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6 Meathead Myths – unmasked

Before the digital age, the world of strength training was based on the experience of digging. While many trainers and bodybuilders adapted to the training principles they developed, others insisted on dogmatic beliefs that somehow still exist. Nowadays, their ideas are often treated as training mandates – as if they were based on scientific facts.

But ideas do not only become factual because they are marketed by many people. Words do not become truths just because they are repeated over and over again. Let's take a look at some common myths and set the record.


Core Training

  • Myth: Compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts offer everything you need for core training. [19659006] Fact: Special core / AB training is required to build a strong and aesthetic midsection.

For many lifelong meatheads it's a tough pill to swallow, but the reality is that compound lifts are not the whole core workout I'll ever need. "

The fact is that most (if not all) lifters need special core work to address weaknesses, imbalances, and posture issues, and to stay healthy and build strength in the long run, and to work out a set of abdominal muscles, the Doubling as a cheese grater, a specific training that, like any other muscle group, conforms to the basic principles of hypertrophy.

There are two main reasons why compound lifts are not enough: [19659010] 1 – For Function

The Core Should trained to withstand unwanted movements on the spine A strong core creates a stable base that allows you to generate more power and thereby lift more weight.

The strength of the core is also crucial to longevity It plays a major role in preventing the spine from becoming akked rdeon folds. For these reasons, performing "anti-motion" exercises is crucial for a strong and resilient core.

  • Anti-Extensions Exercises (planks, ab-wheel rollouts) train the core to resist lumbar extension.
  • Rotation Exercises (Pallof Presses, Chops / Lifts) prevent unwanted rotation of the spine.
  • Anti-lateral flexion exercises (carrying the bag) force the body to resist lateral bending on the trunk.

2 – For aesthetics

The core should be trained with hypertrophy as the target. Many lifters squat, lift and express their hearts just to get stuck with a middle section as soft as a stack of double-filled pancakes. The problem is that the development of abdominal muscles requires special training that stimulates hypertrophy via mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress. This requires three things:

  1. Exercises that can be progressively charged over time
  2. Exercises that allow a strong connection between mind and muscle
  3. Slow repetitions in a controlled range of motion to the Time to pressurize stress

  Load plates

Exercise time

  • Myth: Do not exercise for more than 60 minutes.
  • Fact: Work out until you get the right results of time.

Many old-school lifters trained for 2-3 hours, doing 6-8 hours of intensive manual work and crowning the night with a ribeye and a few beers – while maintaining impressive body shapes.

At some point, however, the theory emerged that the body releases a lethal amount of cortisol as soon as a workout exceeds 60 minutes. At this point, the muscles disintegrate into a stunted pile of dust. [19659002] Although investigations and anecdotal evidence show that there is no merit. B Despite these claims, most lifters stay in the gym for more than an hour so they do not expel buckets of estrogen.

Can you make progress if you only have 30-45 minutes to exercise? Certainly. It is probably not optimal, especially if you are a stronger lifter with more years of training. The reality is that you need more time to exercise.

For example, suppose there are two lifters who want to work up to a 3RM. Lifter A has been training for a year and can raise 225 pounds, whereas Lifter B has been training for 20 years and can raise 600 pounds.

Example lifter kits for lifter A:

  • 95×8, 135×5, 165×3, 185 x 1, top end set to 205 x 3

Example lifter kits for lifter B:

  • 135 x 8, 225 x 5 , 275 x 3, 315 x 1, 365 x 1, 405 x 1, 455 x 1, 495 x 1, 525 x 1, upper end set to 545 x 3

Lifter A can be used after four ramp-up sets get his top-end set while Lifter B needs nine ramp-up sets to accomplish the same task. Lifter B also requires longer breaks between sets and additional launch sets for additional work and spends more time loading and unloading plates. Add that Lifter B (which is probably older and more susceptible to injury) needs a more thorough warm-up, which is 30-40 minutes.

Do not waste time in the gym, but do not waste time against the clock. Time is a guide – not the nuts and bolts. Doing a good job and creating a powerful training effect trumps everything else.


Exercise order

  • Myth: Lifting the compound first, ancillary work second, and isolation exercises last.
  • Fact: Determine the training order based on individual needs and goals.

Compound lifts are the best "bang-for-your-buck" exercises. So if you're fresh, it makes sense, but not in black and white. Since two lifters are not the same, the training order should be based on individual needs and goals. Adhering to this unified approach can be a major obstacle to progress.

