I have had many emails of late basically repeating myths that never seem to die in the sport, so I thought this month I would give you my top 5 Bodybuilding Myths that seem to be repeated time and time again and are considered FACT because “Some big guy said so” which tends to be repeated by so called GURU’s on the internet to sound more knowledgeable than they really (cough cough Bro Science)
Bodybuilding Myth number 1:
Fasted cardio gives no more benefit than non fasted cardio.
What many believe is that if there are no carbs available for energy the body will have access to alternative energy pathways. In this case the hope is that the body will breakdown the adipose tissue (Fat) and release the stored energy through lipolysis therefore reducing overall body fat percentage.
Unfortunately this is the reasoning given by most people in a vain attempt to sound credible and smart so people cannot detect the bullshit coming out of their mouth.
Here is the science proving the difference between fasted and non-fasted cardio, published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. There are 2 main areas of focus when we are analysing body fat loss, Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), and Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER). Without getting too scientific as it is not my way (plus I would not understand it), all you need to know really is EPOC is the after burn calories effect from training, or how long your metabolism stays elevated after exercise.
Obviously the longer we continue to burn calories post –workout the more beneficial it is for fat loss, RER is a measure for what macronutrients (Carbohydrates or Fats) our body is utilising during the workout as energy. The higher the RER, the more carbohydrates the body is using for fuel. The lower the RER, the more fat the body is using as fuel.
Here is what the research showed that eating breakfast before performing cardio produced a MUCH greater degree of EPOC versus performing cardio in a fasted state. Remember, EPOC determines the amount of calories that are continued to be burned once the training has ended.
As stated above RER shows if more carbohydrates or fats are being used as the energy source for exercise, many believe that fasted cardio will use more fats than carbohydrates because they are in a fasted state. But research has clearly proven this to be FALSE!!!!! Fasted cardio actually burns more carbohydrates than fats. Basically,
YOU WILL NOT BURN MORE STORED FAT DOING FASTED CARDIO!!!!!!
Bodybuilding Myth #2:
Eating smaller more frequent meals increases metabolism and causes the body to burn more fat.
this is a common BB myth that has been repeated so many times it now has become a type of Law to many, the theory that most claim is that each time they eat small but often meals they spike metabolism and burn more fat, this is not true.
Early data showed a difference in fat weight when meals where eaten more often but the studies were later found to be flawed and did not control the overall calories the subjects consumed.
Later there have been over 29 studies where researchers tested every feasible number of meals, from 1 to 10 per day, ensuring that daily calories remained the same regardless of the number of meals. In all 29 studies, the result was the same: the number of meals eaten per day didn’t matter for fat or weight loss, only the calories did.
The logic, arguably, is okay. It’s the premise that’s flawed. The body does not trigger a hormonal cascade to signal possible starvation if it goes a few hours, or even several hours without eating. The body copes well with long spans of no food. The signals triggered by starvation—the ones that supposedly kick in after only a couple hours of not eating—take roughly three or four days of very low calories to activate. They will not activate in two hours, or three or eight. The entire premise from which this idea is built is wrong.
A second place the logic goes wrong is with the romanticized idea that the body has some latent desire to be skinny when it’s happy. Give it all the food it craves and it will reward you by shedding the fat. The body doesn’t work that way. It turns out that longer stretches between meals makes the body release more fat to be burned as fuel. What the body wants is to use fat if there’s no food coming in and store fat when there’s too much food. Such routine frequent feedings actually slows resting metabolism and lowers another component of metabolism called the thermic effect of food.
This is not to say eating frequent meals is pointless as meal frequency can create a better Anabolic environment plus eating to a schedule increases insulin sensitivity…..so meal frequency has its uses to create an anabolic environment, improve insulin sensitivity and also to help curb hunger it also will have an advantage on digestion especially when your daily calories are very high consuming meals less frequently will increase the size of the meals and effect digestion….
I prefer multiple meals per day as it fits with my schedule and they are easier to digest this is more to show that what is repeated time and time again by those in the gym does not make anything FACT……..do your own research to learn and develop both your mind and physique……..
Bodybuilding Myth #3:
A calorie is just a Calorie
We are led to believe that if given two diets identical in calorie count, the two must produce the same weight loss or gain regardless of macronutrient content.
