As everyone else, you too must have had a strong reason why you began the bodybuilding journey and become best friends with the weights. As numerous successful bodybuilders say, you must answer the question “why” you want to do this, before embarking on the journey. You had yours too. And it is a journey. Regardless of what the answer was, it was strong enough to get you to start going to the gym, it filled you with passion, with energy and the answer was like a lighting beacon, helping you endure grueling workouts and push harder and heavier each time you stepped into the gym.
At the time, maybe you felt you needed to get bigger because you knew that if others could do it and look good, you could do it too. Maybe you were overweight and felt you absolutely needed to lose the excess fat unless your friends would continue to mock you and your girlfriend would leave you for the jock with a six-pack. Chances are these things probably happened, and they are the main reason why you turned into the hulk of today, cut and jacked beast roaming the bodybuilder’s savanna eating dumbbells and cardio bunnies on the side.
And while you were in the process of making this come true, you must have experienced a multitude of ups and downs on the road to greatness. You might have also started to accidentally overhear stories and various urban legends coming from the mouths of big gym bros and slender personal coaches, even run-of-the-mill gym rats that were sharing the gym with you.
These were either things that motivated you to train even harder than before or plain stupid stuff that misled you and forced you to take a great detour from the road of making incredible progress. Either way, there’s no escaping it that the majority of us have been led astray by these myths.
Lie #1. As soon as you become jacked, you will get all the hottest women
Who hasn’t thought of this at least once? You’d be a huge liar if you said you didn’t. In fact, it’s why the majority of people start training in the first place. We would all ingrain this idea into heads that the girls would like us a lot more if we were hulking beasts, looking like we eat 10 chickens for breakfast. While it’s a fact that there is a group of women out there that would start immediately drooling over a guy with 20-inch arms, but the fact is that women are more attracted to an athletic, more slender and proportional figure with a moderate amount of muscle mass.
Lie #2. The bodies that are shown on supplement products
It’s very likely that you have purchased a supplement with an amazing looking cover model or a body transformation of an overweight person achieving a lean and shredded physique. The basic marketing tool supplement companies use is to have you believe on a subconscious level that you can make this transformation too if you kept buying their supplements.
The truth is that the cover models are professional bodybuilders and fitness models who are getting paid huge amounts of money by supplement companies to look that way and for whom that’s their only job. Not the mention the performance enhancing drugs many of them have been undoubtedly using to get that look. So, next time you buy a supplement know you won’t magically transform your body by taking it. Real transformation takes years of hard work and dedication.
That’s something you hear in the gym a lot of these days. All the big bros training with you are natty, until you start education yourself on the subject of steroid more and learn about the positive effects they have on muscle strength and size, but also on the negative effects as well. We’re talking about man boobs, gynecomastia, possible hair loss, acne, hair growth in unusual places and balls the size of raisins. But of all of these, gyno is the number one giveaway.
Lie #4. I can add 2 inches to my arms in little less than 2 weeks
These types of outrageous claims have shamefully become the standard in modern fitness and bodybuilding magazines and internet sites. The guys you see will be presenting their training programs, will have humongous bodies, superior genetics with a surplus of testosterone, but of course, there’s no way you could have known that because he already said he was completely natty.
Various groups of people, spanning all demographics have become fooled by these money-making schemes. Sure, some of the workouts presented do make for a superior training session, but claiming that it will your arms grow 2 inches in just 2 weeks? It’s not going to happen. You might get a good pump, and that’s all.
Lie #5. Clean eating and avoiding junk food will help you lose fat
Are you still convinced that by eating clean foods you will continue losing fat regardless of the amount you are eating? You might think that just because it’s only chicken breast you can eat as much as you want and get away with it. But, it’s simply not true. The amount of food you ingest no matter how “clean” it is, still contains calories, and if you ingest too much you will accumulate fat.
Lie #6. Once I start using all the great supplement I’ll get huge
Right at this moment, millions of people around the world are spending millions of their hard earned money on useless supplements with the false belief that it will make them big and strong. And you shouldn’t blame them. The marketing industry is a powerful one. Surely you’ve spent a lot more money on supplements than you would like to admit, sometimes more than half of your earnings, and you’ve been left disappointed. The majority of people learn this the hard way. It doesn’t have to be you. Stick to whey protein and creatine and you don’t need anything else.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone proclaim “there is no overtraining”, well, I would have a lot of money.
Here is some logic I want you to consider…just because overtraining might not exist, or is hard to achieve, doesn’t mean you need to train like a madman. The body can take a lot of punishment, but this doesn’t mean it’s necessary for growth.
Train smart, and focus on progress. Progress should always trump punishment. The point of training isn’t to cripple the body, but rather to challenge it during each workout.
High rep ranges are for cutting, right? Wrong. This myth will never die.
You should train about the same way on a cut as you do on a bulk. If you switch to using lighter weights while dropping calories, you are signaling to your body that some of the extra muscle is not needed.
If you want to hold on to existing muscle mass, continue to train for progressive overload. It doesn’t matter if you lose some strength while dropping the fat…keep trying. Do what you can do.
Unless you are underweight, the most amount of muscle mass you can expect to put on during your first year of training (naturally) is about 16 pounds, give or take. This number decreases by about half each subsequent year of training.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen guys start a bulk, gain 30-40 pounds in 6 months, and then complain that bulking only makes them fat. Then they immediately jump back to a cut. This cycle of futility is often repeated several times.
Insanely aggressive bulks are foolish and unnecessary. They only lead to rapid fat accumulation. You should be bulking in accordance with your gains expectations. If you want to add 15 pounds of muscle during your first year of training, aim for about a 22-25 pound total bodyweight increase during this timeframe.