Whether you’re trying to lose weight or get that chiseled look of a bodybuilder, making sure you’re not falling for myths about building muscle will play an important role in your success. After all, when you’re able to tell the truth from the misinformation, you’ll be far better prepared to make the right choices and avoid taking steps that will only hold you back.
The problem is that not all myths about building muscle are easy to identify. Some are actually quite easy to believe because they seem to make sense. Many of the myths become widespread simply because there is a kind of logic to them. That said, they often don’t take in the whole picture, which is why they won’t work out as well as you think they should.
The following are some of the most common myths about building muscle:
• The more protein you eat, the more muscle you can build
With the popularity of high protein diets, protein shakes, protein powder and simply eating more of that macronutrient after workouts, many people have convinced themselves that more is better. However, as much as protein is vital to muscle growth, it doesn’t take an extreme amount of it to achieve results. The true key is to properly balance proteins, carbs and fats and to consume those macronutrients with the right timing.
• Very slow lifting helps to build larger muscles
While lifting very slowly does accomplish the goal of making workouts exceptionally long, recent research has revealed that it doesn’t do anything more for muscle building. In fact, according to the results of a University of Alabama study, people who perform their movements as quickly as they accurately can are the ones who see the best results. Fast movements, particularly during the lowering phase, reduce the chance of injury because they are done with greater control.
• Baby a sore muscle and don’t work it
Before you decide to cancel your workout due to muscle soreness, you need to ask yourself how sore you are and what caused it. If the area is tender to the touch or if your range of motion is restricted because of the soreness, yes, give yourself that extra recovery day. However when soreness is quite mild, you can still work the muscle, just not as intensely. Consider it a kind of “active rest” where you can take on some stretching and light aerobic activity. You might even get away with some light lifting. Just don’t overdo it. Many people find that a gentle workout on a mildly sore muscle will actually ease the pain.