8 Rules of Bodybuilding You can’t Afford to Neglect

#3: Isolation exercises are not crucial for gains

This is one of the bodybuilding myths that have hindered an incredible number of efforts, mainly in hardgainers. Many bodybuilding beginners think that hitting a muscle from every possible angle will give them optimal results, yet this is far from the truth. The general rule about exercise selection is that compound exercises should make up the base of the workout. Isolated exercises will not lead to significant muscle gains because they simply don’t hit as many muscle fibers with each lift as compounds do.

Big compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, dips, overhead presses, chin-ups, pull-ups and rows are the ultimate mass builders that can work your whole body and lead to relevant fat loss. And once you have already achieved some decent gains in the major muscle groups through compound exercises, you can focus on isolation techniques to add more definition on smaller muscles and perfect your new body even further. This is especially important for hardgainers – they are simply best off without any isolation exercises in their training routines.

#4: You can’t change the shape of your muscles

Muscle shape and separation and the number of nerve innervations are matters of genetic expression and cannot be changed with special exercises, no matter what some ‘exercise experts’ tell you. When under tension, a muscle may lengthen, shorten or remain the same and that’s all. And the only way a muscle can contract is by shortening, which means there is no such thing as a muscle contraction that can help you change the shape of your muscle other than making it grow in size.

Also, increasing muscle definition means shedding excess body fat and making the muscles that were hiding under it more visible – nothing magical or thought-provoking about it. Train hard and eat less and you’ll get an increase in both growth and definition.

And if you don’t like the shape of your muscles, you should really stop and think about that issue. Your muscles are what they are, and the faster you accept the way they look, the better use you can make of them. Yes, having an eight-pack formation of the abdominal muscles is pretty cool, but if you were born with a four-pack, there’s nothing you can do about it (except surgery which we assume you’ll find a bit too extreme) except make it as lean as possible.

After all, nature’s given you a way to develop whatever muscle shape you have to an insanely ripped level that will directly affect your confidence and pride in yourself on the most positive way.

#5: Women should train the same way as men

Men and women have different levels of the same hormones and their primary goals in terms of aesthetics are substantially different as well, but this doesn’t mean that women should stay away from the weights. Most women want to improve their shape and definition, and this cannot happen without building muscle. Therefore, they can successfully use the same training programs as men without fearing they’ll become huge – their naturaly lower testosterone levels simply won’t let that happen.

On rare occasions when a woman wants to promote greater muscle growth, she should follow a routine similar to the one used by hardgainers, meaning lots of heavy compound exercises, followed by an even greater amount of patience and dedication. It won’t be fast or easy, but it’s most certainly achievable.


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    • Satayu Bhattacharyya

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