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6 Meathead Myths – Debunked

6 Meathead Myths – Debunked

Before the virtual age, the arena of energy coaching used to be in keeping with in-the-trenches enjoy. While many coaches and bodybuilders have been spot-on with the educational rules they advanced, others driven dogmatic ideals that, one way or the other, nonetheless exist. Today their concepts are regularly handled like coaching mandates – as though they are in keeping with medical truth.

But concepts do not turn out to be factual simply because they are peddled via numerous other folks. Words do not turn out to be truths simply because they are repeated over and over. So let’s check out some not unusual myths and set the report directly.


Core Training

  • Myth: Compound lifts, like squats and deadlifts, supply the entire core coaching you wish to have.

  • Fact: Building a midsection that is robust and aesthetic calls for devoted core/ab coaching.

It’s a tricky tablet to swallow for lots of lifelong meatheads, however the truth is the compound lifts don’t seem to be “all the core training you’ll ever need.”

The truth is, maximum (if now not all) lifters want devoted core paintings to handle weaknesses, imbalances, and postural problems to stick wholesome and construct energy over the lengthy haul. Plus, carving out a collection of abs that double as a cheese grater calls for particular coaching that, like every other muscle team, aligns with the foundational rules of hypertrophy.

There are two number one the explanation why the compound lifts fall quick:

1 – For Function

The core must be educated to withstand undesirable motion on the backbone. A robust core creates a solid base that permits you to produce extra pressure and, consequently, carry extra weight.

Likewise, core energy is a very powerful for coaching longevity. It performs a lead position in fighting the backbone from folding up like an accordion. For those causes, appearing “anti-movement” workout routines is pivotal for a powerful and resilient core.

  • Anti-extension workout routines (planks, ab wheel rollouts) educate the core to withstand lumbar extension.

  • Anti-rotation workout routines (Pallof presses, chops/lifts) save you undesirable rotation on the backbone.

  • Anti-lateral flexion workout routines (suitcase carries) pressure the physique to withstand side-bending on the trunk.

2 – For Aesthetics

The core must be educated with hypertrophy because the function. Many lifters squat, deadlift, and press their hearts out, most effective to stay caught with a midsection as comfortable as a stack of double-stuffed pancakes. The drawback is, growing abs calls for devoted coaching that stimulates hypertrophy by the use of mechanical pressure, muscle injury, and metabolic tension. This calls for 3 issues:

  1. Exercises that may be step by step loaded through the years

  2. Exercises that facilitate a powerful mind-muscle connection

  3. Slow reps inside a managed vary of movement to emphasise time below pressure

Loading Plates

Workout Time

  • Myth: Don’t educate for greater than 60 mins.

  • Fact: Train so long as you wish to have to score the best effects, without reference to time.

Many old-school lifters used to coach for 2-Three hours, project off to do 6-Eight hours of intense handbook exertions, after which peak the evening off with a ribeye and a few beers – all whilst keeping up spectacular physiques.

Somewhere down the road, although, a principle arose that the physique releases a deadly quantity of cortisol once a exercise exceeds 60 mins, at which level the muscular tissues fall apart into an atrophied pile of mud.

Even although analysis and anecdotal proof display there is not any advantage in the back of those claims, maximum lifters stay cautious of staying within the health club for greater than an hour, lest they begin sweating out buckets of estrogen.

Can you are making growth when you most effective have 30-45 mins to coach? Definitely. Is it optimum? Probably now not, particularly if you are a more potent lifter with extra years of coaching below your belt. The truth is that you wish to have extra time to coach.

For instance, let’s consider there are two lifters who need to paintings as much as a Three-RM. Lifter A has been coaching for a 12 months and will deadlift 225 kilos, while Lifter B has been coaching for 20 years and will deadlift 600 kilos.

Example ramp-up units for Lifter A:

  • 95×8, 135×5, 165×3, 185×1, top-end set at 205×3

Example ramp-up units for Lifter B:

  • 135×8, 225×5, 275×3, 315×1, 365×1, 405×1, 455×1, 495×1, 525×1, top-end set at 545×3

Lifter A can get to his top-end set after 4 ramp-up units, while Lifter B wishes 9 ramp-up units to perform the similar activity. Lifter B may even want longer leisure sessions between units, further ramp-up units for accent paintings, and can spend extra time loading and unloading plates. Add in the truth that Lifter B (who is most likely older and extra injury-prone) will want a extra thorough warm-up, and that’s the reason 30-40 mins long past.

Don’t waste time within the health club, however do not race in opposition to the clock, both. Time is a information – now not a be-all and end-all. Doing high quality paintings and eliciting a formidable coaching impact trumps all else.


Exercise Order

  • Myth: Do the compound lifts first, accent paintings 2d, and isolation workout routines closing.

  • Fact: Determine workout order in keeping with person wishes and targets.

The compound lifts are the most efficient bang-for-your-buck workout routines, so doing them when you are contemporary is smart, however it is not so black and white. Since no two lifters are the similar, workout order must be in keeping with person wishes and targets. Sticking to this one-size-fits-all way generally is a main hindrance for growth.