For that reason, you should choose a different approach. Starting with isolation exercises may be beneficial for hypertrophy. Isolation exercises may not be as "functional" as compound lifts, but there is no denying that they are better able to put a laser-like focus on the target muscle.

In bench press, for example, most lifters end up doing the bulk of the work with their shoulders and triceps. This is fine if the goal is to move as much weight as possible but is not optimal for the breast size.

Instead of performing isolation exercises at the end of a workout (at this point, the muscle is already tired). When you start an exercise like the Cable Flye, it puts more strain on the muscle, stimulating growth. At the same time, before pressing a stronger connection between mind and muscle is made. Additional work is beneficial for strength, hypertrophy and general function.

The disadvantage of a workout with a compound-lifting? It is physically and mentally exhausting, which inevitably puts additional exercises into the background. Prioritizing force on helper movements is probably the best way to get bigger and stronger while improving overall function.

And why can not exercises such as pull-ups, elevated back foot and / or pushups be so loaded? Primary force lifts? There are many "extra" exercises that may be superior in strength and size, as they provide greater freedom of movement, allow for longer periods of tension, require more stability, and more effectively balance imbalances than standard barbell exercises.

] Starting with isolation exercises and auxiliary work, pain and dysfunction in ailing lifters can also be repaired. Despite the fact that their joints scream for mercy, many lifters go to the gym, take a handful of ibuprofen and clap on Tiger Balm before diving headfirst into a heavily loaded barbell lift.

But rather than exacerbating it prematurely, existing problems, one strategy would be to place the compound lifts at the end of a training session to protect the joints and improve overall function.

Sounds like a radical approach, but if you do it for a lower body workout, for example:

  • Preparing the back chain is an effective way to relieve pain and improve the mechanics of heavy dumbbell work. It is not uncommon for people with chronic hip and knee problems to squat painlessly after performing several hip strokes, hamstrings, and calf raises.
  • Aid work can be the key to improving overall function. Brutally strong, for example in squats with increased hindfoot, can change the game by eliminating imbalances, strengthening weak links, and optimizing lower body mechanics.
  • As it is much more difficult to sustain injury while doing isolation exercises and supportive exercises at the beginning of a workout, it is a safe and effective way to warm the joints and vent the CNS from heavy barbell work.


Exercise Technique [19659005] Myth: Always use perfect technique.
  • Fact: Using a technique that protects you, passes the eye exam and adapts to your goals.
  • Form things, period. The functional gurus who force-feed PVC pipe squeals until a "perfect" shape is achieved are just as bad as the fitness brothers who can not distinguish between a bicep curl and a backward motion.

    It depends on the quality of the repetitions? Absolute. But there is more behind it.

    The truth is that there is no perfect shape. When your mother told you that you're a special snowflake, she was (in part) right – everyone has unique anthropometrics, body types, motor skills, goals, and genetic predispositions. Would you tell Yao Ming (7 feet 6 inches with ostrich-like thighs) to squat like a 5 foot 6 inch powerlifter? Probably not.

    Due to our individual differences, it is virtually impossible to define a "perfect" shape. Then how do you assess the technique and make sure that you perform the exercises safely and effectively? Ask these three questions:

    1 – Is it safe?

    The exercises must be performed with techniques that minimize the risk of injury along with chronic wear. To make a solid squat you do not have to be able to sit on the bottom of a prey like an elite weightlifter. From the movement's point of view, only "enough" is required – you need enough flexibility for your hips and ankles to get the full range of motion, to move with good mechanics, and to minimize strain on the joints.

    2 – Is the eye test?

    Mike Boyle said it best: If it does not look sporty, it probably is not. Take, for example, the standard push-up. Is the spine straight or does the lower back fall to the floor? Are the upper arms between 30 and 45 degrees in relation to the upper body or are they stretched laterally?

    The eye test is not witchcraft. If the targeted muscles seem to be doing the bulk of the work and the exercise is performed with fluid and coordination, the checkbox will be activated.

    3 – Does it match your goals?

    When Uncle Bob Wants to Do This At 5 pounds of muscle, he no longer has to press his arched lower back onto the bench after smelling ammonia and banging his head against a wall. Instead, he should turn it off and perform any repetition at a slow eccentric / negative pace, emphasize the time of tension, and focus on maintaining a strong mind-muscle connection.

