150 Muscle Building, Fitness And Diet Myths

M&S Team
Written By: M&S Team
October 26th, 2012
Updated: June 13th, 2020
78.9K Reads
150 Muscle Building, Fitness And Diet Myths
You hear a lot of crazy and conflicting information in the muscle building and fitness realm. The following article will help you separate fact from fiction.

You hear a lot of crazy and conflicting information in the lifting and fitness realm. Don’t know if something you heard is true or not? Check out this semi-comprehensive list of muscle building myths.

150 Muscle Building, Fitness and Diet Myths​

1) You must eat every 2.5 to 3 hours or you will fail to build muscle and/or lose muscle.

2) You must use a training split; full body workouts are inferior.

3) Your can’t handle more than 30 grams of protein at one sitting. The rest goes to waste.

Dumbbell Curls4) Eating fat makes you fat.

5) If you don’t eat immediately after lifting your will miss the golden window of opportunity and lose or minimize gains.

6) Women who lift heavy will build massive amounts on muscle mass and look disgusting.

7) Endless crunches and sit ups will carve out six pack abs.

8) Adding more volume (sets and exercises) and frequency is the magic key to unlocking muscle gains.

9) You must do endless amounts of cardio to lose weight.

10) Half squats are better for your knees than deep squats.

11) You must have amazing genetics to build an impressive amount of size and strength.

12) You must hit a muscle from every possible angle to build great size.

13) If you don’t change workouts frequently, your gains will stall.

14) You can build an impressive amount of muscle mass without dramatically improving your current strength levels.

15) To build impressive arms you must work both triceps and biceps with 12-24 direct sets per week.

16) You can spot reduce impressive amounts of fat via exercise.

17) Athletes do not need extra daily protein, only those looking to build muscle need extra protein.

18) People who workout hard do not need extra daily protein, only those looking to build muscle need extra protein.

19) You can’t build big legs without squats.

20) You can’t build a big back without deadlifts.

21) You can’t build a big chest without the flat bench press.

22) A natural bodybuilder can get as big as an enhanced bodybuilder if they only work hard enough.

23) High protein diets are bad for your health and will destroy your kidneys.

24) Creatine is bad for you and will destroy your kidneys.

25) Creatine is a steroid.

26) Protein is protein is protein.

27) Only reps within the 8-12 range build muscle.

28) Only 1-5 rep sets build strength.

Sit Ups

29) There is a single, magic PCF ratio for muscle building – protein, carbs, fat.

30) Bulking will always lead to a lot of extra fat gain.

31) Bodybuilders aren’t strong.

32) Powerlifters don’t carry a lot of muscle mass.

33) Most powerlifters are fat.

34) You must carry around a lot of extra fat to be strong.

35) Somewhere out there exists a perfect, magic muscle building routine.

36) 5×5 programs are only for those who want to build strength.

37) Eating cholesterol gives you excessive amounts of high cholesterol.

38) Beef gives you heart disease, high cholesterol, strokes, heart attacks, high blood pressure and clogs your arteries.

39) All gym trainers know how to help you gain muscle.

40) Scientific studies should always trump real world results.

41) All supplements are a waste of time and money.

42) All supplement companies are snake oil salesmen, and only want your money.

43) All possible benefits for any given supplement are fabricated lies or exaggerations.

44) Mike Mentzer was right, there is only one way to train.

Sled Drag45) Joe Weider’s principles are 100% correct, all the time.

46) Squat form can be mastered in a couple of months.

47) Deadift form can be mastered in a couple of months.

48) Bench Press form can be mastered in a couple of months.

49) You can shock, bomb, or blitz your way into a new 5 pound muscle gain as an advanced natural bodybuilder.

50) Supplementing with BCAAs is pointless.

51) You need to train super high volume like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

52) A gallon of milk a day (GOMAD) is an outdated bulking idea.

53) You must experience a muscle pump to build muscle.

54) Muscle soreness (DOMS) is a good indicator of workout effectiveness.

55) You must always use strict form and never cheat on any exercise, ever.

56) A mind muscle connection is required to build muscle mass.

57) Pro bodybuilders eat clean all year round.

58) Powerlifters eat dirty all year round.

59) Pro bodybuilders stay super lean all year round.

60) If you took steroids, you would look like a massive bodybuilder.

61) If you took steroids, you would have elite levels of strength.

62) You can out-diet lousy training.

63) Using machines is the safest way to train.

64) Women don’t need barbell and dumbbell exercises.

