America’s obsession with muscle is, unique.
On the one hand, we worship miniature hulks, posing on stage in what can only be described as denatured thongs. On the other hand, we idolize superhero actors, revealing striations anatomists didn’t even know existed.
One could say we are conflicted. Regardless, one thing that holds true is that we want more muscle. We want to be bigger, faster, stronger than the competition – and rightfully so. Adding muscle to your frame has a variety of benefits including but not limited too: increased metabolism, better quality of life and more lingering stares from strangers as you walk down the street. On that note, here are 3 muscle building lies you need to stop falling for, to start building gargantuan amounts of head turning muscle.
Lie #1 You Must Go Balls To The Wall… AKA Train
Hard Or Go Home.
Look, I have a feeling, if you’ve read this far you want one thing: To look like a greek god and perform like an athlete. You don’t want to look like a fat powerlifter or a meathead bodybuilder. So let’s learn from the athletes of the world instead of the drug pumped, rage filled bodybuilders.
However let’s first look at this study fro the journal of applied physiology: In 2006 scientists tried to once and for all prove that failure training is not superior to non-failure training. They recruited 42 competitive athletes which were divided into three groups:
One group that trained to failure, one group that trained to non-failure, and one control group – and began the 16 week training program. Here’s what the researchers said:
“In conclusion, both training to failure and training not to failure resulted in similar gains in 1-RM strength, muscle power output of the arm and leg extensor muscles, and maximum number of repetitions performed during the parallel squat.”
In non geek speak, the non-failure group significantly increased muscle power during the final phase of training while the training to failure group did not. This is why the athletes and olympians have gravitated toward this type of training.
Another benefit from “success style” lifting you can sidestep any severe muscle breakdown and work each muscle group more frequently. With quicker recovery time and more frequency, each muscle group can be trained more often. This gives you more “practice” with any given lift.
This practice increases the neurological impulses to a muscle. Over time, your nervous system becomes more efficient at delivering high voltage to the muscle.
The more “practice” you get with a lift, the stronger you will become. The stronger you become, the more muscle your body can build. The more muscle you build, the more badass your body becomes.
Lie #2 Lift lighter weights for more reps
The next time you hear someone say “lift lighter weights for 12-15 reps for muscle growth and to get ripped”…run the other way.
You need to understand this simple fact: Bigger tasks recruit the biggest muscles. However it still uses the smaller ones. Your body will almost always recruit motor units in the same order, from small to medium to large.
Thus, when you’re doing the most demanding movements—such as a near maximum deadlift or a incline bench press—you don’t just recruit the biggest motor units. You use all of them.
As you can see, Thus, heavy lifting is a unique muscle builder: It hits the smallest as well as the largest. You get more bang for your buck and are able to build strength, muscle and a head turning, superhero body that much faster.
Lie #3 You need to eat gargantuan amounts of protein to build muscle and stay lean.
The bodybuilding world has an obsession with protein because amino acids are the building blocks of muscle. The belief is the higher the protein intake, the better the rate of muscle growth.
However, eating protein doesn’t stimulate muscle growth, proper training does. You can’t build muscle with just good nutrition, you need a stimulus. Proper exercise is that stimulus. Amino acids are just a ticket that allows growth to occur. For example, did you know most men who look fit and ripped suffer from low testosterone? Yup, it’s true. Why? Because they neglect fats and carbs in favour of protein.
Furthermore, a study from 2007 published under the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that high protein diets actually caused a dip in testosterone levels.
Protein should be consumed at the minimum effective dosage required for muscle support in training. The remainder of the diet should consist of carbs and fat if testosterone optimization is also one of your goals; which it should be. No one wants a badass body with a limp noodle between their legs.
The quest for the perfect body is a life long battle. However if one thing for sure is that people in shape have a higher quality of life. DO yourself a favor and hit the gym once in a while. Your body and mind will thank you 10 times over – just remember to avoid these 3 muscle building fallacies so you aren’t wasting your time and effort pumping iron.