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.
4) 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.
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.
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.
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.
45) 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.
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.
91) 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.
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.