The gym is filled with myths. Bad information may come from gym teachers, coaches, trainers, or guys who look experienced. Bad information graduates into myths since most people are too afraid of making themselves looking stupid to ask questions. For the sake of your pride and dignity, we have the most common myths about muscle building debunked so you can stay informed without having to ask seemingly lame questions.
Extremely slow lifting builds huge muscles
Studies have proven lifting slowly only lengthen your workouts and reduce the calories you burn during a specific period of time. Experts reveal that rapid up phases are best to increase your strength. However, lower the weight slowly so you have full control of it and don’t hurt yourself.
The more protein you eat, the more muscle you have
It’s true to some extent. But protein is not the golden key to buff muscles. While protein encourages the process of muscle-building (protein synthesis), this process does not require you to consume tons of protein per day. Excess protein is broken down into amino acids and nitrogen, which are passed as waste or converted into carbohydrates and stored. The thing is that you have to balance your protein and carbohydrate intakes in the right way. The perfect shake after your workouts should include 3/4 carbohydrates and 1/4 protein.
Never exercise a sore muscle
Soreness is a common excuse used to skip workouts. If your muscle is so sore that you cannot move properly, it needs a couple days of rest. However, that does not mean you should lie down and turn into a couch potato. Active rest actually proves to be more beneficial. Light aerobic activity, stretching, and light lifting can help relieve some of the soreness as they stimulate the blood flow to the muscles, removing waste, and speeding up the repair process.
Stretching prevents injuries
Research suggest that doing stretching as a warm-up activity does not leave significant effects on preventing injuries. Stretching does improve one’s flexibility, but most cases of injuries during workouts occur within the normal range of motion. People always stretch during warm-ups, so they grow to believe it’s helpful without checking with science.
In fact, the real hero preventing injuries is warming up. As you warm up your body, you raise your blood flow to your muscles, preparing them for the workout coming next. So, it’s best to warm yourself up thoroughly before starting. That being said, stretching is also necessary. To be successful in working out, you need to have your flexibility in the normal range, meaning you can touch your toes without bending your knees. If you are not able to do that yet, try some stretching to increase your flexibility once your muscles have already been warmed up.