Bodybuilding & Strength

The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part II

Why do bodybuilding myths persist?

The answer is simple.

People are either too lazy to seek out the truth or they just do not want to acknowledge it.

No one wants to hear about diet and exercise being the number one way to get abs.

They want to get their six minute abs.

No one wants to take the time to master the #1 rule in bodybuilding.

They just want their ideal physique without having to put in the sweat equity.

No one wants to take the time to come up with their own unique training split and hammer each bodypart with intensity.

Instead, they would rather just do full bodybuilding workouts.

That’s all I have to say about that.

Here is Part II of the top 10 bodybuilding myths exposed starting with number 6.

#6- The Best Exercise Myth

This is another one that guys fall victim to when they are first starting off. I know because I was new once too.

“What’s the best exercise I can do for my chest?” “What’s the best exercise I can do for my shoulders?”

These may be some questions you have even asked yourself. Well, I hate to break to you:

This is no “best exercise.”

There is no universal best exercise that everyone can apply for each bodypart. Again, it all depends on you.

Bodybuilding is a selfish sport because IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU. So embrace it and find out what works best for you.

Then you can answer that “what’s the best exercise” question for yourself.

Here’s a quick personal example for chest. Say someone asked me, “Sonny, in your experience what is the best exercise for chest?”

My answer: Well, it depends. Over the years, I have used many different exercises and certain exercises have just hit me better than other.

When I was first started off around 2006/2007, the chest exercise that worked best for me was the decline hammer strength machine press.

It was simple and hit it the best.

In 2008, I was really working on filling out my entire chest. Heavy incline flies were working best for me then.

2011 was a breakthrough year for me. My chest finally caught up to the rest of my body.

During that summer, heavy incline dumbbell presses superset with incline flys was the best exercise for me.

Since 2013, I have actually gone back to doing flat bench presses. Heavy flat bench superset with dumbbell pullovers has been doing it for me lately.

This all ties in with my earlier points of knowing yourself and making adjustments. Also, recognize that over time your best exercise for a specific body part will likely change.

#7- “I don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, so I’m not gonna work out like one.”

When I first started going to the gym, I wanted to get jacked. That was my goal. But I understand that not everyone has this goal.

Most people don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk.

A lot of people would rather look like Brad Pitt in Fight Club or Hugh Jackman in Wolverine. Ironically, those are 2 physiques that were built with the aide of PED’s but whatever.

The confusion people have is thinking that they should avoid typical bodybuilding workouts because it prevent them from working toward that goal.

As a result, many people will try to do the bare minimum by focusing heavily on cardio and maybe throwing in some bodyweight exercises. Nonsense.

Lifting weights helps you build muscle and lose fat. It will make you look and feel stronger.

I’ve never quite understood why guys want to come up with all these excuses not to do something so awesome with so many benefits.

If your goal is lean/athletic, lifting heavy weights will help you get there faster.

This holds true especially for new guys just starting out. You don’t want to set limitations before you even begin. This lifestyle isn’t about setting limitations.

It’s about eliminating them. When I would work with clients just starting out, I would hate to hear things like “I don’t want to work legs” or “I don’t want to look crazy like those guys on the wall.”

Instead, you should keep an open mind and just tell yourself that you are always going to try your best and continually push yourself to grow.

#8- Over training

Another concern that comes up early in the learning process is over training. “What about over training?” “Am I over training?” No kid probably not.

This relates back to the part in my first myth where I talked about serious training.

As a result, if the majority of your training experience is doing simple straight sets doing 3 to 4 sets of 10 to 12 reps, you don’t know about serious training.

And you certainly don’t have to worry about over training.

Over training is concept that has gained traction in recent years mostly due to the fact that people want a way to justify their desire for maximum results with minimal effort.

When people question over training, they’re not really concerned about over training from a safety standpoint.

In reality, they are really hoping to hear that they will not have to train any harder.

They are hopeful that whatever they are doing at that particular time is the cutoff point, that they have reached the point of maximum effort and can just cruise like that forever.

It just doesn’t work like that.

My take on over training is this: Back in Arnold’s day, people trained 3 to 4 hours a day absolutely hammering themselves.

I don’t think this is practical especially for natural lifters. However, it’s also not practical to do mediocre workouts for 30 minutes and expect to accomplish your goals.

My belief is that to get what you want, you have to be killing it 1 to 2 hours a day in the gym, constantly pushing the intensity to the next level.

