscle growth if you 'confuse' them. Your muscles understand MOVEMENT and that's all …amp;quot; push, pull, curl, extend, contract or release …amp;quot; that's it.

You can be lifting bags of sand or dead lifting 400 pounds and the action on your back is the same …amp;quot; your knees bend and your trunk flexes. So where is the shock? Why would your back muscles say,

"Holy Macaroni Batman, you're lifting with an Olympic bar and not sand bags anymore. Better pack on some muscle."

Or maybe you can switch up the order of your routine by hitting a weak body part twice in the week. If you only train your arms once in the week and then 'strategically' throw arms in twice one week they will be 'confused' and 'shocked' into growing. Please! Your muscles operate on laws of science, not on laws of trickery.

Forget trying to shock, confuse, trick or 'keep the muscle guessing.' The only thing that will be shocked and confused is the person messing around with this theory who has no clue why their body has not changed in a month since they started this magic show.


2nd Place - mivi320
What Are Some Bodybuilding Myth's That Must Be Dispelled?
Contact This Author Here.


Introduction

Bodybuilding is a sport in which the individual's progress is determined entirely on how badly he or she wants results. To truly succeed in this sport, one must know what works best for his or her body. By tuning out the wide array of bodybuilding myths that circulate the bodybuilding scene, one will meet his or her goals in no time!

These myths can confuse beginners and also intermediate lifters. This "bodybuilding voodoo" such as "eating before bed will make you fat" or "squats stunt your growth" are rubbish and quite foolish to say the least.

Let's take a look at some of these myths and debunk them to set you out on the right path to meeting your goals!


The Myths

Nutrition Myths:

    Don't Eat Fruit.

      Questions in reference to whether or not fruit is acceptable in a bodybuilding nutrition regimen puzzle many bodybuilders because of its high sugar content. However, it's clearly a myth that fruit will make you fat. The accumulation of fat is a by-product of eating an excess amount of calories, and is not caused by the fructose found in fruits.

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      The fact of the matter is that fruits are sparse in calories and chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, nutrients and fiber. Believe it or not, the sugar found in fruits (fructose) has anti-catabolic properties, as fructose keeps liver glycogen full, which is an anabolic property. The vitamins and antioxidants found in fruit will conclusively help one recover from workouts as well.

      Momma was right -- an apple a day will keep the doctor away!

    Don't Eat Carbohydrates And Fats In The Same Meal.

      This has got to be the most bogus nutrition myth out there. Separating carbohydrates from fat fails to prevent unwanted pounds. Although it would be nice if it did it did. If this was true, you could chow down on as much fat as you wanted on a ketogenic diet and not get fat. And that doesn't work either.

      Eating protein, carbohydrates, and fats all in the same meal is also far more anabolic than dividing 6-8 meals into either protein+carbohydrate meals or protein+fat meals. If retaining lean body mass (LBM) is a primary concern of yours, well-rounded meals which incorporate all three macronutrients are the way to go.

      The fact of the matter is that eating well balanced meals throughout the course of the day keeps insulin levels at bay and the individual in an overall anabolic state longer. Dietician Chuck "The Ripper" Rudolph and Bodybuilding.com's own Derek "Beast" Charlebois also swear by this principle when one is looking to add lean mass with little to no fat gain.


    Click To Enlarge.
    As You Can See, Derek Knows
    What He Is Talking About!

    Toss The Yolk -- Just Eat The Whites.

      Bodybuilders in the "Golden Era" and in the 1980's swore by eating whole eggs. As of late, many bodybuilders just cook up the egg whites and toss the egg yolks. There's a big problem with this.

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      The truth is that the yolk found in eggs is where all the vitamins and minerals are located. There also happens to be more protein in the yolk than the white.

      Although the yolks are high in cholesterol, they should not be avoided. High cholesterol levels are correlated with saturated fat, genetics, a sedentary lifestyle, and trans-fat. By eating a few whole eggs on a consistent basis, one will reap all the benefits of yolk consumption.

    You Don't Have To Watch Your Diet As Long As You Work Out.

      False.

      Unless you're some genetic marvel, it's pretty difficult to remain big and ripped with a low body fat and eat junk food. Nutrition is a part of bodybuilding -- just like recovery, lifting, and supplementation is. It's just plain foolish to neglect one of the most (if not the most) important aspects of this sport.

      Proper nutrition will better fuel one's workouts and guarantee top-notch performances in the weight room, which in turn means better results!

Training Myths:

    High Reps Make You Cut... Low Reps Build Size.

      This has got to be the oldest training myth out there.

      High reps with a lighter weight will NOT make you more cut. Nor will training strictly in the lower rep range for extended periods of time with a heavy weight is guaranteed to produce predominantly gains in strength with minor size gains.

