5 Of The Biggest Myths In Bodybuilding
Myth #1: Your Workout Wasn’t Good If You Aren’t Sore The Next Day
Being sore is a side effect of hard training, not a necessity for growth.
I could train you into the ground with the goal of making you not even able to walk up your stairs the next day from soreness.
But would that induce the most muscle growth possible?
More is not always better, and training until your legs literally can’t hold you up isn’t a necessity.
There is not one piece of research that links post-exercise soreness to muscular hypertrophy, or enhanced strength gains.
Being excessively sore is typically a side effect of not being recovered adequately in fact, and may be a sign that you need to increase your protein intake.
This doesn’t mean that you are training too hard if you are sore, just don’t make it your priority to train until your muscles are crying and sore as heck.
Myth #2: You Need To Do Nothing On Your Rest Days To Recover Optimally
No, lying in bed all day and eating 6 times without exerting any energy whatsoever isn’t going to equate to better muscle gains and better recovery.
I actually use my rest days as days where I do cardio regardless if bulking or cutting.
Stimulating blood flow to your entire body will actually improve your nutrient partitioning, recovery, and obviously maintain cardiovascular health by doing some cardio work on your rest days.
Myth #3: Free Weights Are Better For Growth Than Machines
This is a huge myth.
Yes, free weights will involve stabilization work from other muscles to help lift the weights that won’t necessarily get hit when using machines, however, this shouldn’t make a difference in your muscular development unless you are neglecting those stabilizer muscles and not training them at all in other workouts during the week.
The goal of an exercise is to subject your muscle to resistance, to stretch it and contract it, to break down the muscle fibers adequately, and drive blood into the muscle cells.
Machines do that just as well as free weights do, but you will simply need to ensure you are hitting those stabilizer muscles still in other targeted exercises.
For example, on a flat barbell press you may end up using a lot more front delts and triceps than you would on a machine, however, this may actually take away from your chest development because those stabilization muscles are absorbing some of the workload, whilst on machines you can really focus on the muscle contraction right in your chest because the weight is set on a predetermined track with no stabilization necessary.
Myth #4: Forearms And Calves Size Are 100% Genetically Determined
While I think they are definitely stubborn muscle groups, if you have small forearms or small calves, don’t give up hope and assume you are doomed to chicken legs or tiny forearms.
The main issue with these two muscle groups is that most individuals simply don’t train them enough, or with enough volume.
They will do one exercise for each, once per week, and then whine about their crappy genetics.
If you have bad forearms, start doing your deadlifts without wrist straps, start doing farmer walks every other day, start doing wrist curls, use fat grips on your bicep exercises, and train them HARD like you want them to grow, and they will respond if you are eating enough as well.
Myth #5: Lift Lighter Weight + Higher Reps While Cutting To Tone The Muscle
This is a brutal myth.
Time and time again, when cutting individuals think that they are “carving” or “striating” their muscles by dropping their weights substantially and increasing their rep ranges.
The reality is, you built your current level of muscular development using a certain weight, so do you really think you will adequately maintain muscle tissue in a calorie deficit while cutting by decreasing that work load you are exerting on your muscles?
Hell no, you will dwindle away much faster.
Your training during a bulk phase should be literally exactly the same as it is while cutting.
Obviously as your glycogen stores get depleted and you get leaner you will start to lose some strength and that’s okay, but your goal should be to keep 100% of your strength on every single lift you do at the gym.
If you can do that while cutting, you will end up with a much denser physique that retains muscle much easier than you would if you started training much lighter in hopes that you are going to “detail” the muscle.