Fun and Fitness: “Professional” doesn't always mean right

It is snowing as I write this. I hope that by the time you read this, it will be sunny again. Last year we got it really good and the sun was blasting full force by the time St. Patrick's Day came around. Actually, I think we got it a little too good because this year's weather seems to be a complete yo-yo of a tease in terms of sun and cold. Back to reality, I guess, and back to the indoor routines for a little while longer for most of us.

A group of friends and I had a bit of a roundtable discussion after a recent weekend spent indoors. We were joined by a couple of other resistance training enthusiasts who also had some opinions. One of them happened to be a female bodybuilder who is very well respected in the community with several accomplishments. Somehow we got into a discussion about biceps and bicep training. She started explaining that in order to increase the size of the bicep belly, you have to do exercises that hyperextend the bicep. Basically, she was suggesting that stretching the bicep with extreme force will create a bigger surface area so that you actually have more bicep to work with (the more bicep you start off with, the more bicep you have to stimulate growth through weight training resulting in bigger arms).

It instantly got awkward because anyone who has a basic knowledge of the human anatomy knows that you simply work with the body and genetic gifts that your parents gave you. Absolutely everyone can improve their body composition, and to be more specific to this particular discussion, everyone can increase and tone their arms. However, our bicep belly lengths are already individually predetermined and the larger they are the greater capacity you have to get “bigger” arms. This applies to the rest of our body parts as well. For example, the higher your calves attach on your legs, the lower your potential for growth is compared to that of a person of similar proportion who has calves that attach much lower on their legs. When you think about it, it makes complete sense; the larger muscle bellied calves simply have much more room to grow from weight training.

The point is, this bodybuilder is completely off her rocker into believing you can hyperextend your muscle bellies in such away. More important, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that HYPERextending anything is NOT a good idea and will eventually lead to serious injury. She is simply another case of an individual with great genetics for body building, but has chosen to believe some very incorrect information.

So, if you don't take anything from this article, at least leave with this: STAY IN SCHOOL, KIDS. But on a serious note, don't just listen to everything that someone has to say just because they may appear to be a “pro” in the topic of conversation. If something seems “off,” listen to your gut! Do some of your own personal research and gather more opinions to formulate your own conclusion. In the meantime, I need to end this week's article because I have several sets of bicep hyperextensions to do!