6 Fitness Myths Hurting Your Gains
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6 Gym Myths That Are Making You Weak
These myths come from fake gurus and fitness influencers who have barely if ever, trained anyone. So we feel a need to bust these myths and shed some light on getting strong, and more athletic, and opening the door to the strength every athlete in the gym deserves.
1. Lifting Weights Makes You Bulky
This myth is stupid. What does bulky even mean? Does it mean looking like Jay Cutler? Or does it mean being more explosive and athletic as an athlete? Lifting weights helps athletes become more coordinated and improves their athletic capability. It does not make you bulky.
Lifting weights and the result obtained is very dependent on the type of stimulus implemented. We have to do high rep work to enhance our lean muscle. We need to do athletic movements like plyometrics to coordinate as rapidly as possible and enhance our athletic physique. We can also do endurance work with our resistance-based training to burn more calories and maintain that lean look. Heavier strength work can increase lean muscle mass which will give an athletic look that will make people feel more confident.
Ultimately not looking bulky comes back to overall nutrition. Eating well and clean does a lot for keeping the unwanted bulk away. Make sure to burn a lot of calories in the gym and the leanest will be the look.
2. Deadlift Only Once Every 10 to 14 Days
A lot of coaches will say it takes 10 to 14 days to recover from a heavy deadlift session. In 2019, I challenged myself to deadlift 600+ lbs for 12 straight days. The big thing here is being aware and cognizant of technique.
Trying to increase volume in the deadlift it is key to do plenty of accessory movements that complement the deadlift. People also need to get the necessary amount of sleep to properly recover.
The big thing is being aware of what is being worked on when deadlifting. Is the focus max speed, max effort, or hypertrophy work? If we are aware of our technique and know what the loading is, we can deadlift more than once every two weeks. Think of weightlifters. They are squatting, cleaning, and snatching all of the time. The same principles behind weightlifting can parallel frequent deadlifting in principle.
3. Have A Core Day For Proper Development Of The Core
For most, core training is a focus on all the abs. I am a proponent of the trunk, the core can be referred to as our abs. An entire day dedicated to core training probably won’t hinder progress in the weight room.
But really, the best way of training the core outside of a direct core day is doing front-loaded squats. Catching heavy cleans does wonders as well. Also, doing reflexive strength movements that require some serious dynamic trunk control.
4. Target Spot Fat Loss
A lot of people believe that if they have fat in certain areas that if they exercise in that specific area they can lose that fat. Say someone has fat quads and decides to do exorbitant amounts of leg extensions to lean out the area. Nah, dude. It doesn’t work that way.
It is similar to someone who has a lot of fat deposited on their stomach. Just doing thousands of crunches will not rid the fat deposition. Typically, we can see different hormonal makeups lead to specific types of fat deposition. For instance, for someone with a thyroid problem, we might see individuals with really wide hips. A male with high estrogen might have a lot of fat around their pecs. For someone with issues with cortisol and insulin, their fat may deposit around their love handles and belly button.
The key is always coming back to total daily energy expenditure and balancing out that see-saw. We need to make sure we are burning plenty of calories relative to the calories we are consuming. It also helps to look at your hormonal profile under the watchful eye of a professional.
5. Glutes Aren’t Firing
Just STOP! This is almost as bad as when people say, “My CNS is fried.”
Yes, people's glutes not firing can and does happen but a lot of athletes will say their glutes are firing at 90% one day and at 65% the next day and claim it hinders their progress. To stop this nonsense, warm up using single-leg squats to start. Also use single-leg glute bridges, doing 15 reps on each leg attempting to get the hips in line with the torso. Step-ups with a slow eccentric help as well. Throwing in a side band walk while keeping the knees over top of the feet helps as well. Finish it off with 2x7/7 walking lunges to make sure the glutes are firing on all cylinders.
6. Must Fail On A Set To Achieve Muscular Growth
Failing a set is a result typically happens from losing coordination or expending all the available ATP which leads to being unable to handle the loads. This is probably not killing your gains. However, we can improve strength and increase muscular size without failing.
Look at weightlifters or even powerlifters, we see they are increasing muscle mass through myofibrillar hypertrophy and neural coordination. The more coordinated they become the more strength they can express and in turn, they achieve greater hypertrophy with minimal failing.
Doing more challenging movements that stimulate the body, satellite cell mobilization and proliferation takes place which leads to an increase in muscular strength and size without actually failing.
Science has shown that muscular growth has been seen in high rep sets with light loads without failure. It’s okay to not go to failure.
We dispelled some myths. Some of the myths are way worse than others, like the myth of getting bulky. Some aren’t that bad, like doing core training on one full day. Go ahead and dispel one of the myths mentioned above for yourself and comment below with your results.
Yo, It's Dane
Welcome to the Garage Strength Blog, where it is my goal to provide you with the experience and knowledge I've gained in the strength and conditioning world over many years of learning from both successes and failures. I train elite-level athletes in a multitude of sports from the high school to professional levels, already producing 5 Olympics and 30+ National Champions. If you want to be the next champion I train, check out my strength programs below!
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