      When trying to get more cut, it all comes down to diet and cardio. The weight training regimen should remain the same. Do NOT perform higher reps with a light weight, as muscle hypertrophy is still a concern when cutting.

      Remember, you want to keep as much muscle as possible when cutting. The only way to do this is to focus on diet and supplementation and most importantly: keep the poundage, intensity, and rep scheme the same with your training!

      When trying to build size, lower reps in the 3-5 rep range serve their purpose on the big compound lifts that deliver both strength and size (deadlift, bench press, squat, military press). However, the 6-12 rep range should also be implemented - as this is the rep range that will cause muscle growth in most trainees.

    Longer Workouts Mean Bigger Muscles.

      If you happen to workout at a local gym, you've most likely seen the skinny guy who spends hours in the gym in hopes of getting bigger. Does he ever grow? No because he is most likely overtraining. Spending hours in the gym is not what makes your muscles grow. Proper nutrition, recovery, and smart training are what make you bigger. How can one recover from workouts if one practically lives at the gym?

      Try to shoot for 60-90 minute workouts. Any longer and it's wise to add in a BCAA supplement or possibly sip on a whey protein and Gatorade cocktail to help fight off cortisol and remain anabolic.

    Performing Endless Reps Of Crunches Will Make You Lose Your Gut.

      This myth just never seems to cease.

      No matter what you've heard over time, there is absolutely NO way to spot reduce. Performing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups will not get rid of that spare tire. However, a balanced diet and cardio coupled with a solid workout program and supplementation will.

    If You're Not Sore, You're Not Growing.

      Soreness is not an indicator of growth. However, progression in your workouts is a good sign that you're growing. The reason being is that a trainee can curl a soup can 400 times with each arm and the next day; he'll more than likely wake up with some soreness in his arms. Does that mean he's growing? No.

      It all comes down to progression. If the weights, reps, and numbers on the scale are going up each week, you're growing. Soreness doesn't mean a thing.

Supplementation & Lifestyle Myths:

    Creatine Is A Steroid.

      This has got to be the most amusing myth in bodybuilding history.

      Steroids are classified as synthetic versions of the male hormone testosterone. Creatine is NOT a steroid. It is a combination of three very important amino acids: Arginine, Glycine and Methionine.

      Creatine will increase cell volumization, better hydrate muscle cells, and improve your performance in the gym.

      And no, it will not give you gyno or "man boobs."

    Drinking Protein Shakes On Your Off Days Makes You Fat.

      Drinking protein shakes on your off days when you don't perform any form of exercises if perfectly fine. It will NOT make you fat. Again, excess calories determine whether you gain weight.

      It's a wise move to drink 1-2 protein shakes daily (even on your off days) to encourage a positive nitrogen balance and amino acid profile. Doing so will improve your recovery and your workouts.

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    Sleep Is For Babies.

      Sleep and recovery are two of the biggest factors in this sport. Most of the repairing process takes place overnight during the sleeping cycle. Failing to get adequate sleep is a recipe for disaster, as your workouts will suffer and energy levels will be out of whack. For most trainees, 6-8 hours of sleep will suffice.

      I recommend drinking a casein protein shake before bed to better encourage muscle tissue repair and recovery overnight.


Who's Responsible?
Who creates these half-truths or completely false "facts?"

Beginners are the culprits when it comes to creating these half-truths. These myths are then passed on to their peers and so on and so forth. These bodybuilding myths came into existence through misinformed beginners "hearing it through the grapevine" and then passing it on.

Bodybuilding magazines also publish articles and push supplements that can be very misleading to readers, which conclusively causes completely false "facts."

All in all, the beginners are the culprits who take information out of context and create these myths.


Dispelling These Myths:
What can be done to dispel these rumors or myths and prevent new ones from arising?

The only way that these myths will be debunked is to simply educate the misinformed trainees out there. Whether it be through the internet, Bodybuilding.com's forums, or simply through word of mouth, it can be done.

I encourage beginners and intermediate trainees to read as much as possible about this sport. Bodybuilding.com's article database really helped me get started when I first began bodybuilding. The forum is a great tool as well and I still browse it religiously to this day -- sometimes even learning some new things!

Bodybuilding is a great sport that builds character and tests the individual day in and day out. It can be rather hard for a beginner to start out on the right path when there's an abundance of myths circulating the bodybuilding scene.

By reading as much as possible on the subject and doing what works best for you, results are sure to come!


Bonus Question:
What is the dumbest bodybuilding myth you've heard?

"Creatine is a steroid" is the dumbest, hands down. My friend is still not convinced that creatine isn't a steroid. When I was talking about the supplements I take, I mentioned creatine and all of sudden he gave me a blank stare. He then proceeded on with the question, "So you take steroids?" I explained to him what creatine was and he still was not convinced. Go figure.

