muscle training

The Ideal Muscular Body, Part 2: Muscle Size and Distinction

What makes a bodybuilder worthy of being crowned a champion?

In the first part of our series, we discussed the primary traits that competition judges are looking for in professional and amateur bodybuilders.

We discovered the importance of developing the “X-form” as well as building enough mass around the joints to dwarf your joints to the point that they seem small in comparison to the muscle fibers attached to them.

Today’s blog post covers the second set of ideal traits of competition-ready bodybuilders.

The Second Set

  1. The Mass Factor 

Seeing veteran Mr. Olympias in peak shape during competition season can be a breathtaking experience.

Typically, professional bodybuilders gain as much as 40 pounds of muscle mass during their competition season training sessions. Mr. Olympias are often heavyweights, too: the majority weight at least 200 pounds but have extremely low body fat ratios.

When you’re “cutting” or removing fat from your system, you end up with your “dry weight” or “competition weight”.

A bodybuilder’s dry weight can also be taken as an indicator of his success in gaining muscle mass. If a bodybuilder is able to bring his weight up by 30 pounds while cutting fat, that means he was able to gain 30 pounds of lean muscle mass!

Size really does matter in professional and amateur bodybuilding competitions. Aim to reach the following girths and widths and you should be ready to start competing soon:

Arm girth – 51 cm.

Chest width – 127 cm.

Calf girth – 51 cm.

Thigh girth – 72 cm.

Take note that size is a big factor but the overall aesthetics of your muscles matter, too.

Some international strongmen have these muscular dimensions but they also have a much higher body fat ratio compared to bodybuilders who compete.

What I’m saying is your muscles need to have a “ripped and shredded” appearance that judges love. You can accomplish this by bringing your body fat ratio as low as you can while increasing your protein intake and by maintaining a high degree of discipline while working out.

Also, depending on your body type you may also want to increase or decrease your sets to ensure that catabolism doesn’t get in the way of hard gains.

  1. Balanced Muscular Physique 

Bodybuilding competitions are highly visual events and every aesthetic element is often used to judge the overall impact of a bodybuilder. In the previous section, you learned that muscle mass plays a role in building the overall appearance of a bodybuilder. You can’t develop the “X-frame” without large muscles.

When you finally achieve the “X-frame”, it’s time to zoom into specific proportions of your body. The upper and lower regions of your body must be balanced.

The same principle applies to the left and right sides of your body. While it is not realistic to see completely identical biceps, there must be notable similarity between the left-side muscles and right-side muscles.

If you want an ideal model for proportion, try studying the classical statues from Ancient Greece. These muscular statues are considered the baseline models for the “X-frame” in modern bodybuilding.

  1. Muscle Appearance and Projection 

The surface appearance of muscles are also analyzed during competitions. Here are some essential guidelines to get you started on the right track:

  1. Muscle length – Aim to develop musculature that extends from joint to joint. This is actually more challenging than it sounds because the insertion of specific muscles are determined by a person’s DNA.

If you have short muscle fibers and there are noticeable spaces in between muscles, the most that you can do is gain more mass to compensate for these gaps.

  1. Blood vessels – This may sound crazy to non-bodybuilders but vasculature actually enhances the appearance of prominent muscle fibers. Professional bodybuilders do their best to make their natural vasculature to emerge whenever they flex.

Apart from the aesthetic merits of having fully engorged blood vessels when flexing, judges also consider surface vasculature as a clear sign that the bodybuilder has achieved an ideal body fat and muscle ratio.

iii. Muscle distinctness – As I have mentioned earlier, your body fat ratio matters. Judges in bodybuilding competitions won’t be approaching you with measuring caliper – they will be basing their analysis purely on what is observable.

Body fat naturally covers muscle definition so striations are very important. Striations are the distinct formation markers or patterns of each muscle group. The deeper and more recognizable the striations of your muscles, the better off you will be in a competition.

Read More: The Ideal Muscular Body, Part 3: Power and Ability

body building

The Ideal Muscular Body, Part 3: Power and Ability

What separates truly powerful bodybuilders from average ones?

In the first two parts of our current series, we have explored the minutest details of the ideal physical form of a competing bodybuilder. We have learned that apart from the general size of a bodybuilder, judges are often looking for detailed musculature and clear distinctions among the different muscle groups.

The big question now is how can you achieve the ideal musculature of a professional bodybuilder? What traits must you possess or develop in order to pound your body into an “X-frame” worthy of Mr. Olympia?

