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Myth Busting: 5 muscle building myths for men

If building muscles is one of your goals, what you need is time, perseverance and consistency. Make sure you aren’t falling for these common myths. We round up the top 5 for men.

  1. Train to failure every time

Setting a rep target which is unachievable or simply leaves you exhausted, isn’t the best way to build muscle. It’s OK to feel fatigued at the end of your workout or at the end of an exercise, but if every set of every exercise is an incredible struggle, you might want to take it down a notch.

Why? You want to be able complete your workout without injuring yourself or losing good form, and if you’re training to failure on every set, this is going to be hard to achieve.But there is the other end of the spectrum: if you hit the end of your reps and could easily do more, then you need to increase the weight.This is why staying in tune with your body is always key. Only you really know how hard you’re working and how much your body can handle.

  1. Cardio will wreck your muscle building goals

Whether it’s a HIIT workout, a run, a cycle or a long walk, you might think that cardio workouts will get in the way of your muscle gains. However, this isn’t really true.

Although you should maintain resistance training as a priority over cardio when in a muscle building stage, including low-impact cardio workouts within your exercise routine could make resistance training a little easier, as cardio helps strengthen the heart muscles, boosts circulation and even helps improve recovery time. All this can allow you to train more efficiently in the weights room.
  1. You need to consistently ‘shock’ your muscles

Ever been told that it’s important to keep changing up your resistance training so that your muscles have to continually adapt? Yes, it’s important to change your workouts sometimes however, progressive overload is the important thing here.

Progressive overload simply means increasing the amount of stress placed on your muscles over time, which essentially means lifting heavier weights. If you lift the same weights, with the same number of repetitions and the same tempo, then yes you’re unlikely to see muscle growth. Instead of mixing up your routine every time and going crazy with complicated new workouts, just make small tweaks such as increasing the weight and rep range, and changing up the speeds of your lifts. For example, you might take 3 seconds to go down into your squat, pause at the bottom for 3 and then shoot back up quickly.

  1. You can’t build muscle and lose fat at the same time

A common misconception, however, the truth is that yes you CAN build muscle and lose fat. They certainly aren’t mutually exclusive. But one thing to keep in mind is that it is pretty hard if you’re wanting to lose a LOT of weight or hoping to put on a LOT of muscle. Such as a bodybuilder who needs to focus on shredding every ounce of fat whilst gowing muscle - they dont have an easy ride, but this is an extreme scenario.

The most important thing is to incorporate both cardio and strength training. Don’t ignore either. And, whilst exercise is important, losing weight is kitchen focused. You’ll need to be incorporating plenty of protein and the right balance of carbs and fats. A good option is to speak to a personal trainer who can usually help devise an eating plan for you.
  1. You have to weight train every single day

Think you have to lift weights every single day of the week? You’re wrong. In fact, your muscles actually grow when you rest. Allowing muscles to recover is the key to muscle growth. When you’re training with weights, small tears form in your muscle tissue. When you rest, these tears are healed, and your tissues grow. Training every day means these small tears never get a chance to heal! Try to take one to two rest days a week, however, this will depend on the intensity of your training, as well as how well you recover.

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