Live life to the fullest,

Mike


3rd Place - ambetious
What Are Some Bodybuilding Myths That Must Be Dispelled?
Contact This Author Here.


Top 10 Myths

All the guys who have done some bodybuilding or still are doing it, surely heard of some bodybuilding myths. Some of them might have even believed in those myths. I surely heard and believed in many myths which make me laugh now. I have put together the top ten myths which I heard when I was a beginner. So here they are:

1. Your Muscles Will Turn To Fat If You Stop Training.

    This concept is absolutely wrong. Actually, if you stop training, your muscles will shrink and your body may become a little soft but there is no way that your muscles can turn into fat. This myth has been created due to the fact that most of the guys who used to do bodybuilding have turned fat.

    This is only due to their diet not because they left bodybuilding. If you decrease your caloric intake and keep your diet lean, it is almost impossible for you to gain any extra fat.

    All the extra calories you consume are stored as fat which is very hard to lose. This can be prevented by taking a balanced and clean diet.

2. You Can Get Big And Cut Up All At Once.

    There are very few genetically gifted guys in this world who can get big while staying relatively lean but, for an average Joe getting big and getting ripped cannot be done at the same time. This is due to the fact that bulking up and cutting down are two different phases in the life of a bodybuilder.

    All the bodybuilders who compete at any level go through these two phases one after another. First, they try to bulk up and then one or two months before a competition, they try to get as shredded as they can while trying not to get flat. Most of the guys, who try to go through these two different phases at the same time, will end up frustrating themselves which in turn can make them quit bodybuilding.

3. High Reps For Shape / Low Reps For Size.

    This is one of the most common myths around. Most of the bodybuilders commit the mistake that, in order to lose fat and tone the muscles, they should perform high reps (15+). They also believe that in order to gain mass, they should use low rep scheme. A set performed with higher reps will burn only slightly more calories than a low rep set.

    Higher reps can also make muscles flat. Instead of performing higher reps for losing fat, it is better to do aerobic exercises and take clean diet. Another problem with high reps is that they do not increase your maximum strength output.

4. There Are Mass Building And Shaping Exercises.

    According to this myth, certain exercises like flyes will only tone the muscle and not build mass. This concept is absolutely wrong. Although, compound movements are best for building mass, the isolation exercises can also be as effective. Studies have shown that muscle growth is induced if the muscle is stressed with 75 % or greater of the maximum capacity of the trainee in a particular exercise.

    In simple words, a muscle grows if it is overloaded. An advantage of isolation exercises is that they only hit the muscle which you want to hit. As the name suggests, they isolate a specific muscle. One so called disadvantage of isolation exercises is that you cannot use very heavy weights as in compound movements but, this is due to the fact that while doing a compound movement, you are using multiple joints and muscles but, in isolation movements, only the desired muscle is used.

5. If You Do Countless Sit-ups Every Day, You Can Burn The Fat Off Your Waist.

    This is another very common myth. Remember, there is no possible way to reduce fat from just one portion of the body. Doing just sit-ups every day will not burn the fat off your waist. Fat can only be reduced over your entire body. This can be done by eating fewer calories than you burn.

    If you want a six-pack, you will have to adjust your caloric intake, regularly do aerobic exercises and weight training. Weight training increases your metabolism which in turn burns more calories and fat. Unfortunately, the fat around waist is most difficult to lose.

    Sit-ups and other abs exercises can make your stomach hard but until the layer of fat over your abs is removed, your six-pack will not be visible.

6. The More You Workout, The Bigger You Will Grow.

    Anyone who has some sound knowledge about bodybuilding will tell you that this is the most common and most damaging mistake which many bodybuilders commit. The number one reason why most of the bodybuilders do not get bigger and stronger is overtraining. When you workout, you break down your muscle tissues.

    It is during your resting period when a muscle repairs itself and grows. If you do not give your muscles enough time to recover, there is no way that you are going to get any bigger or stronger. Even using steroids, the pros occasionally overtrain themselves. So it is not difficult for a natural bodybuilder to overtrain.

    If you train any of your body parts with a proper amount of intensity, that muscle group will take roughly a week to recover. Sometimes it takes even more. Recovery process also depends upon the type of muscle being trained. For example, the bigger muscle groups like chest and back take longer time to recover than smaller muscle groups like forearms and calves.

7. Whatever Works For The Pros Will Work For Me.

    Many guys try to follow the workout routines of professional bodybuilders. Many pros spend hours and hours in the gym and do countless number of sets. As discussed previously, even the pros might overtrain themselves. So, trying to follow any pro's routine will surely get you overtrained and you will be destined to get frustrated.

