By TOM BONANTI
I have been a certified personal trainer for nine years. In that time I have read a lot, heard a lot, and I’ve seen most everything. Everyone has an opinion about how to build the best biceps, how to bulk up, cut up and trim down. Some of this information has proved invaluable and some of it is just plain bull! When I work with clients, I want them to know the truth. Let’s look at some common myths that just may be holding you back, or worse yet, could cause you harm.
Myth # 1: If you want to build mass, cut out the cardio. Aerobic fitness is among the most preventative medicines available. What good is having gorgeous muscles if you drop dead of a stroke or heart attack! While building solid lean muscle is important, cardio vascular fitness is essential. And the best way to “pump up” the lungs and heart is by exercising aerobically. According to the International Sports Sciences Association, three to four 30-45 minute sessions of cardio per week will definitely help to build cardiovascular fitness. Tabulate your target heart rate (220 minus your age), then try to get your heart rate to within 65 to 85 per cent of that number and keep it there for 20 minutes or so!
Myth #2: I’m hurting, but if I just keep training, I can work through the pain. Only Neanderthal still believes the adage, “No pain, no gain.” This long running myth can potentially have dangerous effects on your body. There is a difference between real pain and the soreness and discomfort you feel after a really “kick-ass” workout. Experiencing pain during any fitness endeavor is a sign that your body is in trouble. Any indications of real pain should signal you to see a doctor. On the other hand, some muscle soreness can be expected a day or two after a really intense workout especially after you’ve experienced a lay off. This is called residual muscle soreness. Stretching, rest, massage and contrasting hot and cold showers can help ease this discomfort.
Myth #3: I can only get “big” if I take the latest most expensive supplements and steroids. Just because a prominent bodybuilder is pitching a particular supplement or prohormone in one of the muscle rags does not mean that you need to buy it or use it. You can achieve greatness in “muscledom” only by working hard in the gym, eating healthy and clean, and getting enough quality rest between workouts. Testosterone replacement therapy should be administered and monitored by a physician only, and should not be confused with juicing on anabolic steroids.
Myths #4: In order to get “big” I need to workout everyday.
Cumulative micro-trauma is the technical term for overtraining and it is nothing you should take lightly. Weight training every muscle group everyday without proper rest will result in muscle tears, joint pain, gross fatigue and eventually some serious injuries.
Train each muscle group no more than twice a week for 20 minutes and make sure that muscle group gets 48 to 72 hours rest between training sessions. Take one to two days off from the weights each week, but stay active, do your cardio and eat properly.
So there you have it – the bare-naked truth. The best way to get the body you want is through hard work, healthy eating and reading the fitness column in this publication weekly! Contact TrainerTomB@aol.com for the real truth!
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and owner of
Pump’n Inc Gym at 1271 NE 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale.
For more tips on how to get bigger beefier arms by summer,
give me a shout at TrainerTomB@aol.com