Here’s why you must take a special way. Beginning with isolation workout routines will also be wonderful for hypertrophy. Isolation workout routines may not be as “functional” as compound lifts, however there is not any denying that they are higher at putting a laser-like focal point at the goal muscle.

When bench urgent, for instance, maximum lifters finally end up doing the vast majority of the paintings with their shoulders and triceps. That’s high quality if the function is to transport as a lot weight as conceivable, however it is not up to optimum for percent length.

Instead of putting isolation workout routines on the tail-end of a exercise (at which level the muscle is already fatigued), starting with an workout just like the cable flye will position extra tension at the muscle – thus stimulating enlargement – whilst organising a more potent mind-muscle connection previous to urgent. Going heavy on accent paintings is recommended for energy, hypertrophy, and general serve as.

The problem to beginning a exercise with a compound carry? It’s bodily and mentally taxing, which inevitably places accent workout routines at the again burner. Prioritizing energy on accent actions is arguably the easiest way to get larger and more potent whilst making improvements to general serve as.

And why can not workout routines like chin-ups, rear-foot increased cut up squats, and/or push-u.s.be loaded like number one energy lifts? There are numerous “accessory” workout routines that can be awesome for constructing energy and length since they supply a bigger vary of movement, permit for larger time below pressure, call for extra steadiness, and divulge imbalances extra successfully than same old barbell workout routines.

Starting with isolation workout routines and accent paintings too can treatment ache and disorder in banged-up lifters. Despite the truth that their joints are screaming for mercy, many lifters will stroll into the health club, down a handful of ibuprofen, and slap on some Tiger Balm sooner than diving headfirst right into a heavily-loaded barbell carry.

But as an alternative of exacerbating pre-existing problems, one technique can be to position the compound lifts on the finish of a coaching consultation to spare the joints and reinforce general serve as.

Sounds like an intensive way, however when you do it for a decrease physique exercise, for example, here is what you would get out of it:

  • Priming the posterior chain is a great way to alleviate ache and reinforce mechanics previous to heavy barbell paintings. It’s now not unusual for people with power hip and knee problems to squat pain-free after doing a couple of units of hip thrusts, leg curls, and calf raises.

  • Accessory paintings will also be the important thing to making improvements to general serve as. Getting brutally robust on rear-foot increased cut up squats, for instance, generally is a recreation changer with regards to getting rid of imbalances, strengthening vulnerable hyperlinks, and optimizing lower-body mechanics.

  • Since it is a lot more tough to be afflicted by an damage whilst doing isolation workout routines and accent paintings, putting them in the beginning of a exercise is a secure and efficient strategy to heat up the joints and high the CNS previous to heavy barbell paintings.


Exercise Technique

  • Myth: Always use highest methodology.

  • Fact: Use methodology that helps to keep you secure, passes the attention take a look at, and aligns together with your targets.

Form issues, duration. That stated, the useful gurus who force-feed PVC pipe squats till “perfect” shape is attained are simply as dangerous because the health club bros who can not differentiate between a bicep curl and a backwards grasp blank.

Do high quality reps subject? Absolutely. But there may be extra to it.

The reality is, highest shape does not exist. When your mother instructed you that you just have been a different snowflake, she used to be (partly) proper – everybody has distinctive anthropometrics, physique varieties, motion talents, targets, and genetic predispositions. Would you inform Yao Ming (who is 7-foot 6-inches with ostrich-esque femurs) to squat like a Five-foot 6-inch powerlifter? Probably now not.

Given our person variations, defining “perfect” shape is almost unattainable. How then do you assess methodology and make sure that you might be appearing workout routines in a secure and efficient way? Ask those 3 questions:

1 – Is it secure?

Exercises want to be completed with methodology that minimizes the danger of harm together with power put on and tear. To do a forged squat, you don’t want as a way to sit down at the flooring like an elite weightlifter on the backside of a clutch. All that is required from a motion point of view is “enough” – you wish to have sufficient hip and ankle mobility to squat thru a complete vary of movement, transfer with excellent mechanics, and decrease joint tension.

2 – Does it move the attention take a look at?

Mike Boyle stated it best possible: if it does not glance athletic, it most definitely is not. Take the usual push-up, for instance. Is the backbone directly, or is the decrease again dumping against the bottom? Are the higher palms between 30-45 levels with regards to the torso, or are they flared out to the aspect?

The eye take a look at is not rocket science; if the focused muscular tissues seem to be doing the majority of the paintings, and the workout is finished with fluidity and coordination, it assessments the field.

Three – Does it align together with your targets?

If Uncle Bob desires to position on Five kilos of muscle, there is not any want for him to bench press with an arched decrease again after sniffing ammonia and head-butting a wall. Instead, he must loosen up and carry out every rep with a gradual eccentric/adverse pace, emphasize time below pressure, and concentrate on keeping up a powerful mind-muscle connection.

A powerlifter, however, must do no matter it takes (is fairly) to transport extra weight (e.g., arched decrease again, shorter eccentric). Neither person has inherently “good” or “bad” shape. Since they are lifting with methodology that helps their targets, their shape is as highest because it must be.


