3 Bodybuilding Rule Breakers // Did You Know Of No.3?

3 Bodybuilding Rule Breakers // Did You Know Of No.3?

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There are many fads and scams in the fitness industry and they are easy to get a footing on the ladder because of people’s desire to get thin, ripped or muscular in the shortest space of time possible. Why? Because humans as a species are inherently lazy.

Therefore we look for the next big craze which sweeps the gym floor like a plague of locusts promising gainz galore in a ‘few easy steps’. The problem is, In this day and age even steroids have now become a scam themselves with many being manufactured in China with little to no quality control.

It is easy to have a dim view on the whole fitness industry full stop, with so little real education available and so many ‘fast track’ personal trainer qualifications floating around the internet it is easy to fall foul of many new exercises and workouts, when really, the old, simple and logical ways get left to the wayside because they don’t make anyone any money nor are they seen as a ground breaker or at the forefront of physical development.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of the myths floating around the ocean of health and fitness like non-biodegradable plastic.

#1. You do not need heavy weights to get big


Do you ever worry that you may be caught short while traveling away from home or your gym without access to a bench or squat rack? I used to all the time. If I was in a hotel while away from home during the week for work I would panic that I would miss the gym that evening and not build on the development I had made.

However, studies have shown that you do not necessarily need those 45lb plates and an Olympic barbell to build muscular size.

You can actually rely on body weight, or even makeshift weights found in the garage or tins from the pantry.

Yes, high reps of a low weight or of body weight can stimulate the same amount of muscle growth if performed to failure than using weights up to 80% of your 1RM to failure.

It’s certainly true, lifting heavy things will add bulk to your body. But, there are more ways to build muscle. An excellent alternative to strictly relying on heavy weights is simply using light weights (or body weight) and increasing your reps.

So the studies have shown that it is not necessarily the weight which is the stimulator of growth but whether the muscle is worked to failure that is key.

Thus, if you are away from home turf or the familiarity of your gym, you can smash out some push-ups and as long as they’re performed to failure you will benefit.

Another study even likened super slow lifting of half your normal 1RM to that or a normal rep range and speed of lifting when using weights within your 80-90% 1RM.

These studies were not based on previously untrained participants either, the effects are as evident on resistance trained people.

Furthermore, studies showed that lighter weight and training to a higher volume to failure was more effective at building muscular development in the lower body i.e your legs.

While I will never really move away from my 3 reps of heavy weight to build strength, it is handy to know that if you are on vacation or away with work commitments, there are ways around carrying plates and a barbell with you.

#2. Carbohydrates are not necessary to build size


The common consensus is that in order to bulk effectively and quickly a high carb diet is required of sweet potato and oats not to mention Rich Piana’s favorite; Yam.

Now, I am not debunking this, however, a study has shown that over 6 weeks a ketogenic diet of much less carbs yet higher fat and protein is just as useful to build bulk and can produce all the parameters associated with anabolism.

#3. You will not necessarily lose muscle if you stop training


We all see it, A once previous monster from the gym disappeared from the scene, then you saw them in the grocery store 2 years later and half the size.

Thus, we are led to believe that without regular muscle contraction and stress we will be left with nothing but a withered frame. However, during times of rest and recuperation from injury there isn’t always the opportunity to train, yet, it is possible not to lose the muscle.

Studies have shown that heat stress can prevent muscle loss by stimulating the release of proteins known as heat shock proteins by using a dry sauna, wet sauna or an infrared sauna.

This therapy removes free radicals and supports cellular antioxidant production. The studies which used rats who were administered heat stress therapy and the results showed that they had 30% more muscle regrowth compared to the control group used for comparison.

Further more, the results also showed age related benefits too, the HSP70 gene is related to increased longevity which is found by heat stress therapy.

Sauna sessions separated by a cooling off period can also stimulate growth hormone which is required for increases in muscle mass, strength and fat loss. The news gets even better, if you hike up the temperature and reduce the time in the sauna it can elevate growth hormone levels by 5 times the baseline. Get in that sauna, quickly!

It has also been discovered that the increases in blood flow and red cell production is similar to that of banned performance enhancing drugs such as EPO that have been popular with cyclists.

There you have it, which were you not aware of? Next time you are caught out of town and nowhere to lift, here’s 3 alternative methods to ensure you do not lose those hard won gainz. 

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Ben BA(Hons), PGCert

Ben established this site to be a free resource in 2015. Since then it has gained over half a million visits. He has always been interested in sport and he started playing rugby at the age of 6 represented his town, county and school. Ben also enjoys cycling, has started skiing and is in the Army Reserve representing his Regiment as part of the 150 Regimental Shooting Team. He holds a bachelor's and postgraduate degree in sport exercise & nutrition.
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