Busting myths for a better body

One man’s medicine can be another’s poison; we’ve heard that maxim one too many times. However, we seldom apply it to our body building techniques and follow the herd on the latest fad. How many times have you heard that you need to “shock your body” and keep changing your routine, or “weight training should come before cardio exercises.”

Great bodybuilding requires dedication, perseverance and inner strength. The mental agility to sift through old-wives tales and stick to the truth. Just because the Big Guy with beefy muscles stays away from sugar to build his body, doesn’t mean it’s the gospel truth.

He probably has diabetes or hates desserts! As pour your next cuppa green tea while stirring in some organic honey, read through these common myths and tick them off your list.

Heard about the protein intake?

Myth has it that wolfing more than 30 grams of protein per meal may not be conducive for bodybuilding. Yes, the four square meals theory is out the window on this one, and we need to break them down into five to six well-balanced portions. Whist this is being planned, the concept of eating only 30 grams of protein per portion is debunked based on the fact that each of us has our own digestion process and it cannot be generalized.

Moreover what has been eaten in the previous meal will also impact our present consumption. Theoretically, there are too many permutations and combinations to determine the exact value, but if you go by the recent studies that say that 30 grams is very low; anywhere between 35 to 52 grams (per meal) is what you should be looking at including to your diet.  

Dude, why are you training this hard?

Train hard and heavy for results or fail! The term “train hard or heavy” is quite relative and can be perceived in many angles. Depending upon our body type and inner conditioning, expecting all men to ultimately lift dead heavy weights with maximum reps is ridiculous. Depending upon your goals, you either need to focus on building reps or piling on weights. What is your ultimate goal?

Do you want muscle strength – for which reps play an important part, or do you want to build muscle mass – for which increasing the weight on the machine does the trick. Moreover, after the day is done, recovery is very important. Even if you do not feel any soreness, it is important to rest yourself. If you do not rest and recover from your heavy workout, you will not be able to build muscles. It’s a given!

Cardio vs Pumping Iron

One of the most important myths that need to be dispelled is that aerobic exercises cut you up and only weight training helps you beef up. The truth is that it’s your nutrition intake that determines your body size. In essence this means if you burn more calories than what you intake, in the long run your body will drop the fat and you gain more lean muscles. While aerobics improve cardiovascular function and help burn fat, weightlifting can provide similar results albeit more efficiently.

Sorry to isolate you

Lastly, isolation exercises cannot help you reshape your muscles. Most weightlifters will have you believe that continuous reps along with increased intensity will help you define your shape. The truth of the matter is that your personal genetic makeup will eventually determine how your body shapes up. If your genes do not support it, then your body will not shape up like the next pro. Moreover, the way our body works is that it uses the entire muscle range and not just isolation patches. Bulging biceps like Popeye is more of a myth than reality, and quit trying to get that.  

Stay focused on following a well-balanced and nutritious diet that is suited for your body and don’t try following the herd. Try picking a capable dietician and gym expert that will help you train according to your body type. The no-pain-no-gain maxim has to be forgotten and realigned with ‘know your body and do what is right for it!’