Bodybuilding: myths and facts
If you have spent any time reading or talking to people about bodybuilding, it is almost inevitable that you have come across one of these bodybuilding myths. There are several bodybuilding myths floating around, and not a week goes by that I don’t hear a new one emerge without scientific merit behind it. Read on to discover the three most common bodybuilding myths that have been made and continue to circulate.
Bodybuilding makes women look like men
This is probably the number one reason why many women do not practice bodybuilding, yet it actually has very little truth. For men to develop the muscular physique they have (even before bodybuilding) they need testosterone. While it is true that women produce small levels of testosterone, it is not close to the same amount as men, and they actually produce higher levels of estrogen, the hormone associated with femininity. Due to the levels of these two hormones present, it is incredibly difficult for women to build the muscle mass and quality that men produce without taking an additional supplement or male hormones.
Bodybuilding can slow your growth
This myth arose because there are a disproportionate number of competitive bodybuilders who are quite short in stature. In reality, this disproportion is more likely because taller bodybuilders are selected for other sports where height and size are important, leaving shorter bodybuilders to compete. In the same context, short bodybuilders could also do better in competition because their shorter limbs make their muscle mass look better proportioned, which is ideal for competitive bodybuilding.
Your muscles get fat once you stop exercising
I want to make one thing perfectly clear here: it is physically impossible for muscles to turn to fat. They are two completely separate types of tissue, and it would be like saying that skin can turn into bone. The root of this myth comes from the fact that many bodybuilders get relatively fat after stopping training. What actually happens is that muscles shrink once they are no longer trained, which takes a year or more to happen. During this time, the former bodybuilder makes the mistake of continuing to eat large amounts of nutrient-dense foods as he did when he trained intensely and used up all his energy. This large energy intake, along with the lower energy expenditure, means that the excess is stored as, among other things, fat. If you reduce your energy intake when you stop training, this myth can be avoided.
Those are probably the most common myths about bodybuilding that I still hear almost daily. You can see how many of them show up, however you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to see that they are wrong too. Exercise In general, almost any exercise will have benefits for the person doing it. Sometimes myths are simply excuses others use to make themselves feel better about not doing something for themselves.