All of us want to be fit, and in todays time, almost every other person makes some effort to do so. Be it joining a gym, or yoga, following a weight loss diet or playing some recreational sport, everyone tries their bit to try and stay fit.
Unfortunately, most people fail to achieve their fitness goals. Even if they see improvement, it is not exactly what they had in mind when they started training. Very often you will find yourself wondering why – you go workout regularly, try to eat the right kinds of food, put in adequate time and effort – yet your body does not seem to quite be at the fitness level you would have ideally wanted. If you constantly look at other people at the gym or in fitness magazines and wonder why you don’t look like that, despite all the effort you put in, chances are that you might be making one very common mistake that people who are new to fitness tend to do. Blame it on misinformation or jumping on the fitness bandwagon without adequate information, this is one myth that you are going to have to get over, should you want significant improvements in your fitness levels –
Working out more will lead to better muscle gains –
This is probably the number one, biggest misconception that people have. Very often people come up to me and ask “I work out 6 days a week. Why am i not putting on more muscle?” Or “If i work out for longer hours per day, will it help me get faster results?” Ive even had people ask me if they should go to the gym twice a day!
I mean, sure, if you don’t have anything else to do, and like your gym that much, by all means! But its not going to do much for your muscle gains.
To debunk this myth, we need to first understand how we put on muscle, without getting too technical because, well, you didn’t come here to get a lecture in Biology !
When we lift heavy weights, our muscles develop microscopic tears, which they eventually repair and heal. The human body is really good at adapting. If it senses that these tears are going to be a regular thing, with proper nutrition and rest, it heals the muscle bigger and stronger than it originally was to keep up with the continued overload (this is also why we keep increasing weights lifted, for results, but that is for another article, another time)
So, essentially, you are not building any muscle at the gym. At all. All you are doing is subjecting your body to blunt force trauma, for it to be able to come back stronger from. As you can see by now, all the muscle growth that takes place, takes place outside the gym. So it does not matter how often you train, in fact, it is not recommended for natural athletes to train more than 4 or maximum 5 days a week if the goal is muscle growth. Continued trauma to the muscle without adequate rest in between will yield permanent damage to the CNS (Central nervous system) and will make it extremely hard, if not impossible, to make new gains after a certain point, should you be training in a natural (non steroid) way. Which is why it is also important to take a week off from training every 12 weeks.
So next time you decide to put on some muscle, you know that spending more time at the gym is not the answer!