Truths And Myths Of The Marathon Workout
It’s safe to say you shouldn’t believe about 75% of the things you read in the magazines, books and especially the websites put out by the followers of marathon workout ideas. They don’t work and they may get you hurt.
Put on your seat belt while we debunk four of their favorite body building myths!
1. You Need a PUMP to Gain Muscle. If I had a dollar every time I heard a very skinny weightlifter doing 15 rep sets of bicep curls say this, I’d be opening a chain of hardcore gyms very shortly. This myth goes all the way back to Arnold and Pumping Iron. One Arnold didn’t mention, which he later admitted, is that he was using large amounts of anabolic steroids while following his “get the pump” work outs that led to his Mr. Olympia winning condition.
The truth is with body building drugs you will likely not over train and any ridiculous work out is much more likely to produce results. Take away the drugs and the “pump” is shown to have no lasting benefit in your quest to get huge. Train for the pump and you will likely stay small forever.
2. High Reps Cut Fat and Give Definition. Ummm…. NO. Having well defined muscle that’s visible to the eye is almost completely a matter of how much body fat you are carrying on your frame. Less fat equals more definition. The way to burn fat has zero to do with high rep weight training work outs. You burn fat in three ways: diet, cardio and aggressive supplementation. Anyone who tells you differently is very, very wrong and leading you down the wrong track too!
3. Free Weights are Better Than Machines for Building Muscle. This is a myth most often promoted by the Cross Fit / functional fitness crowd. Remember we are talking about building muscle here – not sport’s specific athletic ability. The truth is it all depends on the type of machines available to you as well as how intensely you train on the machine. Mike Mentzer and Dorian Yates became absolutely huge and won the top body building contests of their time using work outs that consisted of over 75% machine work on Nautilus and Hammer Strength machines respectively. While free weights recruit stabilizing muscles, if you generate enough force in the proper movement within a machine, you will be recruiting more muscle fibers. I’ve gotten in top shape doing the same. Once again how you use the tool is the key – whether free weights or machines, not the tool itself!
4. Marathon Style Weight Training is Safer than HIT Training. The more intense you train the more dangerous correct? No. One or two fully intense sets with total focus on a machine or with a competent spotter is much safer than mindless endless reps and sets done with no focus. Check for yourself the next time you hear someone talk about their gym injury. I bet when you ask what style they were training in it wasn’t HIT. In five years of marathon style training I had a dozen injuries… in five years of HIT training none. No style of body building is 100% safe, but HIT is as safe as can be considering. Certainly much safer than what the “go for the pump” crowd are hurting themselves doing every day that’s for sure!
Now you have the answers to many of the myths you’ll likely hear tossed around the gym about HIT. Knowledge is power!