    Another fact is that many fancy magazines post workouts which the pros might not have even heard about. It is better not to train at all than training like pros without having the resources that they have (steroids).

8. Training With Weights Will Make You Muscle Bound.

    When you train with weights, you are making your muscles bigger and stronger. Big and strong muscles do not lose functionality on the contrary, they become more functional. It is a very old myth and the most of the sportsmen and bodybuilders/ strongmen athletes have shown that this myth is absolutely busted. Sprinters are fine example of it.

    Muscles will give you an extra edge in all aspects of your life. Some huge bodybuilders like Kevin Levrone are known to be able to run very fast. Another fine example of not being muscle bound is Mariusz Pudzianwski. The guy has won several strongmen competitions and yet he is as flexible as a gymnast.

    Now days, weight training is one of the most important aspects of every sport. From basketball to golf, all the athletes indulge in some kind of weight training.

9. You Can Eat Anything If You Exercise.

    Exercise and nutrition are two different aspects of bodybuilding. In order to gain muscle and stay lean, you will have to exercise as well as take a good diet. If you are trying to make up for poor diet by exercising, you will definitely disappoint yourself.

    You should get a good and healthy diet in order to fuel your body for weight training and recovery processes. The only way to get the best out of your bodybuilding is to have a proper balance between healthy diet and regular weight training. Surely, you can have a cheat meal or an off day once in a while but doing it regularly will not help your cause.

    Whether you want to gain muscle or lose body fat, you should follow the basic rules of nutrition - e.g. take 5 to 6 small meals every day, drink lots of water through out the day etc.

10. You Can Get As Big As Pros Without Taking Steroids.

    Unfortunately, a very harsh truth about professional bodybuilding is the use of steroids. No matter what the fancy magazines say, the pros regularly take steroids. Most of the top pros weigh more than 250 pounds and are ripped to shreds come contest time. It is not possible for any human being to get that big and that ripped without the use of steroids.

    Most of the supplement companies higher the pros for the advertisement of their products but it does not mean that pros actually use all that stuff. Do not get disappointed because, you can still get pretty big and lean with proper nutrition, training and supplementation. But if your goal is to become a natural pro, just forget about it.


Other Myths

Here are some other common bodybuilding myths:

You Cannot Make Gains If You Weight Train Only Three Times A Week.

    There is no valid reason that why working out only three times in a week can not yield results for you. If you train with proper amounts of intensity, you can make gains even using three day split routine. However, you will have to pay extra attention to your training and diet.

Weight Training Will Stunt My Growth.

    Weight training has nothing to do with stunting your growth. Studies have shown that you can start bodybuilding even at the age of 8. The great Arnold's growth was not stunted although he competed in and won many competitions in his teens. Another pro (Craig Titus) grew three inches taller after starting bodybuilding.

You Can Reshape A Muscle By Exercising Differently.

    Every individual is born with different kind of muscle and body structure. It is impossible for anyone to reshape any muscle. The peak of your biceps or shape of any other muscle is determined by your genetics. There is nothing that you can do about it. Although, you can make your muscles bigger and more visible by following the basic rules of bodybuilding.

Instinctive Training Is The Best.

    For some guys, following their instincts might lead them to get no gains or even lose what they gained before. In bodybuilding, you will have to be consistent and dedicated to get the most out of you. Until you have a solid reason, you should never skip a meal or a training session.


Who's Responsible?
Who creates these half-truths or completely false "facts?"

There are many factors which contribute to the creation of these myths. Usually, beginners are the guilty party in this case. They sometimes overhear something or take advice from people who themselves do not know much about bodybuilding.

Sometimes, advanced bodybuilders mislead the beginners just to make fun of them (just like some well known pros used to do). Some muscle magazines and supplement companies are also responsible for the creation of many myths. They create false "facts" just to sell their products.


Dispelling These Myths:
What can be done to dispel these rumors or myths and prevent new ones from arising?

The only way to dispel all these myths and prevent new ones from arising is to educate others about bodybuilding. In this case, pros can play a very important role. They can come up with videos and books to make people know more about bodybuilding. Although some work is being done in this field, I think it is not enough.

Moreover, we ourselves can educate our friends and beginners about bodybuilding as much as we can. Another way of getting sound knowledge of bodybuilding is through the use of the internet. There are several very informative sites on the internet about bodybuilding. At this point, I should mention that I have learned a lot from Bodybuilding.com and it has helped me become a better bodybuilder.


Bonus Question:
What Is The Dumbest Bodybuilding Myth You've Heard?

Although all the myths mentioned in this article sound dumb to me now, the dumbest of them all has to be the one which says that you have to do countless sit-ups to shed fat off your waist and get six-pack abs. If would be the same if you do squats to shed fat off your thighs.


What Are The Biggest Bodybuilding Myths?
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