Have You Bought into These Weight Room Myths? Part 2

In this continuation of Have You Bought into These Weight Room Myths? -- Part 1, we will expose more myths that might be stopping you from gaining the muscles and weight you deserve.

In my last post on weight room myths, I debunked myths related to unrealistic expectation, protein supplements and the "8-12 reps" mantra.

Today, I'll finish off with the next four popular weight training myths.

  1. The more you train, the more muscles you gain.
    Many people thought that since weight training promotes muscle growth, then lengthening their training session or increasing their training frequency will help them to build even more muscles. Simple as that, right? But no, it just doesn’t add up this way.

    In order for a muscle to grow, you need to let it rest and recover after you have thoroughly exhausted it. If training is resumed before recovery is completed, you could lose the very things you are trying so hard to gain, that is muscular strength and size.

    Depending on how hard you have trained, you should allow 2 or more days for your muscles to recover fully before starting the next training. The general rule of thumb is: The greater the intensity of your training, the shorter you should train and the longer you should rest.

    The sure-proof way to find out how long your rest days should be is by paying attention to your body. If your muscles feel sore to the touch, then your body is telling you that it isn’t ready for the next workout. Heed its advice, give it what it needs and your body will reward you with more energy for the next session and ultimately, grow more muscles for you.

  2. Do cardio to burn more calories.
    Although cardiovascular exercises can help you to burn calories, a much more efficient method would be to build more muscles to shed your body fat.

    As the body requires more energy to sustain muscles, any extra muscles you grow will help you to burn more calories 24/7, even when you are asleep! Compare that with burning calories only when you are on the treadmill.

  3. Stretching before working out prevents injuries.
    I was once a firm believer of the stretching theory. Even now if I am not careful, I will find myself unconsciously stretching my limbs when I step into the gym. Because since young, my cohort, and many previous ones before me, had been consistently reminded by teachers in schools, and later trainers in the army, to stretch before commencing any exercise. We were warned of the possible health consequences if we dare to jump straight into the intended physical activity without first giving our muscles the ‘loosening’ they need.

    But studies have shown that what is needed most before any exercise is not stretching. In fact, stretching a ‘cold’ muscle does little to increase your range of motion and may even destabilize it, increasing your risk of injuries rather than reducing them. What you need instead, is a good warm-up.

    You can get your blood pumping to your muscles by performing body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, reverse lunges, jumping jacks and stationary jog. Alternatively, you can also spend between five to ten minutes on an elliptical trainer or a rowing machine at a comfortable pace to warm you up.

    After you have finished your workout, do a thorough stretching of all the muscles you have just worked on, so as to maintain or increase their flexibility.

  4. Weight training does not build cardiovascular fitness.
    Contrary to popular belief, a well-designed and properly performed high-intensity weight training can help you to build not only muscular strength, but cardiovascular fitness as well.

    Take the example of circuit training. Because circuit program exercises quickly alternate between various stations with very little rest, your heart rate remains elevated and sustained above a resting level throughout the workout. This increases both strength and cardiovascular conditioning, and reduces the need for a separate cardiovascular exercise in the workout.

    What's more, weight training has some added advantages over certain cardiovascular exercises. Not only does it help you to build strength and muscles that burn fats 24/7, it is also less damaging to your joints.

Back to Have You Bought into These Weight Room Myths -- Part 1

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