A ton of people in the fitness world think they’re experts when they’re not. That’s why there are so many muscle building myths that need debunking.
Building muscle may seem like a very straightforward process but it’s so much more than lifting something heavy and putting it down again. People who seem to think that’s all it takes are the same people who go on and on about these muscle building myths like they’re golden rules.
The fact of the matter is, building muscle and progressing with your strength is a lot more complicated than people realize.
If you’re someone who just can’t seem to get any bigger or build any muscle, you may be guilty of believing some of these muscle building myths that are slowing you down.
1. You need to train every single day
This is so, so, so wrong. You need to rest and you need to let your muscles rebuild.
You don’t build muscle while you’re lifting. The muscle forms and is built while you’re resting.
So if you’re never getting the rest you need, you won’t be building any muscle. Make sure you’re taking a couple rest days a week to fully let your body heal and grow the muscle you’re working so hard for.
2. You can’t lose fat and build muscle simultaneously
This is a myth that’s quoted time and time again. People say you need to either be burning fat or building muscle because you can’t do both at once. It’s probably one of the biggest muscle building myths out there.
The truth is, you can certainly burn fat and build muscle. The idea that you can’t is based on the principle that you can’t burn fat unless you’re in a caloric deficit. However, you can build muscle while you’re not bulking. The way this works is by taking your stored fat cells and using them as energy to rebuild your muscle. Therefore, you’re actually losing fat because you’re building muscle, but only if your diet is right for those conditions.
3. Cardio makes you lose your gains
This is another one of the most-heard muscle building myths that are going around. People say that because you’re doing a lot of cardio, you won’t build muscle. The truth is, so long as you’re in a caloric surplus and you’re lifting heavy and training correctly, you will build muscle no matter how much cardio you do. You just need to eat more calories than you’re burning.
4. You need to do 8-12 reps to build muscle
While there are many different theories on what builds muscle the best, this is a really big myth that people need to stop listening to. Yes, doing 8-12 reps will build muscle but there’s a lot more to it than that. You can’t just pick up any weight and start pumping out 8-12 reps and expect the muscle to pile on.
You need to lift heavy and you need to lift until failure. Only then are your muscles fibers breaking down to the level they need to in order to rebuild to be stronger.
5. Bodyweight workouts don’t build muscle
This is just a load of crap. There are so many bodyweight exercise programs and the people who do them definitely build muscle. The idea that this doesn’t work for muscle building is simply because people don’t think they’re lifting heavy enough. Yes, weight is important for muscle building but it’s more about pushing your muscles past their breaking point – something you can definitely do with just bodyweight.
6. If you want to see abs you need to train them every single day
First of all, we already covered that training every single day is not how it works. This is simply one of the biggest muscle building myths that just needs to go. Truthfully, whether or not you see your abs is completely dependent on your fat percentage and where you carry the fat in your body.
Someone with weak abs who has more fat displacement on their thighs and much less on their stomach will see abs a lot sooner than someone who carries their fat on their stomach, no matter how strong their abs are.
Abs are born in the kitchen, though building them up will definitely help with seeing the definition.
7. Isolation exercises are more effective
Isolation exercises are not more effective than compound movements. The only thing isolation exercises bring to the table is just that: isolation. You can target specific muscles and build them exclusively but if you want to gain more muscle all around, compound movements like squats and deadlifts are more effective because they use more muscle groups.
If you’re trying to put on some muscle mass, you’ll definitely want to avoid these muscle building myths. Educate yourself so you don’t miss out on the gains you want.
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