Build Muscle Articles

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Building Muscle Truth

There s a lot of mis-information on the Internet today about building muscle. It s time we set the record straight...

Twelve Rep Myth

Most muscle building programs include this myth about the number of repetitions for fast muscle gain. The truth is this approach places the muscles with not enough tension for effective muscle gain. High tension, e.g. heavy weights, provides muscle growth in which the muscle grows much larger, leading to the maximum gains in strength. Having longer tension time boosts the muscle size by generating the structure around the muscle fibers, improving endurance.

The standard prescription of eight to twelve repetitions provides a balance but if you just use that program you do not generate the greater tension levels that is provided by heavier weights and lesser reps, and the longer tension achieved with lighter weights and more repetitions. You need to change the number of reps and adjust the weights to stimulate all types of muscle growth.

Three Set Rule Myth

The truth is there s nothing wrong with three sets but there is nothing amazing about it either. The number of sets you perform should be based on your goals and not on an old rule. The more repetitions you do on an exercise, the fewer sets you should do, and vice versa. This keeps the number of repetitions done of an exercise equal.

Three To Four Exercises Per Group Myth

Honestly this is a waste of time. Combined with twelve reps of three sets, the total number of reps amount to 144. If your doing this many reps for a muscle group your too much. Instead of doing too many varieties of exercises, try doing 30 to 50 reps. That can be anywhere from 2 sets of 15 reps or 5 sets of 10 reps.

My Knees, My Toes Myth

It is a gym folklore that you �should not let your knees go past your toes." The truth is that leaning forward a little too much is more likely to cause an injury. In 2006, Memphis University researchers confirmed that knee stress was almost thirty-five percent higher when the knees are allowed to move beyond the toes during a squat. But hip stress increased nearly 13 times or (900 percent) when the forward movement of the knee was restricted. Why? Because squatters need to lean their body forward and that forces the strain to transfer to the lower back.

Focus on your upper body position and less on the knee. Keep the torso in an upright position as much as possible when doing squats and lunges. These reduce the stress generated on the hips and back. To stay upright, before squatting, squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold them in that position; and then as you squat, keep the forearms 90 degree to the floor.

Lift Weights, Draw Abs Myth

The fact is the muscles work in groups to stabilize the spine, and the most important muscle group change depending on the type of exercise. The transverse abdominis is not always the most important muscle group. Actually, for most exercise, the body automatically activates the muscle group that are needed most for support of the spine. So if you focus only on the transverse abdominis, it can recruit wrong muscles and limit the right muscles. This increases the chance of injury, and reduces the weight that can be lifted.

Still looking for information on building muscle? Check out a website specializing in reviews of muscle building programs.

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