The Traits

  1. Develop Your Energy, Stamina and Endurance – One of the biggest obstacles to developing a freakishly good physique is lack of energy to sustain heavy weightlifting day in and day out for at least a few years. Yes, it takes many years of consistent work to produce sterling results.

It would be wrong to assume that bodybuilding would be easy because of human growth hormones or anabolic steroids. Professional bodybuilders will simply laugh at the thought that these are the only things you will need to craft the perfect physique.

In order to understand the endurance level you will need for formal training, take a peek at a sample training system used by a pro bodybuilder:

  1. Training is 4/6 days a week, alternating schedule
  1. 1 hour heavy-very heavy training or 2 hours light-moderate training
  • 4-6 sessions of high intensity cardiorespiratory workouts lasting 20-30 minutes per session
  1. Muscular Power and Vigor – There is zero possibility of surviving a formal training session if you don’t push your body to bring out its natural muscular power and vigor. You will be lifting, pulling, pushing and explosively swinging (in some cases) increasingly heavy weights.

If you think you are physically weak, then bodybuilding is definitely not the ideal activity for you. After the initial conditioning phase, you will be slowly exposed to more brutal sets and reps. This difficult path has been treaded countless times by passionate bodybuilders from all over the world.

Do genes affect a person’s strength, too?

Some bodybuilders have been blessed with natural power and strength – these guys often amaze older bodybuilders because they are able to curl, press or squat weights that took regular bodybuilders years to master.

If you can easily match the strength of gym veterans in your area and you actually feel good after squatting hundreds of pounds of metal, there is a huge possibility that you will be able to make massive muscular gains later on in your journey. Just keep assaulting those barbells and dumbbells!

  1. Insanely High Metabolism – Unless you have a medical condition that directly affects the regulation of your metabolism, developing an insanely high metabolism shouldn’t be a problem.

You need a progressive and well-developed metabolism so you can consume more calories for intense workouts without building visible fat deposits. An efficient metabolism usually develops after a few months of working out. A seasoned bodybuilder can consume more than 4,000 calories per day and maintain well-defined musculature. Inversely, people with low metabolisms can build visible fat stores even if they’re on a 2,500 calorie diet.

If you’re a complete beginner, you can improve your metabolism by increasing your meal count and by improving your selection of foods. Lean cuts of meat, fresh fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will support your transition from low metabolism to high metabolism.

Always combine excellent nutrition with an increase in physical activity! Your body needs constant and meaningful exercises to improve its ability to burn off excess calories.

  1. High Pain Tolerance – To say that weightlifting is painful is an understatement. Professional bodybuilders who are training hard in the weeks that lead to a major competition experience pain beyond your wildest dreams. If you think that accidentally knocking your head on a wall is painful, professional training will surprise you at the very least!

There is also no shortcut when it comes to dealing with pain. Bodybuilders tend to develop their own ways of adapting and bearing the pain that comes with training with heavy weights. 

Every training system worth its name is painful, because that’s how you will develop: through pain and overcoming your present physical limitations.

Training-related pain isn’t limited to bodybuilding. Have you ever tried watching professional ballet dancers? I can assure you that those poses and movements can make grown men cry. Be prepared for pain. Embrace it like it’s your bodybuilding birthright!

muscular body

The Ideal Muscular Body, Part 1: Structure and Form

What are the ideal characteristics of a bodybuilder’s body?

People go into bodybuilding for different reasons. Some engage in weightlifting exercises to lose weight and build muscle mass to improve their looks.

Others engage in bodybuilding to strengthen weak muscles and joints, as in the case of older males who are suffering from a lifetime of sedentary living. And still some engage in the sport because they want to compete in amateur and/or professional bodybuilding competitions.

If you’re interested in competing or if you’re simply interested in what the industry considers the sterling characteristics of a strong and ideal bodybuilder, you’re in luck!

Our current series will cover all of the essential traits that you can try to develop as you proceed with your bodybuilding journey.

Note that many of these traits were derived from classical bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger who were able to develop their fantastic physiques without the information and pharmacological edge that young bodybuilders have now.

What are these traits?

  1. General Physical Structure 

Classical bodybuilding champions the gradual development of the “X-frame”. The “X-frame” can be observed quite easily during professional bodybuilding competitions.

Contestants have very wide shoulders, large guns, tapered muscular waists and flaring hips. The narrowest point in the “X-frame” is always the waistline.