65) You can change the shape of a bicep peak.

66) You can fill in a gap between your pecs with a specific exercise.

67) You should drop to higher reps when cutting.

68) You should use lighter weight when cutting.

69) Women shouldn’t train like men.

70) Testosterone boosting supplements are useless.

71) “Supplement X” is REALLY a legal steroid!!!

72) You can add 30 pounds of muscle in a month.

73) Someone with a great body has all the answers.

Push Ups

74) Someone that is strong has all the answers.

75) When you lift weights, your fat is replaced with muscle.

76) When you stop lifting weights, your muscle is replaced with fat.

77) You don’t need progressively heavier weights.

78) If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want at all times and not get fat.

79) Eggs are a bad/unhealthy food choice.

80) Whole milk is a bad/unhealthy food choice.

81) Men and women can train with light weights and “tone”.

82) You are automatically a hardgainer because you aren’t making progress.

83) Steroid users don’t train hard.

84) You should trust all online advice if it sounds intelligent.

85) You have to train until failure; there is no other way.

86) You can’t build muscle without high intensity techniques like drop sets, supersets, etc.

87) If it’s working, but not backed by 72 studies, it’s ALWAYS broscience.

88) Fruit is bad for you.

89) Protein shakes are magic weight gain drinks.

90) Protein shakes are magic weight loss drinks.

Deadlift91) You can’t make progress training 2- 3 times per week.

92) Whey protein makes you fat.

93) Eating healthy means you never need food supplements.

94) Supplements can improve muscle mass and strength even if you aren’t working out.

95) Creatine is notorious for creating muscle cramps.

96) All fat burners are a complete waste of time and don’t help.

97) You don’t need to supplement with omega-3 fatty acids because the human body makes them on its own.

98) Unstructured, or instinctive training, is ok for less experienced lifters.

99) Chest building exercises cause gyno.

100) You must work out every day.

101) If you train one second over 60 minutes your body becomes catabolic.

102) Extra muscle slows you down.

103) Extra muscle makes you less flexible.

104) You must feel a burn to achieve a good workout.

105) The more you sweat during a workout, the more fat you lose.

106) Sports drinks are better for you than water or a whey protein shake.

107) You have to add a lot of fat to build a lot of muscle.

108) Low fat diets prevent you from getting fat.

109) Muscles can be shaped using isolation exercises.

110) Muscle mass automatically means a lifter has good health.

111) You must carb load to maximize performance.

112) Squats are far more dangerous than leg extensions.

113) Lifting super slow is the only way/best way to build muscle.

114) Machine exercises are completely useless.

115) Isolation exercises are completely useless.

116) Slowing muscle or strength gains are a sign you’re doing something wrong or have plateaued.

117) Running on a treadmill is better for your body than running on pavement.

118) Overtraining is common.

119) Stretching lowers your chance of injury.

120) A vegetarian diet is far more healthy than a diet that includes meat.

Dumbbell Press

121) Cardio always limits muscle building.

122) Squats give you a massive butt.

123) You don’t need to change your eating habits if you exercise.

124) Workout pain equals a good workout.

125) You shouldn’t workout if you are sore.

126) The shiniest equipment in the gym is the safest equipment.

127) Sweating removes a substantial amount of body toxins.

128) Using a bicycle is a fast track to building bigger legs.

129) Running is an acceptable replacement for a resistance-focused leg workout.

130) You can lose your love handles with abs exercises.

131) Short workouts aren’t beneficial.

132) How you feel will always determine how you perform.

133) One bad workout is a solid indicator that a deload is required.

134) Cardio alone is enough for good health.

135) Having appropriate footwear isn’t important; all shoes are the same and work for all activities.

136) Eating at night makes you fat.

137) You should lose your excess fat before beginning a resistance training workout routine.

138) Everything your doctor tells you about health and fitness is 100% correct.

139) Cardio on an empty stomach is superior for fat burning.

140) A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. Nutritional density of that calorie doesn’t matter.

141) Water from coffee or juice intake doesn’t count.

142) Fat loss requires a dramatic decrease in calorie intake.

143) Cholesterol is bad for you.

144) High cholesterol levels are a sign of bad health.

145) All saturated fats are bad for you.

146) Butter is a horrible food choice and has no nutritional value.

147) “Low fat” food alternatives are inherently better for you.

148) “Low sugar” food alternatives are inherently better for you.

149) Reducing sodium intake is more important than keeping a good sodium/potassium balance.

