Bodybuilding & Strength

The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part I

How can you win the muscle building game if you do not know the truth?

I know how frustrating it can be trying to find the right advice on the Internet and accurately apply it.

Unfortunately, that’s the nature of trying to learn something on the Internet.

Everyone can freely state their opinion and proclaim themselves to be an expert.

The problem is that not everyone is an expert.

There are a lot of wannabees.

I do not think I need to keep imposing my expertise on the muscle building game.

I think it speaks for itself.

I have so much knowledge outside of bodybuilding.

I have a unique insight on it all.

That’s what happens when you trust your instinct first.

During our hoodrat days, I used to tell readers that they could get a free report on the top ten bodybuilding myths if they signed up on for the e-mail list.

Sorry if you did not get it.

I never got around to handling that part of the e-mail stuff.

I will make up something eventually but in the meantime here is Part I of the top 10 bodybuilding myths exposed.

#1- “I’ve reached my genetic potential. Now what?”

This is a very common line of thought. Why?

Because that’s the times we live in.

People want results and they want them NOW.

They want the quick fix and they want the knowledge now.

“After two years of training and doing the same workouts, I have maxed out my genetic potential. I think I’m gonna start using roids.”- Typical gym bro

I joke about it but that’s how a lot of people actually sound.

Listen, not only do you not have any chance of maxing out your genetic potential after two years, but you also have no idea what’s going on.

Two years is nothing.

You are still relatively new to your own body after 2 years of training.

If you have been consistently hitting the weights hard, you are still developing and are nowhere near being an expert on yourself.

My very first article was on this very topic of becoming an expert on yourself. Read it again.

Also if you follow conventional bodybuilding advice on the Internet and do the typical routines of straight sets per bodypart with 10 to 12 reps per set, 3 sets per exercise… You are still a gym newb.

Yes, that’s great advice for someone just starting off. But you will never get to the point where you max out your genetic potential doing 2 to 3 years of straight set workouts. It just won’t happen.

Internet experts talk about 2 to 3 years of serious training. Well, I’m sorry to say it but 2 to 3 years of simple straight set workouts is NOT SERIOUS TRAINING.

Most people do not know what serious training is.

#2- The Straight Set Myth

This is pretty much a continuation of my first myth debunked so let’s dig deeper.

If you are just starting off, you will more than likely seek advice from fitness magazines and online forums on “how to get big” or “how to put on muscle.”

All of these sources say the same thing: To build muscle, the best thing for you to do is to hit each bodypart once per week where you do 3 to 4 straights per exercise and 10 to 12 reps per set.

Will this work? Of course it will work… initially.

If you have never picked up a weight before in your life and you start going to the gym, hitting it hard, you will absolutely see some results.

But that’s where the myth comes in.

People think that they can keep this same game plan of doing nothing but straight sets. It does not work like that.

Stagnation will eventually set in and this is when gains will stop. And in many instances, this is when people start to come up with the idea that it’s time to start using steroids.

My solution is a technique that was widely used in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

You must look at bodybuilding from a creative aspect, eventually using supersets and giant sets.

That’s how I have managed to stay natural and make impressive gains over the years.

I do not follow cookie cutter workout advice.

I approach this game with a very creative mindset that I have developed and applied to my workouts over the years.

This game is about VOLUME. How were bodybuilders in the 70s and 80s able to create better physiques than the current pros with not nearly as much drugs?…. VOLUME. That’s the answer. And it’s also the answer on how to make impressive gains and stay natural as long as possible.

#3- “You don’t have to change your routine.”

Another cause of confusion in the bodybuilding community has to do with the question of whether or not to switch up your routines.

The answer is yes, you should change up your routine when the situation calls for it.

But that again reverts back to knowing yourself.

You have to know yourself to know when something is working for you and something is not working for you.

When you are in an absolute groove where you’re hitting the gym 5 days a week and just killing it every day and feeling good, by all means stay the course.

Keep doing what you are doing and focus on pushing yourself either with your volume or the amount of weight.

But that’s not how it works most of the time. Those grooves where you’re just cruising along and killing it don’t last forever.

You can go through slumps in bodybuilding and when that happens to you, you absolutely have to go back to the drawing board and change stuff up.

This is especially important once you do reach that point when the straight set game plan just doesn’t work for you anymore.

Once you start relying upon supersets for your workout routines, you will actually want to change up you routine frequently because that is what will fuel your creativity and help you avoid gym monotony.

You have to change your routine because if you take this journey seriously and make it a part of your lifestyle, you will do many different exercises and workout routines.

Success is about recognizing when adjustments are needed and then making them accordingly.

#4- The “Natural” Scam

This is the one everyone falls for. Society in general is very ill-informed when it comes to steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

When people think “steroids” they only associate them with the 300 lb. mass monsters that compete in the Olympia.

In reality, steroids are commonly used. This is true for the health and fitness industry.

A recent class that has arisen in bodybuilding is the “natural” class.

The term natural is used and people automatically assume they are not taking any drugs. I’ve got news for you: In the world of health and fitness, there is no such thing as natural.

“Natural” bodybuilders, fitness competitors, and models use performance enhancing drugs. They must in order to remain competitive and help sell products for whatever supplement companies they are representing.

