Lately it seems every time you turn on the television, go online, or flip through the pages of a magazine, there are quizzes everywhere asking how well you know a certain subject with “Fact or Myth” and “True or False” questions. It’s always interesting to learn the truth about important topics that can affect your life, health, finances, etc., but even more intriguing is that some of what we always thought to be “facts” are now deemed incorrect.
Take for instance your doctor’s sound advice to tip your head back when having a nose bleed to stop the blood flow—this is now advised against. Just as general beliefs change, so do the way we see philosophies on training, diet, and preparing for an event. Below are some of my top “Myth Busters” regarding weight and fat loss.
1 MYTH Lifting light weight with high repetitions is the only way to get lean.
One thing I am most frequently asked about from novice and pro athletes alike is whether they have to stop training for strength during a contest phase and lift only light weight with high reps to create definition and a lean physique.
The myth that you need to train with high reps and light weight to lean out has a great deal to do with the mindset of the athlete and what we have been programmed to believe: We will automatically lose strength and simply cannot stay as strong as we were in the off-season once dieting begins, so the best way to compensate for this is to perform light-weight, high reps to yield a lean and ripped physique.
My philosophies with nutrition are based on constant change, and that is why I refer to my nutrition style as “multi-phase manipulation.” However, when it comes to how you train during a contest phase, I have an unyielding stance on not veering from the training path you were on prior to beginning your diet. I’m a firm believer in old-school heavy training, no matter if you are in off-season or pre-contest mode. If you are my athlete, I want you to strive to hold on to as much muscle as possible even during the diet, because the more muscle you have, the more fat you will burn and the leaner and more ripped you will be. With this in mind, it only makes sense to stick with lifting as heavily as possible to maintain size. We are more knowledgeable in the areas of training and nutrition than ever before. Today’s diets are no longer about starvation, but rather are rich in foods that will enable us to maintain strength and muscle while chiseling away fat. A well-planned nutritional program teamed with cardio and heavy training will enable you to keep your muscle while displaying a lean, ripped physique.
Watch today’s pros train—the vast majority of them stick with basic, heavy moves throughout the greater part of their contest training program. Imbedded in our minds are the legendary bent over row sets of 455 and the 800-pound deadlifts performed by Ronnie Coleman four weeks out of his Olympia preparation. Another example that comes to mind is the incredible strength my wife (four-time Ms. Olympia Kim Chizevsky) possessed throughout her Ms. Olympia training. At two weeks out of the competition, she was still able to squat 335 pounds for 20 reps—by no means light weight.