Top 5 Training Myths - Old Advice You Need To Ignore!
5 gym myths you need to ignore
Facebook is finally putting its omnipresent digital boot down on social-media friendly "fake news" with a new filter function. While this may help you tell the bogus stories from the facts, it can't help you on the gym floor, where all manner of spurious bro-science is out to get you. Fortunately, we're here to help by tackling the biggest gym myths.
Guys training in back-to-front caps. Jocks spending 15-minutes on the weight bench just looking at their phone. The smith machine. There’s plenty in the gym that makes for little logic. But the most senseless thing to grace the weights room? Terrible workout advice.
And it’s more common than you’d think. According to a recent survey of 1,000 Brits, over 68% of guys dish out unsound fitness guidance that’s neither from a health or training professional. It’s this advice that could lead at best to poor muscle-growth and at worst serious injury.
(Related: The six most pointless gym exercises you need to avoid)
Well, we’re making a stand. With the help of David Kingsbury, the PT Hugh Jackman said is “the best trainer I have ever worked with”,MHis calling out the worst gym advice you’ve ever heard.
Wolverine doesn’t put up with bro science. Why should you?
1. “You need a marathon weights session to gain muscle”
Wrong. “More sets doesn’t mean more muscle,” says Kingsbury. “If you want to get stronger then your aim is to train with the least amount of volume needed to produce an adaptive response.” Adaptive response? Essentially, it’s how your muscles get bigger to accommodate more weight – a big lift workout creates tiny micro-tears in your muscles that your body repairs with even stronger fibres. That creates stronger – and larger – muscles.
(Related: How to calculate how much you should be lifting)
So surely the more tears you create in a single session, the more muscle you’ll develop, right? No. “Further efforts to stress the muscles will only increase recovery time – keeping you out of the gym for longer – put you into a dangerously deep catabolic state [that’s when your body breaks down muscle] and lower your immune system,” warns Kingsbury. Lesson learned: keep your lifting limited to 45-60 minutes and go home early.
2. “Cardio makes you small and weak”
Zero points to Hufflepuff if you thought this was true. Cardio doesn’t have to be restricted to guys aiming for a Mo Farah physique, says Kingsbury: “Avoiding resistance workouts altogether is why you lose mass – not cardio. In fact, introducing cardio into your workout plan is key to bigger muscles.”
(Related: Is cardio really necessary to get a six pack?)
You read that right, cardio means more mass. The reason? “Intense intervals will encourage the body to use energy more efficiently and increase the amount of glycogen your muscles store, which makes them bigger,” says Kingsbury. And that’s not all. Intense cardio sessions can improve your muscle buffering capacity (your muscles’ ability to neutralise lactic acid). “That means you can push reps even harder while avoiding DOMS.” All gain, no pain. We’re in.
3. “You need to train every day”
Nope: wrong again. “A lot of people seem to train for the sake of training, but spending seven days a week in the weights room won’t get you anywhere,” says Kingsbury. That’s because rejecting a rest day leads to a long list of nasty symptoms including general fatigue, aching, decreased performance and – here’s the kicker – smaller muscles. Why? You guessed it: you need time to let those micro-tears in your muscle fibres repair.
So how long should you rest for? A major analysis of 140 studies on the question says you should never exercise the same body part more than once in a 48-hour period to allow for complete muscle recovery (as shown in our 60-day bulk up plan). But if you really can’t keep away from the sofa on your rest day then simply walk around the park; a study from Hirosaki University in Japan found low-intensity training will relax your muscles and speed up recovery.
(Related: Why too much intense exercise is definitely bad for you)
4. “8-12 reps is the right range to build lean muscle”
If you hear this then you should follow it with aFamily Fortunesstyle “uh-uh” buzzer (preferably as loud as possible). “Building muscle is not as simple as tapping into a specific rep range,” says Kingsbury. “To build muscle you need a stimulus. And this stimulus will be most effective from a selection of rep ranges.”
Why? “Solely keeping within one range fails to target all your muscle fibres. A broad stroke of rep numbers is the best way forward.” And just in case you want to argue with the trainer who got the X-Men’s finest into shape then here’s his full explanation of why reps don’t matter as much as you think.
(Related: How to build a body like Hugh Jackman)
5. “You need to keep your muscles guessing to keep them growing”
You don’t need a major shock in every circuit – your workout plan isn’tGame of Thrones. “Regularly swapping exercises around may leave you sore, but it’s not the best way to build strength,” says Kingsbury. “Muscles grow due to the progressive overload of exercises. Stick with the tried and tested classic exercises and gradually increase the weight for the best results.”
Moral of the story: booking yourself into a jazzercise class might seem like a fun idea at the time (it certainly won’t be during), but it’s not how you’re going to craft your dream body.
Video: Top 5 Horrible Workout Tips You Should Ignore | GI Weekly
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