Though the waistline is narrow, the abdominal area is consistently built and this region leads to a wide and massive chest supporting equally large shoulders.

The lower region of the body builder is defined by massive, well-defined hips and quads that are as wide and solidly built as the chest and shoulders. A single double bicep pose should be able to show the “X-frame” in a well-built bodybuilder.

  1. Muscular Dimension and Form 

Obviously, a professional bodybuilder will be evaluated and judged based on the aesthetic merits of his physique. Like a sculpture, a professional bodybuilder will be examined closely by the judges. It’s never enough to simply have big muscles.

Mr. Olympia winners often have large muscles with high crests. A double bicep post should show biceps that easily “peek out” from the rest of the arm. The core muscles or the “six pack” should be symmetrical and there should be as little distance as possible between the two columns of abdominal muscle.

The lat muscles on the other hand should be positioned low with heavy build. The wideness of the lat muscles will also be noted. Contrary to common belief, your triceps shouldn’t be rounded and wide. They should actually be narrow and more tapered, indicating muscle splitting and excellent development.

The ideal shoulder can be quite difficult to attain. Amateur bodybuilders often have a tough time measuring up to their professional counterparts because it’s difficult to develop the shoulders to the point that it becomes a “three-headed” shoulder with all regions emerging easily during a flex.

Professional bodybuilders typically press 200+ pounds to bring out the extended musculature of the shoulders. It’s not an easy task, but if you have what it takes to lift 200+ pounds later in your journey, you should be able to achieve the “three-headed” shoulder form.

What about the legs?

Legwork is grueling for professional bodybuilders because they all aim to produce extreme muscular prominence in their hips and calves. If you’ve tried a heavy day on your legs, you know how painful it can be during the first few months.

Human legs are designed for walking, climbing and running. Anything beyond these three activities requires major re-engineering from within… But the results are often fantastic and worth your time!

  1. Muscle-Joint Ratio and Form 

In a previous blog post we talked about the relationship between bone size and muscle size. If you have big bones, it would also be easier for you to develop large muscles. However, this genetic reality does not actually conform to the ideal appearance of joints in competition.

What judges are often looking for is large muscles held together by narrow-looking joints. So if you have large joints to begin with, you will have to exert extra effort to ensure that your muscles look larger compared to your joint size.

Of course, shorter competitors would also have to work hard to ensure that they have a good muscle-joint ratio. However, the struggle is less strenuous because their joint sizes are smaller than their taller counterparts.

The obvious problem areas for many competitors are the shoulders, arms and legs. There is no shortcut: you have to ensure that the muscles wrapped around these joints are worked out thoroughly to gain sufficient size to dwarf the supporting joints.

Read More: The Ideal Muscular Body, Part 2: Muscle Size and Distinction

gym training

Thinking Like a Pro: Smart Gym Moves, Part 2

How can you make your journey to bodybuilding glory as safe as possible?

In our last blog post we talked about the importance of warming up, using a spotter when performing potentially risky exercise and the importance of wearing weight belts when your lower back will be receiving a high level of muscular strain.

Today’s blog post will cover more ground in terms of establishing your personal safety while you’re working out at home or in the gym.

I know for a fact that a large percentage of bodybuilders also have equipment at home and they work out in the garage, basement or living room. Some folks even have a dedicate room at home that they use a home gym. You need to ensure your safety wherever you may be!

Pro Safety Tips

  1. Pro Move # 1: Always Lock Your Plates 

If you’ve been lifting weights for quite some time now, you’ve probably thought once or twice not to lock your plates because the process does get a little tiresome, especially if you’re using rotating cuffs to lock your weight plates in place.

While some bodybuilders admittedly forego the use of weight plate collars when they’re working out, you shouldn’t follow in their footsteps. If they want to increase their risk of injury while working out then that’s their decision.

However, if you want to be one hundred percent injury-free and accident-free as you continue with your bodybuilding transformation, you need to pay attention to the little details that could save your life. Unless you have two spotters on either side and a complete mastery of gravity and the physics of weight plates, not locking your plates before lifting can cause severe accidents that could prematurely end your bodybuilding days.

Pro Move # 2: Bring Those Bars and Plates Where They Belong 

If you’re done using your weight plates and you’re moving on to bigger plates or a completely different tool or equipment, be courteous and place all the equipment back to their proper places in the gym. You’re doing everyone a huge favor by doing so!