150) Believing all muscle building, fitness and diet exerts are truly experts.

30 Comments
Andrew
Posted on: Wed, 11/19/2014 - 19:06

This might be a cold thread, but I stumbled upon it while doing some general research. As for me, I have been in the fitness industry for almost 10 years now. Albeit my background is more deeply rooted in strength and conditioning, there are several thruths that ring true across the bored. And since I am personally not training for athletic performance I tend to lean towards bodybuilding methods for my gains.

After having read the myths, and thumbed through the comments, it's ever more apparent to me that the health and wellness field gets more and more foggy everyday. First off, how do you know the person that wrote this is reputable? There stands to be a very good chance that he/she is but how do you know. You could read an article on th next page that states all of these myths as truth, and this is why everyday people are so lost when it comes to their wellbeing from a fitness standpoint. I'm not saying I have all of the answers because I dont, but what I do know is that what works for me might more for you. And Jim's diet might work for Carl but not for Alex.

The best that any average person can do is find confidence in a health professional that does their research and can paint with a broad brush. After all, everybody knows what is healthy whether they claim to or not, and anybody that doesn't is lying because information these days is so readily available that you would have to be a shut-in to not have a clue. What people really want an need is accountability. And to ask themselves do they really want to make the sacrifice or are they just living in a moment? Most people are living in a moment.

Some of these myths I would say are 100% true, others have some gray areas, and still others are kind of bullshit. My point is DONT just go down this list and do or don't do all of them because the Internet says so. Do a little research, have a period of trial and error, and discover what works for you. Even with my knowledge I discover something new everyday. And guess what? Our bodies change faster than the research! So be variable and stay in touch with how you are changing. And don't worry about what everybody else is doing!

Jack
Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2014 - 14:25

Do your own research or risk becoming as fat as the author of this list.

Shailesh
Posted on: Wed, 11/27/2013 - 23:23

Can you tell me how much amount of protein need to take on daily basis? Is that harmful for kidney?

rob
Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2013 - 19:05

whos the guy doing push ups

Hec
Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2013 - 18:00

Who's the guy in the pic doing push-ups?

Hec
Posted on: Mon, 09/30/2013 - 17:52

Hey Steve I was curious about who the guy in the pic of this article is (the one doing the push-ups). Just out of curiosity please let me know

Simon
Posted on: Thu, 09/19/2013 - 17:44

I question that four of your so called "myths" are actually myths.

143) Cholesterol is bad for you.
High cholesterol is LDL and has been linked to heart disease. It is recommended that you lower your intake of LDL because it clogs up the arteries.

144) High cholesterol levels are a sign of bad health.
See above.

145) All saturated fats are bad for you.

Yes they are, as far as I'm concerned. If this is not the case, then what evidence are you basing this on?

146) Butter is a horrible food choice and has no nutritional value.
What's the nutritional value of butter?

jackson
Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 11:51

am an hardcore bodybuilder but i still want to grow more big and sexy.what are the steps?

Chris
Posted on: Thu, 06/20/2013 - 21:13

How about some truths! or are do you have to find them out yourself through trial and error?

SACHIN KUMBHAR
Posted on: Wed, 06/19/2013 - 05:56

i want diet chart tips

Sivan
Posted on: Sun, 06/02/2013 - 13:32

hmm

HermanGroenpiel
Posted on: Thu, 04/11/2013 - 07:03

Hi Steve,I am 23 and my weight is around 70kg. I want to become super buff, I have recently opened a gym contract and am looking to buff up to around 90kg of pure muscle in the next 3 weeks. What supplements do I require? I heard creatine can help but makes you gain water mass which you will quickly lose if you stop taking it. I have heard that kre-alkalyne creatine is much better? Also what shakes should I use and will CLA help to make me buff? I also want to begine GABA however heard it may have negative effects long term? Please assist in making me super buff

Sivan A
Posted on: Sun, 06/02/2013 - 13:31

Hello HermanGroenpiel,

Although I am not Steve, I'd like to put some input to your question as I have trained for several years.
You can not put on 20kg lean muscle in 3 weeks, not even with super high dosages of steroids. I am not saying gaining 20kg lean muscle is impossible, but I hope you made a type and mean 3 YEARS, in which case I would say
it is possible with a solid diet/training routine and ofcourse consistency.

You will be able to gain 2lbs-3lbs of lean muscle tissue(providing your diet/training is correct) as a newby, called 'noob gains' however these gains will slow down over time as you progresss.

