Myth Debunking: Top Exercise Myths – Part 2

September 7, 2013
Learn the difference between myth and actual science, and propel your body to the next level...

Learn the difference between myth and actual science, and propel your body to the next level…

Alrighty then!

Myth Debunking Part 1 got us started, so let’s carry on and get the rest of these myths outta the way…

Below you will find the remaining 4 myths out of the 7 most common exercise myths.

It is important to read through through our previous article about this topic, thoroughly. It is also just as important to read through and understand this article, thoroughly!

4. If You Have Balance Issues During Exercise, You Need To Work On Your Core Strength

This can be true to an extent, in certain facets, but overall this is considered a myth.

A strong, balanced core is essential for being balanced and coordinated in the gym and on the field. However, when talking about balance, we are talking about balance, not coordination, which is what your core generally assists in.

We are talking about athletic training on unstable surfaces, to provide functional balance for your sport or activity.

…it’s important to remember that it’s impossible to produce maximal forces against unstable surfaces. The ability to train while producing a maximal force means a chance for strength to be improved upon. In short, the decision to use an unstable surface while training in the pursuit of strength is futile. It won’t happen.

Training on unstable surfaces not only improves your balance, it also improves your condition. Yea, it’s true!

The truth is, training on an unstable surface may provide some conditioning, but it’s primarily good for, well, improving your balance. Your core isn’t the weak link when it comes to not being able to squat or stand on a ball. Your neuromuscular coordination is. In other words, proprioception is really what matters.

The bottom line is this: you can’t expect your body to have high levels of balance if you don’t train it in such a way where balance is prioritized and enhanced. Simple.

5. Lifting Heavy Is The Only Way To Build Size

Wait, wait, wait… it isn’t?! No, it isn’t.

Lifting heavy is a great way to build strength. Granted, with strength usually comes size, but lifting heavy is not considered hypertrophy training, which is what makes your muscles grow larger, not just stronger.

Long story short – Volume, intensity, and rest interval are what characterize a size program that can facilitate growth. If you’re looking to get big, make sure you’ve got your foundation of strength and technique, and then apply this idea to your split routines.

We could go on about specifics, but if you want to build size, up your reps a little bit.

NOTE: In no way are we saying to not lift heavy. Lifting heavy should be priority, in our opinion.

However, for traditional and classic muscle growth, or hypertrophy, repetition execution of about 8-12 reps is ideal for increasing your size. A balanced program of reps falling in the 3-6 vicinity, and in the 8-12 vicinity, will be fantastic for dramatically increasing strength levels, as well as increasing the size of your muscles, you sexy beasts…

6. Squatting Deep Is Bad For Your Knees. Deadlifting Is Bad For Your Back

Oh for fuck’s sake!!

Certain movements can be more contraindicated if we have a case with the people who have chosen them. This is where a discerning eye can help, and why good personal trainers still have jobs. The full range squat is a primal movement that everyone should (ideally) become competent at doing. If you have a pre-existing condition however, like a ligament or meniscus damage, it may not be the best idea until your issues have been solved, so your mobility can be restored.

A generic adage cannot be given to a certain exercise: If Squats are bad for your knees and Deadlifts bad for your back, then Benching should be bad for your chest, and Military Pressing is bad for your shoulders.

If done poorly and improperly, every exercise is bad for that muscle.

You need to know your limits and your strengths, and make the most out of every compound exercise that you can do.

Squatting and Deadlifting are NOT bad for your back, when done right. We pick stuff up. We squat down and get back up. We move like humans were designed to move – on many different planes in many different angles.

Squats and Deadlifts are no different. They need to be monitored as far as technique goes, and they need to be done right in order to progress. Someone who says Squats are bad for your knees and / or Deadlifts are bad for your back… well, they’re stupid, plain and simple. They are dumb as shit. There’s no “maybes” or “depends.”

If someone comes out and claims this, with no background on the person they are saying it to, then they are the definition of stupid. Sorry. Un-friend them on Facebook and Like us instead.

7. Running Is An Ideal Form Of Leg Training

Quite a common myth. Running involves the leg muscles, yes. This does not mean that the leg muscles get stronger from running.

Your body needs to be trained evenly and running or walking just won’t do the job. Think about it: You’re only moving in one direction when you run – forward – with the occasional turn.

Running causes stress on joints and ligaments, and puts added stress on your knees. Running works on certain leg muscles which attach to joints, but it does not work the entire leg muscles as targeting the specific areas of the leg, front and back.

Running is certainly not a bad exercise, assuming you have no pre-existing conditions or strains. But to say running is your leg workout… well that’s just silly business!

For some more, head over to Lee Boyce’s article, and make sure you didn’t skip past Part 1 of our Myth Debunking Article.

Lush Sleutsky

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Trying to provide the most current, accurate information. No tricks - no smoke & mirrors. We all want to learn more and more and keep progressing! There is no need for tricks or sales tactics. We want to gather, learn, share, and debate any and all fitness related info for the betterment of our minds and our bodies...