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Five Popular Myths About Muscle Growth

Aug 8, 2008
You want to get your bodybuilding training back on track, but steering through the maze of information available these days can make your head spin. What can you believe, and what is simply not true? We think we can help. Here are five myths to avoid.

1. The 12 Repetition Myth

Weight training programs nearly all recommend 12 repetitions for gaining muscle. Truthfully this approach does not place enough tension on the muscles for effective muscle gain. High tension e.g. heavy weights provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structures around the muscle fibers, improving endurance.

This usual regime of eight to 12 repetitions provides a balance but by just using that program all of the time, you do not generate the greater tension levels that is provided by the heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions. Change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

2. The Three Set Myth

There's nothing wrong with three sets but there's nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be based on your goals and not on a half-century old rule. The more reps you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This will keep the total repetitions done of an exercise equal.

3. The Three to Four Exercises For Each Group Myth

Three to Four Exercises for each Group is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps only amounts to 144. This many reps for a muscle group is not enough. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

4. The Knees and Toes Myth

That you "should not let your knees go past your toes" is a bodybuilding fairytale. Actually, leaning forward a little too much is much more likely to cause injury. Memphis University researchers confirmed in 2003 that knee stress was almost thirty percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat.

Hip stress increased nearly 10 times or (1000 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted. Squatters need to lean their body forward to force the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee. Keep the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. This reduces the stress generated on the hips and back. To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position. Keep the forearms 90 degrees to the floor as you squat.

5. The Lift Weights, Draw Abs Myth

That muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and that the most important muscle group changes depending on the type of exercise, is the real truth. The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. For most exercise, the body automatically activates the muscle group that is most needed for support of the spine. So if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can recruit wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This is what reduces the weight that can be lifted and increases the chance of injury.
About the Author
For detailed information on muscle growth and muscle growth supplements visit BodyBuildingFactory.com - where you'll find a complete range of bodybuilding supplements, extensive product reviews, customer reviews, and product recommendations. Link Builder Network
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