This article is shared with permission from our friends at Fitness and Power.
Just because some advice is well-intentioned doesn’t make it good for you. In fact, popular advice with the best intentions are based on myths and misconceptions that people simply don’t bother to double-check and then they end up reaping zero gains or hurting themselves in the worst case scenario.
In this article, we’ll discuss three incredibly popular training myths that have undeservedly made their way into the weight room and have become major obstacles to success for many aspiring lifters. So for the purpose of helping you get the ripped muscles of your dreams, let’s get rid of them right here and right now!
#1. Higher reps lead to greater definition
For some unknown reason, the creators of mainstream training wisdom still love to toss this idea around. The truth is that by doing high reps with a light weight you won’t make any significant progress at all. The only way to make your muscles grow is by subjecting it to a progressive overload, and the way to maintain the same size is by performing the usual workout every time you hit the gym.
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On the other side, the only way to get ripped is by reducing body fat through high-intensity exercise and creating a calorie deficit. Remember that achieving great muscle definition is the result of both increasing muscle size and lowering the amount of body fat- and there’s no way around it. And there are no specific exercises that you can perform to get better definition, period.
#2. Ripped abs are made by doing ab exercises
This myth is also known as spot reduction and it refers to the misconception that fat can be burned off specific areas of the body by exercising the muscles in those areas. In reality, the human body just doesn’t work that way, and you cannot realize fat loss only in a desired area.
With an effective training program and a proper diet, you will lose fat all over the entire body, although with different intensity for different body parts. It depends mostly on your genetics, but all in all, weight loss is a whole-body thing. Still, in general, the first area to get fat or the last area to become lean is the midsection.
However, performing a ton of crunches, for example, won’t give you a ripped 6 pack – it will only strengthen the muscles hiding under the fat. So forget about isolation exercises and focus on intensity and weight with some compound movements, which are guaranteed to help you burn more fat all around the clock. In addition, maintaining a slight caloric deficit will speed up your weight loss.
#3. Sweating equals fat burning
Sure, sweating should be expected during a strenuous workout, but the amount of sweat you produce isn’t actually a measure of how much fat you’ve lost during the exercise. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with losing fat or increasing the metabolism. Some people sweat less and others sweat more, and it’s a question of genetics, excess weight, external temperature and clothing material.
In short, perspiration is the body’s internal cooling system and since your body’s internal temperature rises during exercise, it automatically begins producing sweat in response to temperature changes with the purpose of avoiding the dangerous effects of elevated temperature on internal organs.
Unfortunately, excessive sweating has become somewhat of a popular method of weight loss in certain fitness circles. Even though excessive sweating may produce immediate results, they are temporary and potentially very dangerous. If your body loses too many electrolytes through the secretion of sweat, the end result could be kidney damage, heart stroke or heat exhaustion, all of which have fatal consequences.
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