    On the other hand, a powerlifter should do everything that is needed (within a reasonable range) to move more weight (eg, curved lower back, shorter eccentric). None of the persons naturally has a "good" or "bad" form. As they train with a technique that supports their goals, their shape is as perfect as it needs to be.


    Training Goal

    • Myth: Focus on a specific goal and tailor your training accordingly.
    • Fact: Concentrate on strength in the gym. Distort your goals by adjusting your diet – not your workout.

    Apart from beginners, it is difficult for any lifter to build muscle, lose fat and build strength at the same time. For this reason, it is generally recommended to choose a specific destination and adjust your training accordingly.

    In terms of nutrition, the rationale is just right. For example, eating everything in sight to build muscle will make it difficult to lose a significant amount of fat. Likewise, it is impossible to build muscle if you starve yourself in the hope of losing your gummy belly.

    But in the gym, the factor that trumps everything else is the strength. It does not matter if you want to lose fat, build muscle or improve performance. As you get stronger, the rest take care of themselves.

    If you want to lose fat while maintaining as much muscle as possible, work out to get stronger all along the line. As Tony Gentilcore said, fat loss plans should alternatively be referred to as "muscle maintenance plans". What makes muscles, keeps muscles.

    Can you accelerate fat loss by adding some HIIT and / or metabolic finishers? For sure. However, connecting a calorie deficit with excessive volume plays with the fire.

    If you have a bigger target, work out to get stronger in the range of 4 to 8 reps. John Berardi said when customers come to him with muscle-building goals, he first asks how much they believe they need to be in order to achieve that goal. For example, a 5-foot 9-inch, 160-pound type will be pushed hard to reach 200 pounds until it can make three plates and squat / deadlift north of five plates.

    Likewise, Charles Poliquin had a simple muscle-building philosophy: to build one pound of muscle, you need to increase your 6-RM in a big lift by 10 pounds. For example, increase your 6-RM squat by 50 pounds, and voila – take in only 5 pounds of muscle.

    Can you manipulate various variables to influence fat loss or hypertrophy? Sure, but the premise stays the same: Focus on strength in the gym. Adjust your diet to influence your goals – not your workout.

      Leg press


    • Myth: Machines are worthless for functional strength – all you need are dumbbells.
    • Fact: machines offer unique, unparalleled benefits that are unmatched in free weights.

    Sure, free weights come first for strength, size, and performance. However, machines offer a number of unrivaled benefits that can accelerate strength, stimulate hypertrophy and improve overall function.

    • machines offer a more constant tension than dumbbells. Muscles do not respond to a specific device. they react to tension.

    As dumbbells are self-weighting, up to two-thirds of an exercise is performed with less than maximum tension (like the dumbbell fly).

    But well-designed machines use different levels of resistance to maximize tension over the entire range of motion of a path (such as the Pec deck), forcing the target muscle to contract during the duration of each repetition. Although machines are often vilified for their inability to compromise balance and stability, this is an advantage if the target is the total load. Is it as "functional" as a squat? Probably not. Can it increase strength and stimulate growth? In any case.

    • Machines promote hypertrophy, maximize safety and minimize fatigue. Machines have a given trajectory that makes compensation significantly more difficult.

    At the same time, machine-working fatigues neurologically much less, as it meets the requirements for lower arms, trunk and lower back. For both of these reasons, machines can be a powerful tool to accumulate extra volume and promote growth while maximizing safety and minimizing fatigue.

    • Machines can help you avoid injury while providing a powerful training effect. Often rehab is as easy as training for an injury – not through it. With free weights it is almost impossible to induce a strong training effect in case of existing pain.

    If you have chronic low back pain and crooked knees, force-feeding squats with the butting of a wall to remove squats is similar to migraine headaches. Conversely, machines are an effective alternative to training a muscle or muscle group without exacerbating existing problems.

    For the open-lift lift with bad knees, an exercise such as the leg press can provide a powerful training effect without the strain on the lower back, while the variety of angles (flat, sloping, etc.) can make it easier to find a knee-friendly position.

    • Machines help isolate muscles and eliminate weak points. Most free-weight exercises recruit multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which is beneficial in many cases. However, when it comes to producing a lagging body part or removing weak limbs, machines can be superior.

    Lying leg curls, for example, insulate the thighs much more effectively than a barbell RDL involving the forearms and gluteal muscles, core and lower back. At the same time, lying leg curls are far less demanding for the CNS, allowing for a higher volume without straining the rest of the body.

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