Thursday, December 24, 2009

By Ricardo d Argence

Watch out for these fatal errors that can literally wipe out all the progress you have made in building up your muscles. I will tell you about four obvious muscle-building myths so you can stay on the right path to the extreme muscle and strength gains you ought to have.

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 you beginners, a "pump" is the rush you feel as blood gets trapped in the muscle tissue as you lift weights. A pump feels great, but it doesn't properly stimulate the muscles to promote growth.

It's just the increased flow of blood to the muscles, but it is not the characteristic of a good workout. A successful workout should only be gauged by the concept of progression. If you can pick up more weight or do it more times than last week, then you are progressing.

2. When you build muscle you will become slower and less flexible. Whatever your opinion on the matter, constructing a large volume of lean muscle mass won't make you slower but instead will make you faster. Every move that your body makes is because of a muscle from jumping to throwing to running. When a muscle gains strength, a larger force can be exerted.

3. To achieve the desired results, always do the exercises just as described in the book. While using good form in the gym is always important, obsessing over perfect form is an entirely different matter. Although it may seem counter intuitive, it will both reduce your maximum muscle stimulation and make injury more likely if your constant focus is on exactly proper form.

Moving naturally is very important when you exercise. This might also mean swaying a little bit while you curl your bicep, or using your body's own momentum while you're doing rows on the barbells.

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.

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