5 BS Facts About Strength Training That Everyone Thinks Are True
There's a lot of good info about strength training around. And a lot of crap too.
You need to know the good from the bad to get stronger. Otherwise you'll just get hurt, or waste tons of time for no benefit... which is frustrating and depressing.
So, here are some common pieces of wisdom that aren't so wise. Avoid them like the plague!
1. You Need To Tone Your Muscles
Tone? What does that mean? If you're trying to make your muscles look better you might as well make them work better, too.
Toning does nothing other than tone your ego. And when you're focused on form rather than function, it becomes harder to measure your results.
Another common one is...
2. Go For The Pump
Pumping is similar to toning - they both focus on the cosmetics of muscle. Without trying to lay a good foundation.
Simply, work to build strength. Neither pumping nor toning works to strengthen your muscles - to break them down with lots of hard work, and then build them up even stronger.
That effort will build real strength, and make you look better to boot.
3. You Need to Lift 4, 5, or (Better Yet!) 6 Days A Week
No! You do not need to lift every day of the week to get stronger. Unless you are really, really advanced with weight training or a genetic freak, you'll need some rest.
How much rest? That all depends on how hard you work, how much you develop your body, and how much time you have to devote to training.
I've learned through painful education that my body won't let me lift heavy weights every day. But 1-2 days of rest does marvels to heal my body and make me stronger. Working out 2-3 days a week is plenty for a beginner, and for many advanced people too.
Your hard work breaks down your muscles. Rest rebuilds them. So, rest.
4. You Need The Same Workout Plan That (Name of Famous Person) Has
Again, unless you're really advanced or a genetic freak, his/her plan probably won't work for you. You need a plan for yourself.
That famous person probably (1) worked up to that plan over a long time, and (2) has the exact right body type and genetics for that plan. You aren't that person.
You're someone different. And better.
If you're just starting, a basic workout with 3-5 big lifts (squat, bench press, deadliest, bent over barbell row, etc.) will work wonders. Heck, that's a good fundamental routine for almost anyone.
The fundamentals are, well, fundamental.
Work them hard to get great results. When you've been doing this for awhile, you'll get a sense for what kind of programs you can handle, and like. And then you start making your own programs... after you've got the basics.
5. You Don't Need To Work Very Hard If You Focus On Going Slowly and Feeling the Burn
Going slowly can definitely work, but don't get sidetracked with 'feeling the burn'. Focus on lifting that heavy weight, lifting as much as you can, and keeping good form.
Simply, hard work is what makes working out, working out. If you waste yourself, and push yourself to the point of failure, that's great! That's the key to making progress.
What else can you do to make progress? Well...
I'm Aaron McCloud and I run Complete Strength Training, a site devoted to providing high quality information about how to build strength. Go there to get more info about strength training, or you can sign up for my e-zine Starting Strong to save time by getting monthly updates with top-notch strength training information. I've been lifting heavy things and practicing Japanese martial arts for quite a while, so there's a lot of info about how to get stronger, more powerful, and more ripped. -
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