The Biggest Muscle Mass Gain Myths Exposed
Performing low repetition/heavy weight workouts will enable you to build muscle mass, however they will only do so for a very short period of time. The reason is that your body is always striving to maintain homeostasis, other wise know as the status quo, or to remain the same. Your body is not interested in building muscle mass, and in getting bigger and stronger, your body is interested in survival and in avoiding change. In order to do this your body has developed many mechanisms that allow you to quickly adapt to a host of possible stimuli's and stresses. So by repeatedly performing low repetition/heavy weight workouts, your body will quickly adapt to this form of stress, and as a result stay the same.
Therefore, in order for you to prevent your body from adapting to the weight training you are performing, and in order to keep yourself growing and getting stronger, you must provide an ample amount of variety to your training. However, you can't just go to the gym and do anything as long as it is different from what you did the last time you where in the gym, the variety must be cycled into your training while adhering to a system. Your system of training should incorporate such training concepts as cycling of repetitions, percentage training, your individual workload capacity, exercise selection, total number of sets, intensity techniques, body part split, and recuperation. And remember above all MAXIMUM VARIETY BUILDS MAXIMUM MUSCLE MASS.
Muscle Mass Myth # 2: Basic exercises only
Yes the basic exercises, like the bench press, squat, dead lift, military press, barbell curl and close grip bench press, etc will definitely help you to pack on muscle mass, but that doesn't mean that they are the only exercises that you should perform to gain mass. You need a complete and balanced training program in order to really do the job and make you grow. What makes you grow is applying stress in the form of weight training at the proper work load capacity for your body. This requires more than just a bunch of basic exercises constantly repeated over and over again. What I suggest is a more balanced approach for getting big. Structure your training around the basic exercises. For example bench, however don't stop there, follow that up with 1 or 2 more exercises that work you're chest, just that they do so in a different manner. And rotate these other exercises, chose a different exercise to perform for your chest after you bench press for each chest workout. Therefore, by keeping the bench press first in your program you will ensure that your training is structured around a basic exercise, and by following it up with 1 or 2 other exercises that you will rotate each workout, you will be providing the variety that is necessary to continuously stimulate your muscles and make you grow.
Muscle Mass Myth # 3: Protein, protein, protein
Just upping your protein intake so that you are consuming massive amounts of protein is yet another muscle mass gaining myth, and I've heard other so called expert's state things like "only protein can build muscle, carbohydrates and fats can't", well I've got news for you buddy, your dead wrong and here's why: As stated in the Merck Manual which is a physician's reference, "carbohydrates and fat spare tissue protein. Unless sufficient nonprotein calories are available from dietary sources or tissue stores (particularly of fat), protein cannot be used efficiently for tissue maintenance, replacement, or growth. What this means is that if you just go and up the amount of protein that you are consuming each day without paying attention to the amount of carbohydrates and fats that you are consuming each day that your body may not use that protein for muscle growth. In addition, Water intake is also vital for protein absorption and muscle growth. Protein will retain 9 parts of water to form tissues, and build muscle. So if you are going to increase your protein intake, you had better make sure that you also increase your water intake so that all of that extra protein will be properly digested and absorbed in order to build muscle.
Muscle Mass Myth # 4: Eating 8-10 times per day
Unless you really are that hungry, that often, eating 8-10 times per day is just one step shy of lunacy. I say this because unless your appetite really is that big, your body couldn't possibly need or use that much food. And as a result of consuming so much food, you are either going to get fat or even worse sick. So what's the best way to eat to build mass? Quite simply you need to increase the total amount of calories that you consume each day. This can most easily be accomplished by choosing to eat foods/drink liquids that are denser than the foods/liquids that you are currently eating/drinking. In this way, you can eat/drink the same serving size of food/liquid that you are currently eating/drinking, but now you can get more calories. For example if you typically drink a can of soda like Coke or Pepsi with your lunch this will provide you with approximately 150 calories. Now if you switch and drink a can of Sunkist, the same serving size is approximately 220 calories, that's 70 calories more for the same amount of liquid. If you apply this principal to the rest of what you eat and drink each day, you can easily find ways of increasing your caloric intake by at least 400-500 calories per day, while still consuming the same serving sizes of food/liquids. This addition in the total amount of calories you consume each day will enable you to keep gaining muscle mass without getting fat or getting sick.
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Joseph Krachenfels is an ACE certified fitness expert with over 20 years of bodybuilding experience. He holds a B.S. degree in Exercise Science and Nutrition and is now working towards an M.D. degree. He has competed in numerous natural bodybuilding competitions over his career. Currently, he trains models and athletes who are able to attain world class results using his customized training protocol. He is also one of the founders of a personal fitness website www.questformuscle.com">http://www.questformuscle.com