Myths about Gaining Weight and Muscle

Of all the industries in the world the muscle gain and health and fitness industry seem to be shrouded in more BS or myths than any other. From popular magazines, TV shows and websites we have created a list of the most popular myths below.

1. Training with weights will make all women bulky.

This is ONLY true if the woman is taking steroids. Women produce a lot less than 10% of testosterone than a man and you might know how difficult it is for men to gain muscle. Unless a woman takes a lot of steroids she could lift heavy weights every day for years and will never become bulky with muscle.

2. Squats are bad for you knees.

The truth is that sports science has now proven that full squats are actually good for your knees. Despite rampant rumors deep squats are good for your knees. A deep-squat means that your thighs will be parallel to the floor or deeper.

3. Running will make you fit.

The very well-known strength coach Charles Poliquin explains that the human body is not designed to jog or run for hours at a time. He says that unless you have a light body-weight with a thin bone structure, running will more than lightly cause more harm than good. Women are at more of a disadvantage when running (jogging) because with wider hips than men the angle from the thigh comes directly from the hips to the knees, putting too much stress on these important joints that are actually designed for sprinting and walking but not jogging. The fitness guru Diane Lee says "You don't run to get fit, you need to be fit to run."

4. Training with weights will decrease flexibility.

Obviously it depends on what you were doing before you started training with weights. But if you have led a sedentary lifestyle before you started training then the simple action of doing a squat will dramatically improve the flexibility of your hips. However this is the exception as gaining muscle will certainly not improve flexibility.

5. Weight makes you slow.

This is simply a myth as the bigger a muscle is the faster it can contract, which is why top professional short distance runners train with weights. That includes other sportsmen like basketball professionals as well as ice hockey professionals playing the fastest game in the world. The more muscle they have the faster they can move.

6. Weight training will stunt your growth.

There are many top professional bodybuilders who started training with weights in their early teenage years including men like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, Shaquille O'Neal, who are all well over 6 feet tall. If you are using the correct technique when training it will not affect your growth in any way. There is continued research attempting to prove that training with weights can actually stimulate growth because it increases bone mineralization.

7. It is better to work on only one muscle group a day.

Sports science tells us about DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which takes 48 hours to completely repair. But they also tell us that HIIT is the most effective way to gain muscle. The expert coaches approached on this subject all agree that any training routine should be changed at least every 8 weeks so that the muscles do not adapt to a program, which is very lightly when training one body-part each day.

8. Lifting heavy weights to failure is the only way to gain muscle.

Research has found that when lifting light weights for lots of reps is just as effective as lifting a heavy weight for fewer reps. The key to gaining muscle is lifting a weight to the point of fatigue. Bodyweight exercises can be just as effective in muscle gain, heavy weights to failure is not always the answer. You should always vary the workouts for muscle gain including light weights, heavy weights and bodyweight.

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