Another reason for this tip is that it can be very dangerous to have loose plates and bars on the floor when you’re working out. Imagine tripping over a bar while carrying a hundred pounds worth of plates; you’ll be a sight to behold, I can guarantee that!

Pro Move # 3: Don’t Be Too Proud To Ask Questions 

If it’s your first time to go to a gym specifically to cut fat and gain mass, you have to be willing to talk to certified trainers and other bodybuilders so you can benefit from their experience and knowledge.

Reading books, magazines and manuals is an excellent habit and will definitely protect you from false information. However, practical knowledge is just as important and even Mr. Olympias like Jay Cutler still seek advice when they want to clarify or improve their technique.

There are no “stupid questions” when it comes to bodybuilding. Even the simplest and most inane questions can be important especially if they concern technique and form.

Pro Move # 4: Stick to Proper Form and Ideal Execution All the Time 

Each bodybuilding exercise has a prescribed form and ideal method of execution. Before even trying a new movement, study its details closely and ask your trainer questions before picking up a bar. Many weightlifting and powerlifting movements seem extremely simple… Until it’s actually time to perform them.

Unorthodox strength building exercises such as Russian kettlebells also have special techniques that will ensure your safety. If you fail to follow basic safety guidelines and proper form, one or all of these things can happen:

  1. You’ll end up having an injury.
  1. You will fail to activate the proper muscle groups needed to carry out a movement successfully.
  1. You will have to settle for half repetitions or “half reps” because the full range of motion required by the exercise was not achieved.
  1. You’ll have a severe accident that could injure or even kill you. 

Proper form and technique doesn’t just keep you safe – it also maximizes your performance and the actual gain or muscular benefit of all exercises. Maintaining ideal form can be difficult at times and this difficulty is actually what makes you stronger and better.

If you can overcome the difficulty of using proper techniques every time you hit the gym, you can be sure that you’re not wasting your time (or money) because all your efforts will be sure to pay off soon.

gym

Thinking Like a Pro: Smart Gym Moves, Part 1

Why are so many people attracted to bodybuilding?

Since Arnold Schwarzenegger and countless other Mr. Olympias in the United States began dominating the modern bodybuilding scene, it’s not surprising that countless would-be bodybuilders are flocking the nation’s gyms in search for bodybuilding gold.

The heavyweights of this generation like Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler have shown the world that being truly passionate about bodybuilding can transform it into a fulltime and very lucrative career. We’re talking about competitions with sizeable cash prizes, product endorsements, invitations to meets and more.

However, if you want to be like Jay Cutler and the “rest of the gang”, you have to start thinking like them. 

How can you “think like a pro” while working out at the gym?

You can have five gym memberships across the state and all the sports gear you could ever need and still fall short of your bodybuilding  ambitions.

You don’t need fancy running shoes or the latest fad protein shake to accomplish your bodybuilding goals. What you really need in the beginning is knowledge about the best practices in bodybuilding. This is the focus of our current series!

Pro Move # 1: Warm Up Before Hitting It Hard 

Not warming up is of the most widespread “cardinal sins” of bodybuilding. Even professional bodybuilders are guilty of skipping warm ups sometimes! However, I advise you to always warm up before lifting moderate to heavy weights. Our muscles can endure a lot of torture and strain but eventually, they will break down if you don’t take care of them. It’s important that you take care of them now even if your muscles are still at their peak condition.

I recommend the following warm up exercises:

  1. Ten minutes of static stretching
  1. At least fifteen minutes of sprightly cardio on the treadmill, bike, Stair Master, rowing machine, etc.
  1. Three to five light sets that involve the target muscle groups for the day (e.g. biceps, triceps, quads, delts, etc.)

Pro bodybuilders also warn against the “macho” trend of lifting the heaviest weights you can find at the beginning of your workout. This practice won’t improve your performance and will actually increase your risk of developing muscle tears.

Pro Move # 2: Workout With a Spotter 

If you’re planning to perform barbell squats and bench presses and you’re gradually moving up the scale in terms of weights/resistance, you definitely need to start working out with a spotter. 

A spotter is someone who guides and guards you while you’re performing movements that could lead to serious accidents.

For example, if you’re planning to bench press 200 pounds for the first time and you think you can only do one repetition, it’s possible that your strength will fail midway through the movement.

When this happens, your bar is going to fall on your chest or worse, on your face. People have died because they worked out with heavy weights with no one spotting for them.

