The purpose of this article is to help clear up the confusion related to certain aspects of fitness and bodybuilding, and also to teach you which lifts are the most effective. Let’s start shall we?
This myth is probably the most popular and wide-spread since even some professional bodybuilders still believe in it. The idea that one can isolate certain parts of his muscle is completely wrong; the muscle can only be contracted as a whole and as such one cannot work one side but not the other. You can of course put more emphasis on a certain head of a muscle, but people seem to invent these heads as they go along. Let us take a look at the pectoral muscle as an example:
As you can see from the two images provided above, the chest is split up into two heads. The first (pictured on the left) is called the Sternal Head or the lower chest, while the second is called the Clavicular Head or the upper chest. You can put more emphasis on the upper chest using the incline bench press and you can put additional stress on the lower chest using the decline press, but you cannot isolate your “outer chest” or your “inner chest”, as I see many people trying to do at the gym. Doing close-grip bench presses does not work your inner chest as some people seem to believe; it actually works your triceps. What people need to understand is that your muscle shape is based 100% on your genetics and cannot be changed; you can only increase the size of said muscle.
There is no such thing as overtraining. This word is used by lazy people that don’t want to work as hard or by people that don’t eat enough or rest enough. If all of the other things are in check, you can work out as much as you want. Remember that the more you put in the more you get out so get out there and make it happen!
There are two things I want to talk about here. The first is that many people seem to believe that training your abs will actually make them show. The truth is that weight training will only help your abs become bigger; you need a good diet in order to cut away the fat and actually make them visible. This isn’t to say of course that weight training for the abs is bad; I am just saying that many people do it for the wrong reason.
The second thing that I don’t understand is why the abs are treated as a special kind of muscle that somehow doesn’t need rest like all of the others. It is very common to see people train abs every single day at the gym; how will they grow if they don’t rest?
Take a look at this video for simple exercises for ABS:
Pretty much everyone that goes to the gym has one of these by now, but having one doesn’t mean you know how to use it correctly. A lifting belt should be worn only on your heaviest lifts and not throughout your full workout as doing so will weaken your core. These belts will also not make you superman and will not allow you to lift weights you normally couldn’t or make up for bad form.
I saved the best for last! How many times have you been to the gym and had someone tell you how deadlifts are bad for your back or how squats are bad for your knees? Again these are just excuses coming from people that don’t want to do the heavy work. In reality the three most effective lifts that one can do are indeed the squat, the deadlift, and the bench press. Not only will these compound exercises help build a solid physique, but they will also stimulate your natural levels of testosterone and growth hormone.
There is some truth to this danger, but it stems only when one lifts too much or does so with incorrect form; when done right these exercises are just as safe as any other.
Take a look at this video to make sure you do your deadlifts correctly:
I hope you guys have learned something new from this article. Thanks for reading and happy lifting!