As for supplements, there is no magical supplement so to go with something like 'whey protein' would be good enough. I recommend you to read on nutrition and pick a simple beginner routine in the routine section.

Goodluck, remember that patiency and cosistency is key.

robbin
Posted on: Thu, 03/14/2013 - 15:13

Which one is right? ....

25) Creatine is a steroid.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/creatine-supplements
Is Creatine a Steroid?

No. Creatine is not a hormonal product. It is not a testosterone pre-cursor, nor is it a prohormone. Creatine is a naturally occurring organic acid that helps in providing energy to muscles.

M&S Team Badge
Joey
Posted on: Thu, 03/14/2013 - 15:59

This article is on fitness MYTHS. :)

Hunter
Posted on: Mon, 01/28/2013 - 13:31

This is a pointless chart. Very little do I agree with

M&S Team Badge
Steven
Posted on: Thu, 01/31/2013 - 01:43

These are read as myths, not truths.

Steve90
Posted on: Fri, 12/28/2012 - 10:01

These need explanations because most as are are very vague and imply just the opposite of what they're trying to prove, e.g. #144 high cholesterol levels are a sign of bad health. Well as a pre med student and understanding the biochemical pathways, YES chronically elevated cholesterol level is a sign of bad health. Or #23 and #24: creatine and high protein can destroy your kidneys... Well again, yes they can destroy your kidneys if not taken with enough water or taken for prolonged periods of time.

I understand the point is to dispel most of these myths, but for this to be a great reference and have all the information in one place further explanation is needed.

M&S Team Badge
Steven
Posted on: Thu, 01/31/2013 - 01:46

144 - Research indicates people with high cholesterol levels actually live longer. The ratio of HDL to LDL is what's important.

Protein and creatine do not damage kidneys. This has been proven to be incorrect by several srouces.

Richard
Posted on: Sat, 03/23/2013 - 22:13

Research has been done with people on creating for over 2 years straight without any decline in kidney function. As for protein.... Really? As a premed student you should know that everything you are taught in school isn't 100% truth. You will realize this once you get into clinical practice.

kuehl
Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2013 - 18:33

144 - high cholesterol can be a result of genes. 23,24 - these myths all assume you're a normal human being that drinks enough water each day. Everything is relative when it comes to health, and not having enough water is always bad...also define "prolonged" and show a resource proving so, because creatine has only been popular for so long.

google is a great reference. this is a myth list. straight to the point. its not meant for research papers to reference. =)

Jimmy
Posted on: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 12:41

Number 138 is the best one. I hate people who quote their doctors so much.

eke
Posted on: Sat, 10/27/2012 - 08:46

This needs a lot of explanation. As far as I know, a myth is something that isn't true. Great bodybuilders rely on some of these things you are saying are myths.

Another thing why I don't like this article, is that you use extreme situasions, like "51) You need to train super high volume like Arnold Schwarzenegger.", without any conclusion, like "to build muscle, to lose fat, or to be like him (which would be kinda' true), and there are many sayings, like "is the only way", which is not true, but if you change it to "is a way", than it's true, which makes the essence of the sentence true, but you just put it in another light, and when a beginner reads it, he percepts it like it would be far away from truth.

I have respect to all bodybuilders and powerlifter, they are doing a great job, but a lot of these are written just in the way to be (semi-)myths.

Meat
Posted on: Sat, 10/27/2012 - 04:14

Hey previous posters, how much more info do you need other than those items listed are b.s. As per the title of the article? I can elaborate on how they are a myth for you: they aren't true, ergo, a myth.

NonStampCollector
Posted on: Sat, 10/27/2012 - 01:25

Paradox at 84?

M&S Team Badge
Steven
Posted on: Sat, 10/27/2012 - 09:57

Not at all. The point is simple: research for yourself.

William
Posted on: Fri, 10/26/2012 - 19:54

Follow up, reasoning, or explanation following each one would have been nice to add to list.

Ahmad
Posted on: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 17:37

Thought so too

M&S Team Badge
Steven
Posted on: Thu, 01/31/2013 - 01:48

Research on these myths is quite prevalent. I would recommend Google any specific topics you have questions about.

Sean
Posted on: Fri, 10/26/2012 - 18:06

It would be cool if these had an explanation of why they are myths. I agree with most of them but some I'm curious about.

Free Workouts & Expert Advice

Get a weekly email with the latest workouts, tools, expert guides and deals from M&S.