Who can spot for you? 

Ideally, your spotter should be someone who could actually stop a barbell from crushing your face or sternum. If another bodybuilder isn’t available ask a family, friend or some willing stranger from the gym to spot for you.

Even if your spotter can’t stop the accident from occurring, you will still have someone watching your actual movement and that person can call for help when necessary.

Pro Move # 3: Wear a Support Belt to Save Your Lower Back 

A support belt or weightlifting belt is worn around the waist not to support the abdominal muscles but your lower back. To an extent, it does provide some core support but its main use is to help maintain the tight configuration of the lower back muscles and your spinal column when you’re performing high-risk exercises.

Some doctors will question the use of a support belt simply because they haven’t been specifically trained to handle the requirements of bodybuilders and athletes. It’s important that you find a physician who has experience with sports-related injuries so you can ask him questions about proper training and injury prevention.

If you’re planning to perform a bench press or deadlift involving very heavy weights, you should definitely consider wearing one. It doesn’t matter if you’re lifting in your basement or in a fancy, well-lit gym.

A weight belt is necessary when you’re performing exercises that could potentially harm your lower back. However, its use should not be abused.

If you wear a weight belt even if you’re lifting light or moderate weights, your back muscles will become underdeveloped and you will not be able to develop the back strength needed to progress.

Read More: Thinking Like a Pro: Smart Gym Moves, Part 2

muscle building myths

Breaking Down Muscle-Build Myths, Part 2

What’s the “real score” behind common beliefs about bodybuilding?

In our previous blog post we debunked three major myths regarding bodybuilding.

We learned that modern bodybuilders are not just aesthetically pleasing to look at but they’re also very strong individuals who can hold their own against more traditional strongmen who don’t train to achieve physical symmetry or the “x-form” of classical bodybuilders.

We also learned that it’s impossible for muscle to turn into fat if you stopped exercising for the simple reason that fat and muscle are two distinct types of muscle tissue. Muscle can’t turn into fat any more than water can turn into a rubber duck.

The Second Set of Myths

  1. “Bodybuilding Will Make You Look Disproportional and Scary” – This is another common myth that many non-bodybuilding males still spread amongst their peers. 

All I have to say is that between being sick and obese and being “ripped” and lean, I will always choose the latter.

As for the proportion issue, it really is up to you: you can work to build wide shoulders and massive, flaring hips or you can just keep your workouts moderate to stay lean and strong.

Again, I have to point out that there is a very specific process that has to be repeated continuously before a bodybuilder is able to reach extreme muscle mass. This process involves a strict supplement regimen, regular testosterone checks with a physician and a diet that is geared to build muscle and not waste it.

There is only a very slim chance that you will be able to build extreme mass with genetics and diet alone. It does happen but it’s a one in a million occurrence. For the majority of professional bodybuilders, to reach very low body fat at 250 pounds is the result of tireless effort, day in and day out.

  1. “I Don’t Want To Look Manly!” – I hear this often from the ladies who are afraid of resistance training and weights in general because they wish to remain feminine-looking. Ladies, do not be afraid of resistance training and weight lifting!

Unless you are using growth enhancing substances such as HGH (human growth hormone) and synthetic male hormone, the female body will never attain the same muscle mass of male bodybuilders.

When a woman works out with weights regularly, she will experience an overall increase in energy followed by a dramatic reduction in body fat stores (e.g. “muffin top” fat deposits).

Getting lean and sexy is just the “bonus” – countless studies across the world have shown that women who exercise with weights can also reduce the incidence of bone diseases later in life (osteoporosis is just one of these diseases).

  1. “You Always Have to Guzzle Protein Shakes and Protein Bars” – This is another strange myth that has caused people to shy away from training with other bodybuilders. Protein shakes and protein bars are preferred by many bodybuilders because they are convenient.

But at the end of the day, these products are really just fast sources of protein. You’re free to select and consume beverages and food items that contain that nutrients you need to achieve your fitness or bodybuilding goals. You can completely forego the consumption of commercial protein products if you happen to have good substitutes.

However, if you’re after speed and convenience then nothing compares to just opening a protein bar after a workout or preparing a chocolate protein shake at home.

When you consume these products you’re really paying for the convenience of being able to cut down your preparation time to a few short minutes (or a few seconds, in the case of eating protein bars).

