When you start muscle building exercises, you may be bombarded with all sorts of suggestions and tips. This overload of information isn’t just overwhelming, some information might be wrong too. Given below are some popular myths about muscle building and bodybuilding exercises. Check them out:
12 Rep rule:
Most weight training programs recommend 12 Rep rule for gaining muscle. However, this approach does not put the muscles under enough tension for effective muscle gain. For quicker muscle building, you need to vary your exercise regime. That is, alternate your exercises between high tension and longer tension.
The high tension exercise such as heavy weights boost muscle growth and can give you maximum gain in muscle strength. On the other hand, longer tension time can boost muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers. This helps in improving muscle endurance.
The standard prescription of doing eight to 12 repetitions may give you a balance between high tension and longer tension muscle building. But by using the same routine all the time, you do not generate the greater tension levels that the heavier weights and lesser reps can provide. And you also miss out on the longer tension that lighter weights and more repetitions can give you. So, adjust the weights and change the number of reps to stimulate all types of muscle growth.
Three Set rule:
There’s nothing wrong with the three sets rule. But the truth is that it is not the most efficient way of exercising either. The number of sets you perform should be based on your fitness goals. Don’t bind it with a half-century old rule. Just keep in mind that the more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This way, your total number of repetitions of an exercise remains equal.
Three to four exercises per group:
You may have heard this suggestion often. But the truth is that this will only waste your time. If you combined twelve reps of three sets, your total number of reps amount to 144. If you are doing these many reps for a muscle group, it is not enough. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, do 30 to 50 reps instead. You can do this in 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.
Knees past your toes:
It is a popular gym rule that you “should not let your knees go past your toes.” But the truth is that leaning forward too much while squatting is more likely to cause you injury. In 2003, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress is about 30% higher when the knees move beyond the toes during a squat. However, hip stress increased nearly 10 times or 1000% if the forward movement of the knees was restricted. When the squatters lean their body forward, that transfers the strain to the lower back and might cause injury.
So, while squatting, focus more on your upper body position and less on the knees. Keep your torso in an upright position as much as possible while doing squats and lunges. This will reduce the stress on the hips and back. To maintain the proper upright posture, squeeze the shoulder blades together before squatting and hold them in that position. Then, as you squat, keep your forearms at 90 degrees to the floor.
Lift weights, draw abs:
This may not be the most efficient way to exercise either. The truth is that your muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine. The most important muscle group changes depending upon the type of exercise. So, the transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. For most exercises, your body automatically activates the muscle group that’s needed most for supporting the spine. This means, if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can activate the wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This will increase the chance of injury and may also reduce the weight that you can lift.
It is a good thing to have high fitness goals. But before you pick up any exercise regime, educate yourself properly. A wrong way of exercising may do more harm than good.