Written by Michael Richardson | Healthy Magazine

Lie #1: More Protein = More Muscle

It’s all about the protein synthesis. Although protein assists in the development of muscle growth, an unlimited amount of protein consumption does not result in an unlimited amount of muscles. If you consume more protein than your body needs, it ends up breaking down into amino acids and nitrogen, and your body will store them as carbohydrates or send them out of the body.

Dr. John Ivy, Ph.D., and co-author of Nutrient Timing, suggests that balancing protein carbohydrates is the key to protein synthesis. Try this routine:

  • 01 Have a shake with three parts carbohydrates, one part protein.
  • 02 Several hours later, eat a regular meal.
  • 03 Have a snack a few hours after the meal with three parts protein and one part carbohydrates.

“This [routine] will keep protein synthesis going by maintaining high amino acid concentrations in the blood,” says Ivy.

The Bottom Line: Consume 0.9 to 1.25 grams of protein per pound of body weight if you are involved in an intense workout program. Balance your protein with carbohydrates to maximize protein synthesis.

Lie #2: Stretching = Fewer Injuries

“Stretching increases flexibility, but most injuries occur within the normal range of motion,” says Julie Gilchrist, M.D., a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Stretching and warming up have just gone together for decades. It’s simply what’s done, and it hasn’t been approached through rigorous science.” Gilchrist and other researchers determined, after reviewing more than 350 articles and studies that investigated the connection between stretching and injuries, that stretching in warm-ups do not significantly affect injury occurrence.
Dr. Gilchrist says increasing your blood flow through warm-ups helps prime muscles for a workout. Also, flexibility, to bring your ability to move into a normal range, as well as conditioning, assists in injury prevention.

The Bottom Line: A good warm-up, not stretching in itself, helps prevent injuries.

Lie #3: Free Weights Are Always Better Than Machines

Free weights are an important part of a weight-lifting program, but they are not the only key to muscle-building. It’s best to use weight-lifting machines when you are just getting started or when you are rebuilding from an injury.

According to Gregg Haff, Ph.D. and director of the strength research laboratory at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, “Initially, novice athletes will see benefits with either machines or free weights, but as you become more trained, free weights should make up the major portion of your training program.”

The Bottom Line: Use machines until you are experienced and strong enough to perform free-weight-lifting. If you become injured, use machines to help restore your strength to specific areas.

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