Weight Gain Myths

The vast majority of myths about weight gain are mostly passed down from”gym talk” and so-called experts who know nothing about the body’s workings. Myths that lead to wasted time, frustration and if are taken blindly as truth, can really set back your progress in the gym. Don’t believe everything you hear in the gym when it comes to exercise and weight gain, do the research yourself.

Simple, basic principles apply to all weight and muscle gain such as progressive overload, variable frequency of reps and high intensity workouts. Lets take a look at some of the most common weight gain myths.

High repetitions burn fat while low repetitions build muscle.

Progressive overload is needed to make muscles bigger.Meaning that you need to perform more reps than you didfor your last workout for that particular exercise.If you perform the same amount of reps at each workout nothingwill change on you, also if the weight doesn’t changes on the bar nothingwill change on you. You need to become stronger.

Definition has two characteristics, muscle size and a lowincidence of body fat. To reduce body fat you will have toreduce your calories; the high repetition exercise will burnsome calories, but wouldn’t it be better to fast walk to burn these off?Better still; use the low reps to build muscle, which willelevate your metabolism and burn more calories (less fat).

Vegetarians can’t build muscle.

Yes they can! Strength training with supplementation ofsoy Protein Isolate has shown to increase solid bodyweight.Studies have shown that athletic performance is not impairedby following a meat free diet, and people strength trainingand consuming only soy protein isolate as a protein sourcewere able to gain lean muscle mass.

Strength Training will make you look masculine.

If it is not you’re intention to bulk up from strength trainingyou won’t. Putting on muscle is a long hard slow process.Your strength-training regime coupled with quality food willdetermine how much you will bulk up. To bulk up you also requiremore food. Women don’t produce enough testosterone to allowfor muscular growth as large as men.

By working out you can eat what ever you want to.

Of course you can eat whatever you want, if you don’t carehow you want to look. Working out does not give you an open licenseto consume as many calories as you want. Although you willburn more calories if you workout than someone who doesn’t,you still need to balance your energy intake with you energyexpenditure.

If you take a week off you will lose most of your gains.

Taking one or two weeks off occasionally will not harm yourtraining. By taking this time off every eight to ten weeksin between strength training cycles it has the habit of refreshing you andto heal those small niggling injuries. By having longer layoffsyou do not actually lose muscle fibres, just volumethrough not training, any size loss will be quickly re-gained.

By eating more protein I can build bigger muscles.

Building muscle mass involves two things, progressive overloadto stimulate muscles beyond their normal levels of resistanceand eating more calories than you can burn off. With all thehype about high protein diets lately and because muscle is madeof protein, it’s easy to believe that protein is the best fuelfor building muscle, however muscles work on calories whichshould predominately be derived from carbohydrates.

If I’m not sore after a workout, I didn’t work out hard enough.

Post workout soreness is not an indication of how good theexercise or strength training session was for you. The fitteryou are at a certain activity, the less soreness you willexperience after. As soon as you change an exercise, use aheavier weight or do a few more reps you place extra stresson that body part and this will cause soreness.

Resistance training doesn’t burn fat.

Nothing could not be further from the truth. Muscle is ametabolically active tissue and has a role in increasingthe metabolism. The faster metabolism we have the quickerwe can burn fat. Cardio exercise enables us to burncalories whilst exercising but does little else forfat loss afterwards.

Weight training enables us to burn calories whilstexercising but also helps us to burn calories whilstat rest. Weight training encourages muscle growthand the more lean muscle mass we possess, the morefat we burn though an increased and elevated metabolism.

No pain no gain.

This is one myth that hangs on and on. Pain is your bodysignalling that something is wrong. If you feel realpain during a workout, stop your workout and rest.To develop muscle and increase endurance you may needto have a slight level of discomfort, but that’s notactual pain.

Taking steroids will make me huge.

Not true, strength training and correct nutrition willgrow muscle. Taking steroids without training will notmake you muscular.

Most steroids allow faster muscle growth through greaterrecovery, while others help increase strength whichallows for greater stress to be put onto a muscle.Without food to build the muscle or training to stimulateit nothing will happen. Most of the weight gain seenwith the use of some steroids is due to waterretention and is not actual muscle.

Strength training won’t work your heart.

Wrong!! Strength training with short rest periods willincrease your heartbeat well over a hundred beatsper minute. For example, performing a set of breathingsquats and you can be guaranteed that your heart willbe working overtime and that your entire cardiovascularsystem will be given a great overall body workout.

Any intensive weightlifting routine that lasts for20 minutes or more is a great workout for your heartand the muscles involved.

I can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.

Wrong. Only a few gifted people with superb geneticscan increase muscle size while not putting on body fat.But for the average hard gainer, they have to increasetheir muscle mass to its maximum potential and then cutdown their body fat percentage to achieve the desired shape.

* This article is exclusive to IronMagazine.com, reproduction in any form without prior consent is strictly prohibited.

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Gary Matthews has been a gym instructor for over twenty years. He has trained people from athletes to bodybuilders. This trainer from “down under” believes in using scientific principles for training. Gary says that “as in life, in training: the simplest is always the best.” He believes in strength training programs that are short and simple, but with maximum intensity.

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