Don’t get me wrong. There are certainly people who legitimately are natural. Those not the people bringing home the first place trophies.

In general, anybody who competes as a “natural” bodybuilder or “natural” fitness competitor that has an agenda such as prize money or keeping a supplement contract, it’s safe to assume that they use performance enhancing drugs.

I realized this early on which is why I have yet to compete. In my opinion, I have truly stayed natural because I have NEVER used anabolic steroids or growth hormone to put on muscle.

In the past, I have experimented with clenbuterol to get shredded. I will indicate it when I reveal those pictures.

*** A month ago I was in the best shape of my life. Interestingly enough, I did not use clenbuterol.

#5- “Focus on heavy compound movements in the beginning.”

This is probably the one myth I’m going to receive the most criticism for. Oh well.

But yes, the most common advice I hear people giving gym newbs when they first start off is to “stick with the basics” or “focus on compound movements.”

Of course the compound movements will be responsible for building the most overall muscle mass and density. However, if you are completely new to the gym, you’re not ready for that.

You’re main priorities should be getting to know you’re body and building a solid foundation of strength.

There are 2 main groups that people can be classified in when first starting off:

1)   The mild newb: The mild newb is the guy who already has decent physical coordination.

He may have experience playing sports or he might just have a great base (genetics). Whatever the case, he’s not a total newb.

This guy can learn the movements and establish a decent mind muscle connection pretty fast.

I don’t see a problem with this guy moving along and starting off trying out those heavy compound movements.

2)   The total newb: The total newb is the guy who is not naturally athletic and does not have a solid base.

He does not have much experience using his body.

He will have greater difficulty learning the movements and getting a feel for how his muscles work.

As a result, he should not be starting off trying to master the compound movements right away. I think that would be a recipe for disaster… a guy with no sense of who he is physically going in to the gym and trying slug it out on deadlifts and barbell rows.

Total newbs must start off on training wheels, meaning they must rely on machines to build that base. THIS IS MOST GUYS.

Sonny

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The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part II

 

12 Comments

  1. […] The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part I […]

  2. Florian
    August 7, 2014 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    Thanks for putting out the points so clearly. As a gym beginner, I will stick to machines first.

    For the compound exercises later on – what is the best way to learn proper movements if you CAN’T afford a personal trainer?

    I know from learning to play the cello, you can still get reasonably far with wrong technique, but without proper fundamentals you put a ceiling on how good you can really become.

    So my best bet is to save up money while doing the machines so I can pay a trainer later on when going to the compound exercises?

    Thanks for continuing this site, it’s always stuff on here I trust.

    • August 8, 2014 at 5:20 am — Reply

      Just have an experienced person show you.

      If you ask a random person how to do something in the gym… they will more than likely help you.

      Honestly, you’re best bet is to get a training partner who has more experience than you.

      • Florian
        August 10, 2014 at 3:07 am — Reply

        Thanks! That is real useful advice.

        And keep up the good work.

        It’s great to have advice that you can put directly into action. People give you a lot of reasons why you CAN’T possibly reach your goals. Once you’ve made it, however, all that stops. Nobody calls what you do “obsessive” or “out of your league” anymore. It’s almost as if all of a sudden a different ruleset applies. So – all that counts is going for what you want.

        • August 10, 2014 at 5:42 pm — Reply

          I hear ya. Thanks man

  3. August 10, 2014 at 4:53 am — Reply

    Hey man, I think that’s a really great point you make about not starting with compound exercises if you are a total newb. When I started lifting consistently I did general bodybuilding splits and then moved to compound exercises a few years later. I wasn’t a total newb, but I have suggested to people to do compound exercises without regard to whether they have a base or not. Great article.

    • August 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm — Reply

      Same with me. I wasn’t a total newb due to my sports background. I used a lot of machines early on (first few months).

  4. assman
    August 15, 2014 at 3:37 am — Reply

    I really like this man, what caught my eye was the whole super set and giant set…I’ve actually never heard that before so I had to google it. This probably explains why I’m hitting a plateau after working out seriously for a year, I made awesome gains using straight sets and my rule of thumb was if I was hurting/sore the next day than I know I put in work at the gym. These days I’m barely sore from my workouts, so I’m hoping these super sets and giant sets help me break my plateau.

    Just want to confirm from what I googled the difference between super sets and giant sets is that with supersets you’re performing two exercises back to back with no rest period in-between them and they can be for the same or opposing body part? With Giant sets you’re performing four exercises back to back with no rest period and they can be for the same or opposing body part?

    • August 15, 2014 at 3:44 am — Reply

      I think of supersets as 2 exercises back to back and giant sets as anything more than 2 exercises back to back.

      So what you said was basically right.

      In general, I think it’s best for the first exercise in a superset to be a heavy compound followed by some sort of machine movement.
      I’ll leave it at that for now…

  5. September 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm — Reply

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    The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part I • Strength By Sonny

  6. November 1, 2014 at 7:02 pm — Reply

    Strength should be build gradually and slowly.
    That helps in long run and keeping you fit even at older age when you are actually not able to exercise
    regularly

  7. April 6, 2015 at 9:40 pm — Reply

    […] Steroids/Any Performance enhancing drugs are bad/evil. Anybody who uses PED’s is a bad person and more importantly… a cheater. Barry Bonds, Mark […]

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