For decades, we’ve been taught that weight loss comes down to the simple idea of “calories in versus calories out.” This equation is simple and cannot be escaped. To lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you consume, whether this be achieved by creating a calorie deficit via a reduced-calorie diet, an increase in physical activity, or a combination of both (which has been proven to be the most successful method).
Employing basic, simple, maintainable strategies to reducing total calories has been proven to be the most effective for successful long-term weight loss. The basics include watching portion control, limiting high-calorie foods, and increasing exercise. While it’s still true that a calorie is a calorie regardless of what food it came from, not all calories are created equal in the sense that foods will have different effects on your body – even if two foods are identical in their calorie contents.
Consider foods that contain fibre. Fibre-rich foods, which include fruits, vegetables, whole-grains and legumes, require more chewing. This helps prevent overeating because it slows down your eating, giving your brain time to recognize that you’re full. Fibre isn’t fully digested by your body, so this nutrient contributes health benefits without adding significant calories to your diet. Additionally, fibre has also been proven to help improve gastrointestinal function, lower blood cholesterol, and reduce the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Fibre may also prevent some types of cancer.
Your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein than it does digesting Carbohydrates and Fats. Protein slows the time it takes for food to move from your stomach to your intestines, helping you feel full longer. Additionally, getting adequate protein ensures that you build and maintain muscle mass, which incinerates calories. Protein also curbs your appetite by stabilizing blood glucose levels. Rapid rises and drops in blood glucose levels that occur after consuming simple carbohydrates sends your hunger soaring. Consuming protein with meals prevents this.
Healthy Fats also aid in weight loss because they promote satiety. While consuming too much fat in general can lead to weight gain, it’s important to consume enough calories from healthy, unsaturated fats. Saturated fats and Trans fats, found mainly in fried foods and animal products, can clog your arteries, increasing your risk for heart attacks and strokes. So while a gram of fat contains 9 calories regardless of the type of fat, unsaturated fats are healthier for you.
Bodybuilding Myth #4:
Lifting light weights for more reps will tone your body.
I’m not sure who first pioneered this idea that heavy weights will bulk you up, but it has stuck over the years and erroneously makes many people—both men and women—afraid of lifting heavy weights.
While there is some truth to the idea that lifting lighter weights for more reps does a better job of increasing the muscular endurance, lighter weights will not help you “tone” better than heavy weights. In fact, because heavier weights build the strength of your muscles (and the size) thereby helping to increase your metabolism and burn fat lifting heavier weights with fewer reps (8 to 12 on average) and working until you’re fatigued is more effective at helping you reach your toning goals than lifting lighter weights. Not to mention that it’s more time efficient, too!
So please all you who do hours upon hours of cardio but are afraid to push the weights and use compound movements such as:
Don’t be, believe me your physique will benefit and you will achieve your goals so swap the endless hours of cardio to lifting the Iron…….
Bodybuilding Myth #5:
You must wait 7 days before you train a specific muscle again
This does always confuse me when I hear it as if you trained a bodypart more than once a week you will over train and go backwards, the amount of recovery time required varies widely among individuals, training routines, and strength levels. The finite recovery ability can vary quite dramatically between individuals PERI (pre/Intra/post) nutrition is a huge factor on this.
If two lifters are similar in body type and strength levels, this does not indicate they will have similar recovery requirements. The intensity, number of sets performed, and frequency of your workouts will also affect recovery time.
Lastly, as one gets stronger more recovery is required. So, to state that you should wait any set in stone time between workouts for particular body parts is foolish. Each trainee must determine for oneself how much recovery time is required.
A simple guideline is that if you are stronger during your next workout you have recovered sufficiently. If you stimulate growth during a workout and are not ill or injured, you should be stronger the next time you train. This should continue until you reach whatever genetic limits you have.
This is not to say that you will never reach plateaus in your training. It means that if you do reach a plateau it is because you either did not train with sufficient intensity to stimulate growth, or your recovery requirements have increased and you did not allow for this with sufficient rest between workouts or with your current PERI nutrition plan.
As a final note, recovery demands will vary between particular muscles. Your legs may require longer recovery periods than your biceps for example. Experiment and find your optimum recovery periods and remember that you will need to adjust them as you grow.