Take the sugar coating off and you’ll notice that lot of people who are into fitness and bodybuilding don’t truly understand know how the human body works , so they are prone to making stupid mistakes or just doing everything the wrong way and not seeing any substantial progress in their training.
There’s no shame to it really – not everybody has a Phd in Sport Medicine or Exercise Physiology and that’s why we should double-check everything we hear with the help of those smart scientists. But if you’re too lazy to explore and learn something for yourself, and you’re merely looking for shortcuts and easy solutions instead, you’re on the wrong side of life here. No great physique was ever built that way.
However, if you’re going to do this right and you don’t want to rely on popular myths, diet advertisement and wild product claims to arrange your training and diet, you should get more familiar with the facts behind a lot of common misconceptions about the fastest lane to big gains. We created this article to help you navigate through the often contradictory world of bodybuilding and find the right answers to improve your lifestyle. Here we go.
#1 You can overtrain
Ok, overtraining is not exactly a myth and it really exists but the cases are rare. It can happen under certain circumstances where the trainee keeps pushing day in and day out for a longer period of time without the proper rest and recovery. People usually associate the loss of performance due to fatique and soreness with overtraining, which is not true. These things are a part of the natural adaption process when you’ve overreached, which is a good thing, by the way – you are supposed to feel like you are dying during a intensive loading phase. If this is not the case, you’re not doing it right. Anyway, the way you feel during training is not a relevant indicator of your progress.
Of course, you need to include an adequate amount of recovery time into your workout to be able to let your muscles grow and see the huge gains you’ve earned with your hard work. In a way overtraining is not a real problem or a threat to your gains – insufficient rest and recovery is. However, progressively overloading your body will make it better at handling the load you’re placing on it, leading to less severe fatique problems.
#2: You must go heavy in order to build muscle
Low reps place the most load on the muscles when you’re dealing with the heaviest weights. While this is a guaranteed way to stimulate muscle growth, it’s not the only or optimal way to do it. The truth is that without progressive overload, your body won’t get pushed to constantly adapt to greater stress and you won’t be able to get bigger beyond a certain point.
If you keep your workout at the same level for too long, no matter how heavy the weights are, you will end up simply maintaining what you already have. Your body won’t grow unless you force it to – and that includes continually increasing the demands on your muscles by progressively lifting heavier weight or increasing the reps, thereby forcing them to always work harder than last week.
Every time your muscles get comfortable to the current weight or number of reps, you should increase the workload and make them scream with pain all over again. This is the ultimate road to spectacular gains.
#3 Taking some time off the gym
Taking a week off the gym to recover whenever you feel completely exhausted it will definitely stall your progress and deconditioning is unavoidable. In addition, most people experience extreme muscle soreness when they come back to the gym, much like the one you experienced when you first started training.
Instead of doing that, take a ‘deload’ week of lighter training while reducing the weight/reps you normally train with. This will allow your muscles to fully recover without risking your condition and gains, and put you in an ideal state for the upcoming period of heavy training.
You can deload by gradually reducing your training volume, intensity or both for one week, then gradually bringing it back to its original level during the following two weeks. The most important thing to focus on during this period is proper form and full range of motion.
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