Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
#1: Chicken, egg whites, rice, and rice cakes only…if you want to get shredded.
Please do not do this! Your body needs micronutrients and vitamins. I know of so many aspiring bodybuilders and people who just want to better their physique who hire people who tell them to follow this diet.Fire them!
#2: Close-grip bench works my inner chest.
No exercise for that matter can work your “inner chest.” I actually had a fight with another pro about this. To improve development of your inner chest, it is simply necessary to fully shorten your pec muscles. Much like a biceps curl “for peak” forces your muscle to be fully shortened and thereby grow upward, same idea goes for inner chest.
#3: Fats make you fat.
Fats are essential for countless essential body processes. All fats are good (trans fats excluded) in some proper ratio.
#4: You’ve gotta lift heavy to grow.
C’mon, people! If you’ve ever read anything I’ve written, you know this is not true. You’ve got to lift properly, and maximize tension to grow! Don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds once you get it.
#5: A calorie is a calorie (all calories are created equal).
Sounds like meathead math to me! Even when trying to get as big as possible, the worst thing you can do is eat indiscriminately. This will set you up for insulin resistance and less muscle growth.
#6: Preacher curls work my lower biceps.
Oh, boy! We’ve all done this at some point, myself included. But thankfully I know better now. As much as it would be nice to work my lower biceps or lengthen my biceps, preacher curls do not do this, and neither do any other exercises. They may overload the lower portion of the strength curve, thereby making you stronger in that part of the range, giving you the misperception that you’re lengthening your biceps. In reality, you’re just getting overall thickness in your biceps.
#7: I’m trying to work my “tie-ins.”
I still laugh when I read this. What the hell is a tie-in? There is no such thing, people. A muscle is a muscle, and its structure is what it is. Where two muscles tie together is simply where two muscles tie together. You can’t train that. You can certainly train a muscle’s entire length, but not the space between two muscles.
#8: Fasted cardio burns more fat.
Nope! Never been proven. Ever. In fact, it has been shown that cardio (or any exercise) done after consuming calories has a greater thermogenic effect, that is, more calories are burned.
#9: When you stop working out, all that muscle turns to fat.
Clearly, every bodybuilder who stops training will turn to a massive fat slob. All that muscle has to go somewhere, right? Well, no. Fat and muscle are two completely different entities. It’s like turning chicken breasts into donuts. Although it might be cool, I don’t see it being likely anytime soon unless you can track down Doc Brown and his flying DeLorean.
#10: Taking glutamine and whey protein together is bad. They compete.
In fact, they can help with increased protein synthesis when combined.
#11: I’m training to stretch my fascia.
Umm, fascia does not stretch! It’s a proven fact that fascia has the tensile strength of steel. It may expand, much like muscle does when it gets warm, and become more pliable, but as soon as it cools, it’s right back to where it started. Fascia grows in much the same way muscle does. You may break fascial adhesions, which gives the illusion of expansion or greater range (this is a great thing!), but unfortunately it’s not stretching to allow for muscle growth, peeps. Volumize your muscle via training, and the fascia will see a need to adapt and expand or grow.
#12: Narrow-grip T-bar rows work my inner back.
A-mazing! No, they do not! Narrow grip on back simply impedes ranges and forces you to use greater internal rotation of the shoulder joint rotator muscles).
#13: I don’t want to “overtrain.”
Listen, an hour or two five days a week is not overtraining…ever… period. Unless you don’t eat and don’t sleep, in which case, overtraining is the least of your worries.
#14: Low-intensity cardio is best for fat burning.
Hopefully, by now, most of you know that this is a big load of BS and that low-intensity cardio does in fact burn a greater percentage of overall fat while doing the exercise but does nothing for your basal metabolic rate (BMR, aka calorie burning) for the rest of the day.
#15: I must touch the floor on stiff-leg deadlifts for a full range and to maximize stretch in my hamstrings.
Cool, you can touch your toes. That doesn’t mean that you’re getting a greater range in your hamstrings. It often means you’re achieving a greater range via putting your spine in a compromised position. Go only as far as your hamstrings’ flexibility will allow.
#16: Saturated fat is bad.
Actually, there has never been any proven correlation between saturated fat and all the negative things the media might have you believe (i.e., that it leads to heart disease, etc.). When it does become bad is when it’s combined with sugars! Saturated fat on its own actually has many positive benefits in the body, including hormone production.
#17: I’m going to diet and lose body fat before I start weight training.
Okay, maybe not said by a lot of bodybuilders, but I still hear this idiocy all the time. Listen, people: Weight training is the best way to lose body fat and change composition.
#18: Can I get a liftoff?
If you hear somebody say this before they start, walk away! If you can’t lift it on your own, you have no business lifting that weight. The only exceptions would be the crappy old shoulder and incline presses that make you reach four feet behind your head to grab the bar.
#19: Creatine causes cramping and muscle tears.
Nothing even close to that has ever been proven, but the media love to tell stories that sensationalize everything.
#20: I just can’t build up my lagging body part.
Yes, you can. They might never be the best in the world, but you can bring up any lagging body part to match the rest of your body. – FLEX