Bodybuilding myths and the truth behind them

Bodybuilding myths and the truth behind them
  • PublishedDecember 21, 2020

The world of health, nutrition, and fitness (bodybuilding) is full of misinformation and falsehoods.

The bad thing is that many people continue to believe this information without even questioning the source. Most of the information is just myths with no scientific backing, and this has led to failure at fitness or getting the body of your dreams.

In this article, we are going to expose the bodybuilding myths and lies that have survived over years and who best we can get the correct information regarding fitness and bodybuilding. Let us begin by defining bodybuilding myths.

What are bodybuilding myths?

A bodybuilding myth is a widely held but false belief or idea in the culture of bodybuilding. As a beginner at fitness or bodybuilding, you have to be conscience lest you fall prey to the many inconsistencies and falsehoods that can make achieving your goals next to impossible.

The best approach to the fitness world is seeking knowledge first from trained and educated people before you start. This will help you deal with setbacks, plateaus, and training debacles along the way.

Read on to find out the truth behind common bodybuilding myths that will help you make smart choices to meeting your fitness objectives.

What are the common bodybuilding myths and the truth behind them?

1. Some builders think that if they don’t sore the next day, then the workout wasn’t hard enough.

The truth is that soreness is a response to inflammation. Otherwise, some trainers have not felt soreness in years. The only way to measure progress is by looking at the goals you have attained.

2. To lose weight you have to cut out all carbs

The only way to lose the right amount of weight is by adopting a diet that supports your goal, training with weights, and doing some cardio.

3. Train hard to see results

In most bodybuilding gyms you’ll often see posters telling you to train hard to see results. This has made many bodybuilders think that they won’t see results unless they work hard.  The truth is that spending more hours at the gym does not bring results. what is important is proper nutrition, recovery, and smart training. Studies show that shorter and more intensive workouts can bring results.

4. The more you sweat, the more fat you lose

The truth is that sweat has no relationship with intensity. It is simply how the body regulates the heat in the body. The truth is that fat oxidation takes place inside the body, and cannot vaporize because of sweating.

5. You should only eat at certain times of the day

Many diet and eating guides advise you not to eat late at night, as this will deter their bodybuilding results. They believe that the body does not burn calories at night because of inactivity.

The truth is; to build muscle you should look at eating late at night but not to avoiding it. During sleep, the body goes into a fasting mood and it starts turning protein into fuel, in case you did not eat in the night, the body can instead turn muscle into fuel, which we actually want to avoid.

6. Stay away from sugar

Many bodybuilding diets and eating plans will scare you away from sugar; promising that it will cause tooth decay, diabetes, and weight gain.

The truth is that having sugary food after a workout is good to refuel your muscles. Although sugar can cause insulin spikes, making your muscle cells to store sugar as fat, it can be used in moderation to build more muscle rather than denting fat burning.

Learn how to cut out sugar for weight loss here.

Other alternatives to sugar

7. Don’t train without stretching first

Since our primary education, we were told to stretch before doing exercise or stepping on the football pitch.

The truth is that stretching before exercise has no effect on the risk of injury during a workout and that your strength can actually decrease and you become less effective. It is in fact better to stretch after a workout to be more flexible.

Here are things you should never do before exercise

8. Weight training should come after cardio

In some gyms, bodybuilders do cardio workouts before weights. Most have a reason for doing this but simply a personal choice.

The truth according to Japanese research is that by working out with weights first the level of growth hormones increases which encourages muscle growth and fat burning more easily.

9. Protein bars are good substitutes for meals

Most builders think that they can replace meals with protein bars. The truth is that protein bars are highly processed and require fewer calories to digest and won’t benefit you unless you make them yourself.

Here is our list of the best foods for muscle gain which are lower in calories.

10. Muscle comes from lifting lightweight for many reps

The truth is that leanness and muscle definition come from having muscle mass and low body fat. Lightweights won’t build muscle and minus muscle mass, you won’t burn much fat.

11. Spot reduction

Most bodybuilders think that they can spot-reduce their problematic areas

The truth is that spot reduction is not possible unless you do liposuction. If it were possible by training and diet, we would see women with lower-body fat. The body draws fat from different regions at different rates depending on genetic makeup. Therefore, target the entire body with general body exercises and a balanced diet.

This brings us to the question “Do weight loss belts work?” here is all you need to know.

12. You can’t gain muscle 40

Bodybuilders’ thing that one cannot gain muscle when they grow old

The truth is that age brings wear and tear, but at 40 someone can still train and gain muscle despite hormonal deficiencies. It may only be a bit harder compared to a teenager.

13. Yoga will get you ripped

The truth is that yoga doesn’t burn many calories. This is so because it requires very little oxygen. Also, yoga doesn’t stimulate muscle growth the way we see it with weight training.


Can you lose weight by doing yoga?

Best yoga poses for weight loss

14. Eating fat will make you fat

The fact is that not all fats are bad. Some fats can actually help you lose weight. Fats can keep you satisfied for longer and eliminate hunger pangs. If you want to lose weight and gain muscle mass, pair fats with lean protein foods.

Here is our article on Good fat vs bad fat. Read it and find out the sources of good fats that will benefit your fitness goals.

15. Sleep is for babies but not bodybuilders

While some bodybuilders think they should work all day, this is actually wrong. Sleep and recovery will benefit your body after workouts. Exercise and diet without quality sleep will ruin your efforts. This is because the growth and regeneration of the muscles take place during sleep hours.

Learn how sleep can benefit weight loss here.

16. You can eat anything if you work out daily

Some people think that if they work out, they can eat anything. But that is not right. Exercise and nutrition move together. A balanced diet is very important when it comes to bodybuilding.

But who is responsible for the misinformation?

To begin with, ask yourself these simple questions; “who or what influenced you with regards to how to train? “, “Where did you learn muscle building from?”

The majority of bodybuilding falsehoods that are leading to conflicting and misleading messages are a result of the following.

Taking advice from unqualified people

The most interesting situation is that majority of the so-called ‘experts’ have absolutely no real-world experience, zero credentials. They just get to the basement and write to get quick bucks.

Authors and writers of rehashed magazines

You will be surprised to learn that most training articles that you see in magazines are not written by bodybuilders. They are instead written by ghostwriters and are influenced by hype and marketing tactics rather than real-world results and science.

Supplement Companies

These only have one job, and that is to prove to you that their products work and that they are better than other products. All they know is advertising. They are ready to dish out false training information on purpose so that you will fail! This will convince them to buy their products.

The ‘Big’ guy at your gym

Some people choose to listen to the common faces of big guys they see at the gym rather than their coaches. But what you have to know is that; training is an extremely individualized approach, almost an art. What works for him may not work for you.

Just because you start training like him does not mean you’re going to become like him. Look at the entire picture of someone’s success rather than selected advice.

Bottom line

Where should we get access to fitness information to avoid myths that are negative to health?

The only way to dispel bodybuilding myths and prevent the birth of new ones is to educate others about bodybuilding. Let can do a vital role in this aspect. They can come up with tutorials in form of videos and books to teach others about bodybuilding. There are videos and books but more has to be done.

Another source of bodybuilding knowledge is the internet. There are so many informative sites on the internet about bodybuilding by the right people. One example of a bodybuilding site with the right information is


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