Starting a muscle building journey can sometimes be an intimidating and arduous affair; especially if you haven’t undertaken any prior research.
If you rely on some of the sources cited on the internet; you will setting yourself up on the wrong foot because the information is sometimes ‘myth’ based.
It is sometimes hard to sort out the myths from the facts, because the fiction does sound so good.
However, this article will sort out the wheat from the chaff in terms of the facts and fiction, so that you can get started or progress down the right pathway. You will discover that by using the correct information will make your ultimate training goals a lot more realistic and manageable.
Myth 1 – You feel heavy, therefore you are fat
When you begin a weight training regime, it is a natural progression that you will start to gain weight. A good weight training program stimulates the body to create lean body mass and this process also increases your basal metabolic rate.
Muscles contains water and the more muscle that you gain, the more water will be retained within your body.
After a couple of weeks of weight training you will inevitable put on some healthy weight. Don’t freak out as this is natural and it is your body’s way of adjusting to the challenges of the new fitness regime.
After several week, your body will start to burn the fat off and your newly acquired muscle will make you look a whole lot leaner.
You will weigh more but your clothes will start to drop off you. This is because muscle is denser and takes up less space within your body than fat. If you don’t believe this, then Google image the differences between 5 pounds of fat and 5 pounds of muscle. You will be shocked!
Myth 2 – You can’t build muscle by eating vegetables
Non-starchy vegetables are filled with slow releasing carbs, vital vitamins and minerals which are essential in supporting muscle growth and recovery.
Vegetables are good fillers on the plate at meal times, and to create an anabolic environment for muscle growth you need to eat the right calories. Therefore, you have veggies as fillers e.g. broccoli, kale, cauliflower, you will have a good source of carbs along with staying learner, feeling fuller and healthier whilst packing on the muscle.
The ‘myth’ can become a reality when you are solely relying on veggies to meet your calorie intake and to build muscle at the same time. Bear in mind, that without enough calories in your diet, you will not gain any substantial muscle mass.
If you are a vegetarian complete veggies, nuts, seeds, grains and diary to create complete proteins are needed for muscle growth.
Myth 3 – All salt is bad for you
The normal intake of salt should be 1000-1500 mgs per day. Salt intake within this healthy range is essential like any other mineral, in that is required for health maintenance and helps with your looks.
If you are lean but never get a pumped or vascular look when you exercise, then maybe you have a lack of salt in your diet. When you start to increase your RDA of salt you may retain water and feel bloated.
However, this will stop once the body starts to maintain a sodium equilibrium at a cellular level.
The body will get used to releasing the salt instead of holding on to it. Salt is also important for electrolyte balance within your blood stream.
Myth 4 – Take a break from training and your muscle will turn to fat
When you take a break from training, you are changing the environment for your muscles and reducing the amount of stimuli that they are being exposed to. When weight training, your muscle are in a constant state of growth and repair.
In addition, you are consuming more calories to fuel the muscle growth and repair, plus more calories are burnt due to the increase in muscle mass. Muscles use more energy than fat, and this is caused by the constant active breakdown of ATP.
When you stop exercising the volume of the muscle decreases and this atrophy causes a reduction in the resting calorie turn over. Unfortunately, many people continue to consume the same amount of calories as they did when they were training, and the % body fat starts to rise.
Therefore, your muscle doesn’t turn to fat but when you stop training; your basal metabolic rate slows down because of your decrease in muscle size. This has a negative ‘knock on’ effect and fat accumulation is increased; especially around the abs area for men.
Myth 5 – Cheat meals don’t work
When used in a controlled manner, ‘cheat meals’ are an excellent dietary tool that can be used to help you to chisel out that physique.
Following a training diet can often be very hard work; especially after a hard day at the gym pumping iron and burning a huge amount of calories.
Many people after a big gym session start to crave the foods that they really enjoy e.g. sugar cravings, and half the battle is not to give into this urge and temptation.
However, all is not lost, as the ‘cheat meal’ strategy can keep you sane and if adhered to properly (90% training diet and 10% cheat meal ratio) then it can have the following benefits:
- Reset your hormones that are a catalyst for boosting your metabolism and insulin regulation
- Replenish glycogen levels that are required for bouts of energy
- Enhance fat and calorie burning mechanisms
Before you go driving to your local takeaway and/or demolish all of the food in your kitchen cupboards; realise that cheat meals are not an impulsive action and do require self-control.