The gym community is probably one of the worst places for people putting their two pence in, when they have no evidence to back it up. This post is going to touch on some of the things I have heard, since I began my growth journey.
Background – The vision I have for the Pectomorph brand is an instagram, a blog, a facebook forum, an ebook, and many other outlets, all full of true, consistent information. I want it to be the one stop shop for people trying to gain size, no matter what level they are at, to recognise good quality advice, that gets people real, achievable, natural results. A part of my mission and responsibility in giving this guidance is debunking some of the nonsense quotes, tips, workout plans and advise that is lazily given out in the world of exercise.
This is something which I will come back to, many a time. And if you are ever unsure about some advise you have been given, send me an email or Instagram/Twitter/Facebook message, and I will try and help get to the bottom of the reliability of the information given. It is not only frustrating seeing poor advise because it can slow down peoples progress, but it can also lead to injury and people falling out of love with exercise. Neither of these are ideal, at all.
So, let me begin with a few things that are quite commonly said in the world of exercise, and I will put my own comment alongside these:
- No pain, no gain – This is something that is often said, and without any context. Imagine giving this advise to a complete novice, who believes that exercises will only deliver results when they hurt. Pain during exercise can most often be a leading consequence of poor form, or lifting too heavy, both of these are counter productive. If you feel pain other than tired muscles when training, stop what you are doing. Remember – a great way to avoid pain and injury is proper warming up and warming down.
What this quote should say – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) can be a sign of a good workout, however, even they are not necessary for growth.
- The best cure for common illness is a good workout – Again, many gym goers will offer this advise, that the gym is a great way to beat, for example, a cold. Whilst this can be true, endorphins released during exercise can cure headaches, and working out if the cold is only in the nose/throat is normally fine, it is not true for everyone. Listen to your body. If you are feeling any symptoms of drowsiness, aching or fever, the last thing you should be thinking of doing is working out.
What this quote should say – Always listen to your body when working out when unwell, some light symptoms can be made better with exercise, but will your fellow gym goers appreciate you sneezing all over the squat rack?
- If you want to get big, eat more! – This sweeping statement is one that features heavily in many gym forums. It is not necessarily a myth, but I think it is patronising and not useful to a beginner, without any context. You may think that you eat a lot already. If this is the case, tracking your calories might actually surprise you, often you will be eating much less than you think. Also, if you are eating as much calories as expected, they are probably empty calories. You may also think that you do not have the appetite to start eating 4000 calories a day. My recommendation for this is to start by slowly adding an extra 200-250 calories a week, this is enough for your body to adapt to and see best results. Also, if you are working a job that does not allow you to eat 6 times a day, portion sizes are essential, when you do eat, 3-4 meals a day, try and get them to be about 1000 calories each, and full of good nutrients. Check out this post on the Pectomorph Instagram, for a 1000 calorie breakfast.
What this quote should say – To put on size, diet is essential, spend time tracking your calories to see where you are falling short, and slowly introduce more carb and protein heavy foods into your diet in these areas, to see size gains.
These are the top peeves that I wanted to raise initially. In addition to this post I will be following it up soon with a ‘biggest gym mistakes’ that beginners make, so be sure to look out for that.
The main takeaways from this post are:
- Just because someone is in good shape, do not believe everything they say.
- Do not rush into any drastic changes, always listen to your body.
- Pain does not always equal gain, do not injure yourself and put yourself out for months.
- If you have anything other than a sniffle, consider taking a day or two off training, in the long run you will be thankful.
- Do not shove your face with empty calories when told to ‘Eat more!’, make any changes slowly and be sure you are getting in your nutrients.
Just over a week till I begin my 20 rep squat programme, so next Fridays post will be discussing how I am going to go about this.
Have a great weekend! See you next Friday.