That’s not overtraining… that’s REAL TRAINING.

Read more on the myth of overtraining.

#9. The Copycat Gameplan

Everyone has done this. I definitely did this, especially when I first started split training in 2007.

I’m talking about seeing what others have done that are higher up in the success ladder than you and trying to copy exactly what they did, step by step, thinking that it would yield the same result.

Nothing in life works according to this model. And it definitely doesn’t work like this in the world of health and fitness.

I was one of those kids back in high school buying the magazines and seeing the routines that Ronnie Coleman or Jay Cutler did, hoping that if I copied their routine it would be the fast lane to looking like that.

Nothing has changed, there are still many gym newbs that think this way.

“WTF?!! I’ve been doing Ronnie Coleman’s chest routine that I saw in the magazine and nothing’s happened. Why?”

Well, to start off you’re not Ronnie Coleman. Ronnie was a mutant who lifted heavy ass weights (a lot of time with poor form) and supplemented it with years of unimaginable performance enhancing drug use.

Most importantly, Ronnie did what he knew worked for him and never deviated from that plan. Just like Ronnie followed Ronnie’s plan, YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR PLAN.

The same applies to my website. If you are reading it, chances are I am higher up in the success ladder (from a health and fitness standpoint).

My advice is the best in the manosphere. However, that doesn’t mean to exactly copy my template for success. You have to develop your own over time. Just use me as a guideline.

#10- The Often Promised Quick Fix

The health and fitness industry is notorious for this:

Get a six-pack in six minutes!

Put on 30 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks!

Get jacked in 2 weeks!

This is bodybuilding. There are no quick fixes. You could say steroids, but even that isn’t a quick fix. No, I keep stressing, this is a lifestyle.

If you are completely new to the gym, you must realize that your goal is going to take time. You should embrace that and truly treasure the opportunity you have in front of you… to set a goal for yourself and make the quest to accomplish it a part of your lifestyle.

Don’t cheapen it by constantly looking for the shortcut or quick fix. That’s a big reason why I’m really not a fan of steroids.

I will never recommend them on my site. It’s not because I believe they are morally wrong. It’s because I just don’t think it’s in the best interest of the everyday recreational lifter (under the age of 30) who does this as a hobby.

Look when I was first starting off, it sucked that couldn’t get my chest to grow.

That was my entire motivation for going in the first place and it really sucked during my first few months when I realized that this was a weakness and nothing was working.

Yeah I was going on the Internet all the time looking for that one secret exercise or one secret workout that would really bring my chest out.

I never found it, but I learned a more important secret with time… specialization.

I specialized and I relied upon my competitive spirit.

I truly found what worked for me and as a result, it has enabled me to easily accomplish my health and fitness goals throughout the years.

Sonny

 

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The Top 10 Bodybuilding Myths Exposed- Part I

Next post

3 Secrets for Supersized Shoulders

 

17 Comments

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

  2. August 12, 2014 at 3:09 am — Reply

    I’m loving these bodybuilding articles man.

    A lot of people, including myself, got/get caught up in the idea that you just need to do a few compound lifts 3x a week and they’ll look great; six months later they still won’t know why they’re skinny fat.

    For the past few months I’ve been adding more volume to my routine and I haven’t looked back. I’ve been pumping out high reps and doing isolation exercises which make up the majority of my routine. I really am starting to believe that once a base has been established, more volume needs to be added. Once you’ve reached a point where adding more volume would lead to diminishing returns, then you add in intensity techniques.

    • August 12, 2014 at 4:48 am — Reply

      Yes. Volume is everything. You can go the low volume HIT route but your form better be on point and you also need to be emphasizing those negatives too.

      High volume enables you to both pump and tear the muscle and as you repair it over time it enables you to max out your muscle bellies’ potential.

  3. Cam..
    August 12, 2014 at 4:24 am — Reply

    Yo Sonny.

    I’ve noticed that a lot of jacked dudes (200lbs +) at most gyms have tiny ass legs.. But you don’t.

    The most jacked dude I’ve ever seen at my gym straight up looks like a living replica of Jonny bravo! That shit makes me cringe.

    What did you do differently?

    • August 12, 2014 at 4:46 am — Reply

      I trained legs like you would not believe. A lot of weight. A lot of volume.
      Summer of 2011 I have a few leg workouts with over 100 sets. That’s how crazy we get.

