Myth: Your muscles need high-volume training to grow their biggest.
How it Started: When steroids became pervasive in bodybuilding in the 1960s and ’70s, trainees discovered that using the drugs allowed them to perform more sets for a muscle group without endangering their recovery. As a result, they could force their muscles to perform more work and grow at a faster rate.
The Truth: Take away the ‘roids, and you place yourself at high risk for overtraining. In the ’40s and ’50s, movie star Steve Reeves and weightlifting icon Paul Anderson trained with brief workouts using heavy weights and built the kind of bodies most of us still aspire to today. The fewer sets you perform for a muscle group, the faster that group can recover from the training and be trained again. Rather than thrashing a body part one day with as many sets as you can stand and then waiting a week before you can hit it again, you can perform approximately two sets per exercise and be ready to train that area again later in the week. “Now instead of 52 workouts for that body part in a year, you’ll do 104,” says Men’s Fitness adviser Jason Ferruggia, a performance-enhancement coach in Warren, N.J. “This allows you to double your stimulus for growth and ultimately get even bigger.”
SEE ALSO: 7 Reasons You’re Not Getting Bigger >>