Bodybuilding is arbitrary. A program perfect for this person may not work at all for another. So it’s surprising there are so many myths implying that certain bodybuilding techniques will or won’t work for anyone! These rumors are like the proverbial snowball rolling down a hill, picking up mass as it goes, getting bigger and bigger.
Here are some of the bigger bodybuilding myths that have managed to come a long way, leaving many of us with a misconception of the best ways to approach our workouts.
- Doing a Bunch of Different Ab Exercises and Reps is Best for that Six Pack.
Actually, sit-ups and crunches do very little when it comes to developing impressive six packs. Being able to kick out hundreds of these easily is pretty useless. You are opening yourself up to some serious lower back pain. Forget quantity and focus on quality. Stick to rep ranges of 15–20 and adhere to strict form.
- Eating Carbs at Night Makes You Fat.
Research has shown that unless you are obese to begin with, your metabolism will actually increase while you sleep, meaning you’re more likely to burn fat than store it. Energy expenditure goes up significantly as REM sleep set in. This aligns with the resting metabolic rate, which also rises and falls throughout the day.
- Spot Fat Reduction.
It’s long been believed one can target specific body regions — like that muffin top — and work that area to perfection. Commercial vendors take advantage of this belief, offering exercise related products that allegedly will help. There is simply no program of exercise that will focus on removing fat in any specific area of the body. Spot fat removal can be done through surgery and there are drugs that will redistribute fat, but there is no exercise that can rid you of love handles. That’s going to require an overall redevelopment of the entire physique.
- Muscles Turn to Fat When You Stop Exercising.
If one stops working out, over time the body loses muscle mass and definition. They may even start to look mushy. Bodybuilders that stop working out tend to gain fat because they don’t adjust food intake to accommodate decreased caloric needs. The muscles require the energy exercise generates to maintain muscle cells. Without that, the muscles will begin to shrink, not turn to fat.
- Egg Yolks are Bad for You.
Egg yolks are actually a great source of nutrition. A single yolk contains a half day’s choline nutrients, which helps the brain. The yolk also provides biotin, vitamins A, D, and E, selenium, essential fatty acids, iodine and carotenoids. Eggs at breakfast are also filling, providing fat and protein that can help you eat less. You can eat up to two eggs a day without concerns about cholesterol levels.
- Eating Smaller Meals Throughout the Day Increases Metabolism.
The belief is eating five or six small meals a day is better than three large ones. It supposedly speeds up the metabolism and, in the end, you eat less. Yet careful studies have shown that thermogenesis is not increased through the consumption of smaller meals. Overall fat storage is calculated by how much you eat minus how much your body burns during the day. That is not dependent on meal frequency.
- High Reps Sculpt, Low Reps Bulk.
No, they do not. High and low reps only enhance conditioning and endurance. They do not tone muscle faster, getting you the lean body you train so hard for. The only real way to achieve the muscle definition you desire is to lower body fat percentage. All the training in the world won’t make that six pack show up as much as dropping body fat.
- Burn Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time.
It’s not realistic. Building muscle and losing fat are two completely different processes. Losing fat is a catabolic process, requiring a calorie deficit. Building muscle is anabolic, which needs calorie surplus. You eat more for one, less for the other. Trying to do them simultaneously will result in only mediocre results. Make the primary goal either building muscle or losing fat to ensure maximised results.
When embarking on a bodybuilding program, set your goals. Just don’t base them on any of the myths that surround the bodybuilding community. Look at what can realistic be done and apply them to your objectives.
Author: Andre Smith
I am a fitness and health advocate, a bodybuilding enthusiast. I’ve been a member of this 24hr Brisbane gym for the past 2 years, one of the best fitness centres in these parts, with the latest machines and professional staff, and have been bodybuilding for the past 6 years. You may find me on Twitter (@AndreSmith100) for more fitness updates.