When it comes to bodybuilding, false or misleading information seems to be everywhere. Everyone seems to be an expert on the benefits of weight lifting, foods that instantly make you shredded and the best training routines, without any proof in sight. Myths are constantly being created over night – and they’re so hard to destroy afterwards! No matter how much scientific research and collective experience advances, some false information keep on clinging around the gym.
So let’s do a good old-fashioned reality check and bust some of the most common bodybuilding myths of modern times.
Myth no. 1: “Taking time to rest will lead to muscle loss“
On the contrary, it can be very helpful for maintaining the muscle building momentum. Recovery is vital for the body to continue making progress and even bigger muscle gains, so after you take a week off every 8-10 weeks you’ll actually come back to the gym stronger and refreshed.
And don’t worry, it takes around 3-4 weeks of total inactivity for the muscles to start breaking down muscle tissue. Even if that happens, you’ll be able to gain muscle mass back rather quickly.
Myth no. 2: “High reps are better for losing fat and low reps are better for building muscle”
The truth is, if you want to achieve bigger muscle growth, you need to overload the muscles by gradually increasing the weight you work with. Therefore, performing more reps at a progressively higher weight builds more muscle, which in turn keeps the metabolism high. On the other hand, performing low reps has nothing to do with better muscle definition. Great tone and definition gains are achieved by having constant muscle development in addition to a very low level of bodyfat. Reduce the intake of calories in order to burn more fat.
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Myth no. 3: “You can gain muscle mass and lose fat at the same time“
This might be possible for a short period of time while you’re a beginner in bodybuilding, but soon you’ll end up choosing one of the two. When you’re just getting into working out, almost anything you do is going to have a big effect on your body, so you could be gaining a decent amount of muscle and losing fat at the same time. But this won’t last forever. It’s a question of simple biology – your body needs a calorie surplus to build muscle and a calorie deficit to burn fat. So how exactly do you plan on doing both simultaneously? The only option may be calorie cycling, which means you need to overeat on training days to gain muscle and then eat too little on rest days to lose fat. This actually works, but the effects come way too slow and almost every bodybuilder gives up on this method after a few months of frustration. Therefore, if you want the best results and you want it fast enough, just stick to the traditional way: bulk up until you have the desired muscle mass, then start cutting until you achieve the desired tone and definition.