There are countless amounts of myths out there on the internet regarding muscle building. For every person you ask, you will get a different answer. Here we list 10 of the most crucial facts based on science and decades of personal and client coaching experiences:
1. Building muscle has a lot to do with genetics.
If your parents are naturally thin or have a small body frame then most likely you will have the same traits. This doesn’t mean you have no chance of building a strong muscular body. It just means you are going to have to work hard.
2. Your metabolism has an effect on your size.
If you have difficulty gaining weight whether it’s fat or muscle, then you most likely have a fast metabolism. Your body is burning calories faster than you can consume them.
3. There is no universal weight training program that is going to get massive results for every individual person.
The best way to find a program that works for you is to find someone who has the same type of body as you before and start walking their walk. There are certainly standard exercises that will build muscle but there is more to building muscle than weight lifting.
4. More training doesn’t mean more muscle.
This is one of the most difficult concepts for many to grasp. The purpose of weight training is to stimulate muscle growth that’s all. Once that has been done, your muscles need to repair and new muscle needs to be built which only happens when you are resting.
5. Isolation exercises aren’t going to get you big fast.
The best exercises to put on the most amount of overall size are multi-muscle exercises. These are exercises that require more than one muscle or muscle group to get the job done. These lifts put the most amount of stress on your body. This is the stress that will shock your nervous system into releasing the greatest amount of muscle building hormones.
6. Free weights build muscle quicker.
Free weights are preferred over machines because they make your body work harder. They require greater concentration and allow the stimulation of supporting muscles. Machines are good for beginners to help with form and basic control, but limit the effectiveness of the exercise.
7. No Pain, No Gain.
Lifting the same weights over and over isn’t going to get you big. In fact it will do the exact opposite.
To build muscle you need to go heavy. This stimulates Type IIB muscle fibers which cause the most amount of muscle gain. Lifting heavy is when your body fails after 4-8 reps.
8. Long training sessions are a NO-GO
The idea is to stimulate muscle, not hit it from every angle possible. This is only a concern for developed body builders looking to tone muscle. Long training sessions cause catabolic hormone levels to rise dramatically. Catabolic hormones are responsible for breaking down muscle tissue resulting in MUSCLE LOSS. Your weight training sessions should go for no longer than 60-75 minutes maximum.
9. You don’t need aerobic activity to lose fat.
The time spent running or swimming is muscle building and recovery time lost. Building muscle is the fastest way to lose fat. Aerobic activities will help you lose fat but not so if you are on a high calorie mass diet for building muscle.
10. 3 square meals a day isn’t going to help you build muscle.
Eating is an important part of muscle building. You need to eat more often and eat more protein. You should be eating roughly every 2.5 hours which is about 6 meals per day. Spreading your meals throughout the day will improve muscle assimilation, and make sure that your body always has the calories it needs for muscle building and repair.
Steven Wong is the founder of SW Fitness. Helping the community worldwide to reach their health and fitness goals. He is a certified personal trainer, certified sports nutritionist, nutritional therapist, and an established fitness writer.