Trends in the fitness world are in a constant state of ebb and flow. Just in the past five decades, fitness trends have gone from buy injectable steroids online with credit card with Jack Lalanne (in the ’60s), to jogging (in the ’70s), to aerobics (in the ’80s), to body sculpting in the 90s. Today’s fitness trends are a combination of the old and the new-combining these past favorites to develop a totally new fitness style (strength training with aerobics). But these ever-changing fitness trends have caused much confusion (and many myths) about which forms of exercises are optimal for obtaining ultimate fitness. This confusion is particularly evident in the amount, and nature, of the bodybuilding myths that have been propagated over the years.
Bodybuilding is a fitness arena wherein many “experts” routinely spar in an effort to draw adherents to their programs and money to their pockets. To that end, thousands of books, videotapes, and infomercials about bodybuilding have flooded the market over the years, much of which offers conflicting information. Consequently, a fair number of bodybuilding myths have emerged over the years.
But while mythological figures like Hercules may be archetypes that many bodybuilders strive to emulate, in the real life world of bodybuilding, there is no room for mythology. Here we will attempt to debunk some of the more pervasive bodybuilding myths and along the way attempt to separate fact from fiction.
Building muscle is a gradual process. Despite much-publicized merchandising claims to the contrary, there are no miracle supplements or machines that will bring immediate results. Rather, if one wants to achieve bodybuilding success, one should develop realistic expectations, say experts. For example, if the goal is to gain muscle mass, start with the simple goal of gaining just one pound a week. If the goal is weight loss, do not expect to lose more than two pounds of fat per week (otherwise, what is lost is likely to be muscle as well as fat).
Though these realistic expectations may seem to be ponderously slow for those who wis to see immediate results, experts say that they work to change the body’s composition and that such change does not-and cannot-occur overnight. The important quality to have, say experts, is that of dedication and commitment. Expect to see the changes emerging gradually over a period of months.
Consistency is one of the most important components for long-term success (or short term failure) in bodybuilding, say experts. No matter how brilliantly designed the diet and workout program might be, they are of no consequence if not practiced regularly. Even a weak workout program practiced consistently will be more effective than the best-engineered workout performed inconsistently.
Comparing yourself to others in order to “bulk up” is a bodybuilding myth that can put unrealistic pressure on the individual, say experts. In bodybuilding there will always be another who is larger, stronger, leaner and more muscular.
The only type of comparisons that are worthwhile, say experts, are the comparisons that you make with your own past fitness achievements. By measuring your own progress, and resolving to make the necessary adjustments to gain musculature, lose body fat, and tone your physique, you will see continuous improvement in both your appearance and confidence levels.
This is a common bodybuilding myth. Many believe that if they work out for several hours a day, every day, they will achieve better results. Actually the opposite can be true. The muscles need time to rest and repair in between workouts. Failing to provide the muscles with an opportunity to rest-commonly called “over-training”-can cause stress and injuries. Furthermore, muscle building will be inhibited.