Training Goal

  • Myth: Focus on one particular function and regulate your coaching accordingly.

  • Fact: In the health club, focal point on energy. Bias your targets via adjusting your vitamin – now not your coaching.

Newbies apart, it is tough for any lifter to realize muscle, lose fats, and construct energy concurrently. For that explanation why, not unusual recommendation says to select a particular function and regulate your coaching accordingly.

In phrases of vitamin, the explanation is spot on. If you might be consuming the entirety in sight to construct muscle, for instance, it will be difficult to lose an considerable quantity of fats. Likewise, ravenous your self in hopes of shedding your jelly abdominal makes it unattainable to realize any muscle.

But within the health club, the issue that trumps all else is energy. It does not subject if you wish to lose fats, construct muscle, or reinforce efficiency; while you get more potent, the remaining looks after itself.

If you need to lose fats whilst keeping up as a lot muscle as conceivable, educate to get more potent around the board. As Tony Gentilcore has stated, fats loss plans must however be known as “muscle maintenance” plans. What makes muscle, helps to keep muscle.

Can you expedite the fats loss procedure via including in some HIIT and/or metabolic finishers? Sure. Still, pairing a caloric deficit with extra quantity is taking part in with fireplace.

If your function is to get larger, educate to get more potent within the Four-Eight rep vary. John Berardi has stated that once shoppers come to him with muscle-building targets, the very first thing he asks is how robust they suspect they’re going to want to be to succeed in that function. A Five-foot Nine-inch, 160-pound man, for instance, will probably be hard-pressed to succeed in 200 kilos till he can bench 3 plates and squat/deadlift north of 5 plates.

Likewise, Charles Poliquin had a easy muscle-building philosophy: to construct one pound of lean muscle, you wish to have to extend your 6-RM in a significant carry via 10 kilos. Boost your 6-RM squat via 50 kilos, for instance, and voila – you simply placed on 5 kilos of muscle.

Can you manipulate other variables to bias fats loss or hypertrophy? Sure, however the premise stays the similar: within the health club, focal point on energy. Adjust your vitamin to bias your targets – now not your coaching.

Leg Press


  • Myth: Machines are nugatory for useful energy – all you wish to have are unfastened weights.

  • Fact: Machines supply distinctive, exceptional advantages that unfastened weights can not fit.

Sure, unfastened weights reign superb for energy, length, and function. But machines supply numerous unrivaled advantages that may boost up features in energy, stimulate hypertrophy, and reinforce general serve as.

  • Machines supply extra consistent pressure than unfastened weights. Muscles do not reply to any piece of kit particularly; they reply to pressure.

Since unfastened weights are deadweight, as much as two-thirds of any given workout are carried out with less-than-maximal pressure (just like the dumbbell flye).

But well-designed machines make use of various ranges of resistance to maximise pressure thru a trail’s complete vary of movement (just like the percent deck), which forces the objective muscle to contract during the period of every rep.

  • Machines advertise energy features via taking stability and steadiness out of the equation. Although machines are regularly demonized for his or her incapacity to problem stability and steadiness, that is wonderful when the function is general load.

It’s the only real explanation why lifters can leg press Three-Four instances greater than they may be able to squat. Is it as “functional” as a squat? Probably now not. Can it spice up energy numbers and stimulate enlargement? Definitely.

  • Machines advertise hypertrophy whilst maximizing protection and minimizing fatigue. Machines have a pre-determined trail of movement, which makes it a lot more tough to compensate.

At the similar time, gadget paintings is considerably much less fatiguing from a neurological point of view, because it lessens the calls for at the forearms, core, and coffee again. For those two causes, machines generally is a robust device to amass further quantity and advertise enlargement, whilst maximizing protection and minimizing fatigue.

  • Machines let you educate round an damage whilst eliciting a formidable coaching impact. Often instances, rehab is so simple as coaching round an damage – now not thru it. With unfastened weights, it is nearly unattainable to elicit a formidable coaching impact within the presence of ache.

If you have got power low again ache and cranky knees, force-feeding again squats is on par with headbutting a wall to do away with a migraine. Conversely, machines are an efficient selection to coach a muscle or muscle team with out exacerbating pre-existing problems.

For the banged-up lifter with again ache and dangerous knees, an workout just like the leg press can produce a formidable coaching impact with out taxing the low again, whilst the big variety of angles (flat, decline, and so on.) can show you how to discover a knee-friendly place.

  • Machines show you how to isolate muscular tissues and do away with vulnerable hyperlinks. Most workout routines involving unfastened weights recruit a couple of muscle teams concurrently, which is recommended in lots of circumstances. If the function is to deliver up a lagging physique section or do away with vulnerable hyperlinks, then again, machines will also be awesome.

Lying leg curls, for instance, isolate the hamstrings a lot more successfully than a barbell RDL, which comes to the forearms, glutes, core, and decrease again. At the similar time, mendacity leg curls are a long way much less difficult at the CNS, which permits for extra high quality quantity with out taxing the remainder of the physique.

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