4 Harmful Muscle-Building Myths Uncovered

If you’re serious about making a solid commitment to a muscle-building program, you need to be very careful of who you take advice from. Bodybuilding and fitness is literally a multi-billion dollar industry with new websites popping up every single day. Many of the so-called “experts” out there really don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about and are only motivated by pushing expensive pills, powders and “miracle programs” on you that you don’t really need. If you don’t watch your step you may end up falling for some fatal muscle-building pitfalls that will literally destroy your gains and prevent you from ever achieving the impressive, muscular physique you desire. In this article I’m going to expose 4 very common muscle-building myths in order to keep you on the proper path to the mind-blowing muscle and strength gains you deserve.

Myth #1: In order to build muscle, you must achieve a “pump” during your workout. The greater the pump you achieve, the more muscle you will build.

For those of you who are just starting out, a “pump” is the feeling that you get as blood becomes trapped inside the muscle tissue when you train with weights. The muscles will swell up and leave your body feeling bigger, tighter, stronger and more powerful. While a pump does feel fantastic, it has very little, if anything to do with properly stimulating your muscles to grow. A pump is simply the result of increased bloodflow to the muscle tissue and is certainly not indicative of a successful workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you were able to lift more weight or perform more reps than you did in the previous week, then you did your job.

Myth #2: Building muscle will cause you to become slower and less flexible.

This one goes back to the old days when people described bodybuilders as being “muscle bound” and “bulky”. Contrary to what you may think, building a significant amount of lean muscle mass will actually speed you up rather than slow you down. Muscles are responsible for every movement that your body makes, from running to jumping to throwing. The bottom line is that the stronger a muscle is, the more force it can apply. Having stronger, more muscular legs means increased foot speed, just as having stronger and more muscular shoulders means the ability to throw farther. Strong muscles are able muscles, not the other way around.

Myth #3: You must always use perfect, textbook form on all exercises.

While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. If you are always attempting to perform every exercise using flawless, textbook form, you will actually increase your chances of injury and simultaneously decrease the total amount of muscle stimulation you can achieve. Remember, we are not robots! It’s very important that you always move naturally when you exercise. This could mean adding a very slight sway in your back when you perform bicep curls, or using a tiny bit of body momentum when executing barbell rows. Loosen yourself up a bit and move the way your body was meant to be moved. Obsessing over perfect form will actually work against you rather than for you.

Myth #4: If you want your muscles to grow you must “feel the burn!”

This is another huge misconception in the gym. The “burning” sensation that results from intense weight training is simply the result of lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) that is secreted inside the muscle tissue as you exercise. Increased levels of lactic acid have nothing to do with muscle growth and may actually slow down your gains rather than speed them up. You can limit lactic acid production by training in a lower rep range of 5-7, rather than the traditional range of 10 and above.

Tips To Help You Find The Right Gym

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Tips To Help You Find The Right Gym

