If you’re serious about making solid gains as a bodybuilder, you should be very careful of who you take advice from. Bodybuilding and fitness is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day. Many of the so-called “experts” out there are hiding behind a keyboard and really don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about. In some instances they are only motivated by pushing expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs” on you that you don’t really need. If you’re not careful, you may end up falling for some fatal bodybuilding pitfalls that can literally destroy your gains and prevent you from ever achieving the impressive, muscular physique that you desire. In this article I’m going to expose 4 very common bodybuilding myths in order to keep you on the right path to the mind-blowing muscle and strength gains that you deserve. Be sure to read to the end of the article so you can check out a little used technique that can result in explosive growth.
Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a “pump” during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.
For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel awesome, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow. A pump is simply the result of increased bloodflow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous week, then you did your job.
Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.
This one goes back to the old days when people described bodybuilders as being “muscle bound” and “bulky”. Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass can actually help you become faster rather than slow you down. Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther. Strong muscles are able muscles, not the other way around.
Myth #3: You must always use perfect, textbook form on all exercises.
While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. If you are always attempting to perform every exercise using flawless, textbook form, you can decrease the total amount of muscle stimulation you might achieve. Remember, we are not robots! It’s very important that you always move naturally when you exercise. Every once in a while it’s OK to add a slight sway in your back when you perform “cheating” bicep curls, or use a tiny bit of body momentum when doing barbell rows. Loosen yourself up a bit and move the way your body was meant to be moved. Obsessing over perfect form can actually work against you rather than for you.
Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”
This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise. Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 10 and above.
In the video below, Ed Brown, Jr demonstrates “Cheat Curls” for building bigger arms. Ed was Lee Priest’s training partner in 2007 and of course, Lee knows a thing or two about building arms. Lee once curled 300 pounds when he was training at World Gym in the 90’s. When you throw that much weight up, your arms have no choice but to respond with new growth. Remember, it’s always better to take advice from those who are actually doing it and not just writing about it.
P.S. Thanks to Metroflex Gym in Austin! Check out their website at http://metroflexaustin.com/