As a beginner, the world of weight training can be both confusing and exciting. With so much information available across the internet, it’s hard to separate myth from reality. Most exercise charts available online prescribe standard exercises that will probably take you several months to see good results. While people go to the gym for various reasons, if you’re someone who is serious about muscle gain, these 5 workout myths can help you get on track with your workouts.
Myth 1: For optimal muscle gains, you need to train at least 5 days a week and each workout should last at least 2 hours.
This statement does hold true for some sports but not for weight training. If you believe that going to the gym every day and training for long hours will get you the results you need, you’re on the wrong track. The big gains happen not when training but by allowing enough rest between training sessions. If you’re a beginner, avoid high volume workouts and go for a low volume, high-intensity workout routine instead. The short duration and higher intensity of the routine allows you to focus on your compound lifts like dead-lifts, squats, and bench press. These are the exercises that will build the most muscle.
Myth 2: You need to hit your minor muscle groups from different angles in order to stimulate growth.
Most beginners target minor muscle groups like biceps with different angles like preacher curls, seated-incline hammer curls, and reverse grip barbell curls. But the secret to bigger muscle gains is compound exercise. To grow minor muscle groups, compound movements like weighted chins, for instance, are far more superior than any other isolation movement. Your body works as a single unit which is why compound movements have a much bigger muscle building effect than all of the isolation exercises combined.
Myth 3: Forget form, what matters is that you’re lifting heavy.
As you lift heavier, your form becomes even more important. As a newbie, start by looking at exercise videos on YouTube to learn how it’s done. There are hundreds of explainer videos that will tell you the right form to do pretty much any exercise. Form is crucial to get the most out of each exercise, especially compound exercises like squats and dead-lifts. Start with lighter weights till you get your form in place and then go for heavier ones. Good form lets you avoid muscle injury and ensures more gains over time.
Myth 4: In order to get a six pack, you need to do a lot of crunches.
Six-pack abs are probably one of the biggest motivators for you to go to hit the gym. But if you’re serious about getting those abs, doing endless sets of crunches is a complete waste of time. Yes, crunches do help you build your ab muscles but they’ll most probably be buried under a layer of abdominal fat. To get the abs of your dreams, channel your energy to get better at compound exercises. They will help you shed fat, build your abs, and save you hundreds of hours in the gym.
Myth 5: Bodyweight exercises will get you far bigger gains than dead-lifts and squats ever will.
Bodyweight exercises like push-ups, chins-ups, and dips are great but they have their limits. As a beginner, they can help increase your endurance once a certain number of reps is done. However, if you rely only on bodyweight exercises, you’re going to have a tough time getting the physique you want. The strength and size of your muscles increase when you lift more as you progress. Instead of using just your body weight, lower the number of reps and increase the weight you’re lifting. For example, when doing chins, just stick a dumbbell between your legs for additional resistance.
If you can’t afford a good trainer to guide you, take some time to know more about the exercises that you do at the gym. Some of the exercises you’re doing may be completely unnecessary. Another important aspect of building more muscle is your nutrition. So make sure you not only exercise right but also eat right if you want to see gains fast.