Too many myths about bodybuilding have been created in the last several years. While a few of them may be close to the truth, many of them are groundless. Believing and acting upon those myths can not only hamper your bodybuilding but also lead to weight gain. Let us take a look at the top 10 bodybuilding myths and see if there is any truth to them.
• If you stop working out, you will become fat
This is the excuse made by most people who want to avoid exercising. People come up with such apprehensive questions as "What if we stop working out? Do we become fat?" Well, the truth is, when you work out regularly, fat is burned and muscles are strengthened. There is no mechanism present in the body that converts muscle into fat. If you stop exercising, you might see a bit of fat accumulation which is due to insufficient exercise and lack of stimulation. Working out is just like any other activity we perform in our daily lives. If we stop brushing our teeth, we are likely to have bad breath and eventually cavities. If we stop taking baths, we will smell and we might break out in rashes. Similarly, if we stop working out we might put on a bit of weight, but we won't necessarily see our major muscles convert to fat.
• You must control your diet year round
This myth is a result of bodybuilding sites and publishers. They advise their readers to always stick to a healthy to stay fit and build muscles effectively. This results in beginners avoiding carbs, which are required for muscle growth. One needs a certain amount of calories to gain muscle mass but loading up on alternate foods to get the required calories is not a wise idea. The calories you require to make muscles depend upon the size of your body, so do not deprive yourself of your favorite chicken, potato and baked dishes; just make sure you eat healthy and take in everything in moderation.
• Bodybuilders are not as strong as they look
This is one of the most easy-to-dismiss myths. Those who have not visited a gym or have not worked out on any of the equipment are likely to make such comments. It is true that all bodybuilders do not have the strength of ten men, but they are considerably stronger than a man who does not work out; most of them are very strong, and some of them are unbelievably strong.
• Every workout session must be succeeded by a massive meal
It is widely believed that after a rigorous workout the body requires more nutrition to balance the loss of energy, so one must consume a huge meal immediately after working out. The truth is, you use the protein in your body when you exercise to build up your muscles. So to make up for the loss you are advised to consume a decent quantity of protein after each workout. Usually, a protein shake or a similar supplement is sufficient to boost up the insulin and proteins that contribute to muscle building.
• The longer you work out, the quicker you gain muscle mass
Too much of anything is bad for the human body, and this applies to exercising, too. It is believed by beginners that using heavy weights or running on Proform Treadmills for at least one hour will help you gain muscle mass quicker. However, the reality is, when you overdo things you stress yourself too much and end up fatigued, and this can even lead to muscle loss. On the other hand, supplementing your hard work with sufficient protein and vitamins would certainly help in acquiring muscle.
• Drugs can help create the pro bodybuilder look
Using drugs to build up muscles does not work well for everyone. Though it is true that many people use drugs to gain mass, it all depends upon one's genetic condition. If your genes do not support strong muscles, then even if you take loads of drugs you could not get a pro look. However, if you have it in your genes, then you do not even require drugs to look muscle bound.
• Choose exercises with more than 15 reps to tone up
If you are a beginner and have just joined a gym, then it is likely that you choose to do a lot of reps with lightweights. It is believed among newbies that doing more than 15 reps per set will tone the muscles. Getting toned is different from building muscle. To tone and get the looks of a model or celebrity you need to follow a strict diet and perform cardiovascular exercise. Even simple push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and a couple of minutes on a Proform Treadmill can tone your physique.
• Lifting weights makes you look huge
Men use this myth as an excuse not to exercise. You must understand that if you build muscle without doing enough cardio to burn fat, then you will look huge but your muscles will not show very well. People with pure bulging muscles did not get them in just a day or two. It takes months of working out consistently and rigorous exercise to build massive muscle. It would take years of working out persistently as well as a very high protein diet and supplements to bulge into a huge monster.
• You must work out every day to gain muscle
It is not even good to work the same muscles every day. You can work out just once a week and still build muscle. The fact is, you must work each body part at least once a week to build up muscle. This works out effectively for those who are too busy in their professions and do not have time to go to a gym daily.
• All bodybuilders are likely to be gay
Believe me, I would be the last person to believe this myth. People classified on the basis of sexual interests are present everywhere in equal numbers. One cannot make a sweeping statement that all bodybuilders are gays. It is rather stupid to even raise this issue as a myth.
The number of myths related to bodybuilding is far more than ten. So, instead of getting into the myths, look at the brighter side, like any other sports, working out has its own benefits. Do not deprive yourself from these benefits just because of these myths.
Sarah Del Rosario is a professional health blogger. She currently partners with Proform. ProForm continues that tradition of quality and innovation. Thanks to cutting-edge advances in cushioning, electronics and reliability, our proform treadmills have become the overwhelming choice of fitness enthusiasts throughout the world.