Taking those first few steps towards establishing a Fitness Lifestyle can very well be intimidating, especially if the decision is made to sign-up for a gym membership. In fact, deciding on even using a gym can be a double-edged sword of sorts. On one hand, there are many of us who feel that we’ll become more motivated towards exercising regularly if we do sign-up for a gym membership. After all, you’re now investing more money into your health so you certainly don’t want to just throw that money away. Additionally, there are typically many more people working out at the gym than anywhere else, so you’ll probably be more likely to get caught up in the ambience and energy of others exercising as well. However, on the other hand, because there can be so many people working out at the gym, you may feel intimidated beginning those first steps towards getting back in condition in front of others. When you stop to consider all of the pros and cons with signing up for a gym membership, you may find that making this decision was a more daunting task than you first thought.
Fortunately, there are many gyms and fitness facilities available now to accommodate virtually every factor and consideration involved in your own decision making process. From the large fitness clubs such as Bally’s and 24-Hour Fitness to the local YMCA or university health centers, and from the private one-on-one training studios to even mobile Personal Training trailers, chances are excellent that a gym can be found to match your own personal preferences. What’s important to keep in mind is that every gym and fitness facility has it’s own unique personality and subsequently, there’s a gym to match your own unique personality as well. Therefore, with a little gym shopping savvy and factors that we’ll providing you for consideration, you’ll be on your way towards locating a gym that’s a perfect match for you!
Presented here then is a brief summary of several factors for you to consider when shopping for the gym that’s right for you:
1) Location
Typically, you’re better off when your gym is near to your home or work. The greater the distance that you’ll have to travel to exercise, then the greater the chance that you may find an excuse not to. At the same time, don’t let location be your sole determining factor, as it’s important that you don’t join a gym that you dislike simply because it’s nearby.
2) Management Attitude
When you walk into your gym, I strongly believe that you should never feel like only a dollar sign or a second-class citizen. Look for honesty, sincerity, politeness, and above all, respect. The vast majority of gyms that I have stepped foot into are operated by managers and staff members that genuinely enjoy their jobs and genuinely enjoy assisting their clients. However, if you feel like a gym is not interested in your needs at all, then you may wish to keep looking.
3) Hours
How does your own personal schedule fit in with the gym’s? If conducting early-bird workouts is your best option, then at what time does your gym open up? What if you can only workout late at night? Is your gym a 24-hour gym? Is it open 7 days a week?
4) Price
This factor is actually most people’s first consideration when searching for a gym. As this issue can be largely affected by your own personal taste and budget, I would simply propose the following points to consider. First, look at the entire package before you just consider the cost. Being the cheapest gym around does not necessarily make it the best fit for you. You do sometimes get what you pay for. Secondly, be mindful of the contracts you sign. There are fitness chains that have been notorious for absolutely locking you into a long-term contract and then making it nearly impossible to cancel should you decide to withdraw at a later date. If you are not convinced that you’re going to stick with regularly working out at a gym, you may then prefer to sign a short-term contract instead even if it costs more per month.
5) Sanitation
For me, this is a direct reflection on management. Bathrooms, showers, pools, saunas, tanning beds, and the gym equipment should be cleaned on a regular basis. Granted, while club members are working out, no gym will ever be 100% perfect, but as long as a club still places an emphasis on proper hygienic practices, then it demonstrates responsibility and concern for their members.
6) Client Volume
If you’re just beginning a gym membership for the first time and feel a bit insecure about working out for the first time, you may (or may not) prefer a smaller gym or even a personal training studio. Also, the best gym in the world for you may still be the wrong fit if you’re going to have to regularly wait in line to exercise on a piece of equipment. A crowded gym can result in irritable attitudes and inefficient workouts. Your best bet may be to locate a fitness facility with the proper combination of number of members and number of equipment that will allow you to maintain a steady workout.
7) Environment
Do you prefer an “Iron Dungeon” with a perpetual cloud of hand chalk and chorus of loud yells and grunts? Or do you prefer a club that feels more like a Singles joint where the clients seem more concerned with meeting the members of the opposite gender? Just like the design of the gym’s building, a gym’s environment can come in all versions as well. If you feel uncomfortable upon your initial walk-through, you may wish to continue looking at other gyms and fitness facilities nearby. When you sign up for a gym membership, it’s vitally important that you sign up at one that you feel comfortable at and enjoy the atmosphere because if you don’t, then there’s a good chance that you won’t succeed in regularly working out there.
There are still many additional factors not listed here you may wish to consider before selecting the gym of your choice such as amenities, the equipment itself, and the clientele. Just be sure to give yourself a little bit of time to shop around and determine which choice is best for you based on your needs and tastes. I truly believe that signing up for a gym membership is an outstanding investment on your physical and emotional health and is well worth the time and money spent to locate the one that’s the best match for you. Most gyms and fitness facilities today are ran by professionals in their field who enjoy their jobs and there is a good chance that this high level of enthusiasm will only energize you further.
So shop around, it’s well worth the effort!

Why aren’t I building muscle

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Why aren’t I building muscle

Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you been going to the gym regularly for months and haven’t been able to put on any serious poundage? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to take a step back and make some plans. Building muscle is not rocket science. There are four key factors that will mean the difference between building muscle or staying skinny. You have to ask yourself these four questions.

Is my diet optimized for building muscle?

It’s time to get out of the “3 meals per day” mentality. If you want to gain (or lose) weight you need to feed your body whole foods, six times per day. This means splitting your large meals up and eating about once every three hours. Not only is this good for your metabolism, but your body will use the foods instead of storing them as fat.