      • cam..
        August 12, 2014 at 6:47 pm — Reply

        Damn! 100 sets? Even the thought of that makes me dizzy..

        Sounds like some shit CT Fletcher or Mike Rashid would do.. jeez!

        • August 13, 2014 at 4:14 am — Reply

          Yea man that’s how they used to train in the 70s and 80s.

      • Jim
        August 13, 2014 at 2:01 am — Reply

        Hey Sonny, could you give us an example of your leg workout with 100 sets?

        • August 13, 2014 at 4:09 am — Reply

          would have to find my old training notebook from August 2011… I actually wanted to to write some posts on the time period because those were vicious workouts.

          For legs, I would hammer quads, hams, calves…. just annihilate them with all sorts of supersets, giant sets, and would always end with a FST-7 movement.

          I’ll get back to you on the specifics.

  4. Adam
    August 14, 2014 at 2:31 pm — Reply

    Hey Sonny, great website dude I’m liking it a lot. I’ve been lifting on and off for about 5 years but I would consider myself a beginner because I haven’t done it properly, hoping to change that soon with the motivation from your website.

    You mentioned about finding what works for you which I totally agree with but most of the beginner stuff online is full body 3 times a week shit or stronglifts, and you mentioned about split training which you hear people say is bad for beginners and that its for steroid users etc.

    I’m trying to work out a split routine for myself based off of what you’ve posted so far, do you think you could make a beginner split routine or a guideline maybe? Or suggest what kind of volume beginners should start with in a split routine before adding drop/super/FST sets etc and being able to get closer to the kind of things you do?

    I’m excited to get going but I’m just waiting on my chiropractor treatment to finish as I’ve had some lower back issues, I was wondering also do you think you could make an article about back pain and peoples gripes with squats and deadlifts, I’m one of them but I really want to over come that fear.

    Again, amazing website dude, looking forward to more.

    Adam.

    • August 15, 2014 at 1:53 am — Reply

      Check this out:

      http://strengthbysonny.com/how-to-use-split-training/

      I give a split there.

      Basically, you can do split training, just don’t concern yourself with high volume/supersets just yet. Just focus on working the muscle, learning your body and finding your sweet spot for form.

      Thanks for the props.

      – Sonny

  5. Milun
    August 17, 2014 at 6:56 am — Reply

    Hey I have a question man regarding leg training: my calves are naturally a bit small so I work on them a lot and I’m seeing slow and steady growth. But my upper legs (quads, glutes, hammies) have all grown a lot in the past few months since I started really training legs with high volume. They’ve gotten quite big now and I can’t even fit into my jeans anymore.

    I was wondering have you ever experienced this? Do you recommend training legs with high volume like the rest of the body or for someone in my case should I focus more on explosive power and functionality style training (but still hypertrophy for my calves)? Any advice would be great, thx!

    • August 18, 2014 at 6:25 am — Reply

      Calves are tricky because they are the bodypart probably most influenced by genetics.

      I’ve hammered my calves over the years and some dudes naturally have better calves and havent done anything… some dont even lift weights.

      you use you calves when you pretty much do anything so you gotta absolutely torch them with high volume.

      Use a full range of motion… stretching all the way at the bottom and going all the way up.

      • Milun
        August 18, 2014 at 11:33 am — Reply

        Alright thx man. You’re right calves definitely have a lot of genetics involved. My dad has big calves and forearms but my uncles on my mum’s side have skinny ass legs and arms. So I’m sort of in the middle.

        What I was really asking though is have you ever experienced your thighs growing too big? My thighs are growing much faster than my calves and I’m not sure if I should still be hammering them with high volume… What do you do?

        • August 19, 2014 at 2:26 am — Reply

          If you’re concerned with your thighs growing too much consider backing off squats for a little bit.

  6. Smooth Operator
    August 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm — Reply

    Hi Sonny,

    I am confused about how much to rest between sets. 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes?
    It takes me a long time to recover. If I wait 5 minutes, I can obviously lift heavier weight at higher rep vs just resting for 60 seconds.

    What’s the science behind resting between sets, and how does one go about finding out the optimal resting time for himself?

    • August 25, 2014 at 5:19 am — Reply

      5 minutes is too much rest for anyone…

      Intensity is what matters. Shorter rest periods amp up the intensity.

      At first consider timing it and then learn to follow your instinct/naturally time it.

      I would say initially you should not be going above 90 sec to 2 min.

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