  1. “You Must Take Anabolic Steroids and Other Harmful Stuff” – It’s no secret that modern bodybuilders make use of synthetic testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) to boost the body’s natural ability to build muscle.

However, there is no rule or law that states that you can’t be a bodybuilder without taking supplements, testosterone or HGH. That is a matter of personal choice. If you’re fine with how your muscles are developing and you have excellent nutrition already then you can mark your efforts as a success.

Now, if you are thinking of trying any supplement to boost your muscle’s growth it would be best to speak to your doctor first to see what he thinks of your plan. Your health is extremely important and it would counterproductive to put it at risk just because you want to build mass.

muscle building

Breaking Down Muscle-Building Myths, Part 1

What are the pervasive myths of modern bodybuilding?

Modern bodybuilding, just like any other sport, is mired by widespread misinformation or “myths” that can discourage a budding bodybuilder from pursuing his muscle-bound dreams.

If you are a beginner or if you’re thinking of joining the ranks of amateur or professional bodybuilders, it’s important that you arm yourself against these myths so you can focus on what really matters – developing your physique, building strength and improving your overall performance.

The First Set of Myths

  1. “If You Stop Exercising, Your Muscles Will Melt and Transform Into Flab” – First of all, muscle tissue and fat tissue are two completely different things. Fat and muscle have a special relationship as fat can supply the body with energy for building muscle. However, to say that muscle can eventually “meld back” into fat is plain wrong.

This myth was probably derived by the naysayers from the common bodybuilding mantra “turn than fat into hard muscle”. Of course, we all know that this is just pure marketing language. The people who write such words on magazines and websites just want to encourage people to buy supplements or to sign up for a new weight loss system. It shouldn’t be taken literally!

If you take this mantra seriously, the logical reversal would be “turn that hard muscle into fat!” or something similar.

I can almost hear some of you saying “I’ve met someone who went to the gym for a while and stopped. He/she is fat now”. Well, yes this does happen but no because muscle transforms into fat but because people burn fewer calories than what they consume on a daily basis. The basic science behind calories is simple: if you eat 5,000 calories a day and you only burn off 1,500 calories, you will have an excess 3,500 calories.

If you don’t burn off the extra calories, the body stores the excess energy into fat. The body tries its best to distribute fat evenly but most of the time, a large percentage of fat ends up in a person’s midsection.

  1. “You’ll Be Covered With So Much Muscle After Lifting Weights” – Building mass like professional bodybuilders requires tremendous effort. Some people are naturally big and that’s a plus if you’re going the “all natural” route. But for 99.99% of the competitive bodybuilding population, this is simply not the case; let’s leave it at that!

If you want to try bodybuilding because you want to become strong and lean then by all means, do it. If your diet is sensible and you have a certified trainer supporting your efforts, you will most likely end up lean and strong, just like you planned.

Another “muscle-bound myth” is that after gaining so much lean muscle mass, you won’t even be able to bend properly to perform common tasks. Some people even joke that a bodybuilder can lift 300 pounds but he can’t scratch his back anymore.

Again, there’s no truth at all with these myths. One of the strongest points of bodybuilding is the development of tremendous flexibility. If you watch professional bodybuilders warming you will be amazed at how easily a gargantuan bodybuilder can bend forward at the waist and stretch like a professional yoga instructor.

However, I do have to warn you about poor quality workouts. If you don’t perform repetitive movements properly, you can either damage your muscles or seriously compromise your flexibility. If you end up compromising your flexibility because you lack proper instruction or you were too preoccupied doing things “your way”, then the fault lies entirely in how you performed the exercises. We can’t possibly blame the activity of weight lifting and the sport of bodybuilding for the preventable faults of a few practitioners.

  1. “You’ll Get Really Big But You’ll Become Very Weak in the Process” – There is a very harmful myth that has been circulating for many years now about competitive bodybuilders being “their weakest” during the few weeks leading to a major competition.

This may be due to the fact that professional bodybuilders perform “cut fatting” routines to ensure ideal form and this can truly deplete a person physically.

However, if you look at the situation logically the fatigue comes from too much effort and not because these people are bodybuilders. Some become somewhat weak because they train too hard – that’s not something that they should be criticized for.

Also, it is exceedingly common for pro-level bodybuilders to be able to bench press half a ton of weights. Ronnie Coleman can easily curl 200+ dumbbells in his “warm up” routines!

Read More: Breaking Down Muscle-Build Myths, Part 2