Your six meals per day should consist of mainly complex carbohydrates and protein. You should aim for at least thirty grams of protein per meal. High protein foods include lean meat, chicken, fish, egg whites, cheese and milk products. Complex carbohydrates are found in brown rice, brown bread and potatoes. Stay away from foods high in salt and sugar

Should I be using supplements, and when should I be taking them?

If you can afford supplements you should be using them. The basic three you should be considering are protein, carbs and creatine. Whey protein supplements are the fastest known way to deliver quality protein to your muscles. This makes shakes particularly effective after your workouts, when your body is craving protein for muscle re-growth.

There are three key times that supplements should be taken. First thing in the morning, after your workout and before bed. If your diet is up to scratch you shouldn’t need supplements at any other time. Don’t use supplements to replace meals. Supplements are supplements, not meal replacements.

Am I training hard and not smart?

The biggest mistake the new lifters make is thinking that the more they workout the bigger they’ll get. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Two basic rules you must remember when it comes to weight training. First, quality is better than quantity. Second, compound exercises are the kings of building muscle.

Compound exercises require at least two joint movements. Big compound exercises are the squat, bench press, wide grip pull up and seated row. These movements recruit many more muscles fibers to use to move the weight. This means more muscle groups are worked, the exercise is more challenging and the potential for growth is much greater.

Generally you should be doing three compound exercises for one isolation exercise. For example your back/biceps workout might consist of wide grip pull ups, seated row, bent over row and standing bicep curl. You might think this is not enough work for your biceps? Wrong. Your biceps are worked heavily in all over these exercises; the bicep curl just finishes them off.

The length of any training session should not exceed one hour. And you only need to train one muscle group once per week. This means a split routine should only need to be three days per week. In fact, most professional bodybuilders only train four times per week. Remember, it’s quality not quantity.

Do I get enough rest and recovery time?

When you workout you’re not building your muscles, you’re breaking them down. The reason why you looked “pumped up” when you’re in the gym is because your muscle tissue is swollen and damaged. Your muscles actually grow when you are resting. So in simple terms, no rest equals no muscle growth.

So take it easy when you’re not working out. Ease up on the cardio. And make sure you get plenty of sleep. Sleep is the body’s number one time for building muscle. This is also why it’s important to eat before bed, so your body has the fuel to repair muscle in your sleep.

Simple isn’t it?

So you can see that despite what you read in magazines or on the web about building muscle, it’s surprisingly simple. If you get the four aspects I have mentioned in this article right, you will build muscle. If you’ve got any questions, I’m available on the forum on my site. See links in my bio.

eo Diet – A Simple Introduction

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Paleo Diet – A Simple Introduction

Paleo Diet has been making waves in the diet industry. Its aliases include Paleolithic Diet, Stone Age Diet and the Caveman Diet. Different websites and fitness specialists have come up with different theories and practices of the Paleo Diet, but they all rely on the same concept: natural and organic food.

Paleo Diet’s Concept
The Paleo Diet is a weight loss and nutritional program that imitates the kind of food our ancestors ate during the Stone Age. It was at this time that agriculture and hunting were the two sources to find foods. Aside from that, technology and technique has not been developed yet from food sourcing to food preparation. Hence, our ancestors have been eating their food as raw as possible.

Technically, Paleo Diet works that way. However, this does not mean we should hunt our own food and eat it raw. Paleo Diet encourages us to eat natural and organic food with minimal or less artificial ingredients as possible. Paleo Diet is a low carb diet and it does not allow sugars and carbohydrates. The good thing about this diet is that you are able to alter it if you want to increase your carb intake, which makes it ideal for bulking and shredding.

Paleo Diet’s Foods
Paleo Diet does not introduce new wild food into our system. In fact, we have been eating this food long time ago. Good examples are fish, meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, fungi and wild fruits. While there’s no necessity in eating them raw, it’s ideal to cook them at a rare or medium rare state, which is as close to rawness as possible. If you don’t know how to cook them, you can find hundreds of recipes that involve the Paleo Diet philosophy. Dairy products like milk and grains are not acceptable in this diet regimen. Anything that has been processed or filled with salt, sugar and seasoning is not a part of the Paleolithic era.
Paleo Diet may seem strict with regards to food choices however there are many benefits you can enjoy in return. Gaining more nutrients and feeding it into your system is one key benefit of this diet, plus you would be able to lose weight in the process. Paleo Diet is also a cheaper diet alternative and it does not require much to begin with.