T Nation

Musclebound Myth?


#1

Years ago as a kid I remember the prevailing myth around (in '60s or earlier) was that bbers and guys who trained with weights who got really muscular and lean would become "musclebound" which meant that they would suffer lots of incapacitating muscular cramps due to their overly developed muscles.

And in fact, as the myth went, they would lose nearly all functionality and flexibility becoming so rigid and tight that they could hardly move about.

Of course now we know that this is totally false.
However, over the years as I myself have become more muscular and solidly built I do suffer more and more muscle cramps, especially within the abs/gut region, ribcage area and lats.

it's getting to the point where everday common actions can cause cramping which may last for 10 minutes or more, such as a sneeze, cough, a hearty laugh, yawning, or quick sudden twist or jerky movement. To date I have not gotten a good explanation of this or a good remedy.

Do I need to supplement more on sodiums and minerals like in Gatorade drinks? or is it my electrolytes are too low?

any thoughtful educated help is appreciated.
thanks


#2

Do you continue to get cramps if you take a week or two off lifting?


#3

I would think if it were electrolytes you would be getting cramps in places other than just your midsection. I'm betting on an imbalance of some sort offhand, though I can't say that with too high a degree of certainty. Is it like a stitch in the side from running? In the actual rectus abdominus?


#4


I'm an old bastard, and know whereof' you speak. I also have a history of doing martial arts, so I have to ask: Do you do any stretching exercises?...Study up on the subject and find a non-greedy chiro to help accelerate your flexibility, esp. the hamstrings. Accept this is something you will be doing ad infinitum. Soon, it will be a non-issue, and you'll be thumbing your nose at the fools who try and tell you that you are muscle-bound...Maybe do a James Brown split on a bet, make em' buy you a big slab o' Prime Rib and a flagon of Ale!/:wink:


#5

Do you stretch effectively before and after lifting?

Muscle size won't contribute to more cramps but use can if it makes them tight. Incorporate a better stretching routing to your training and I bet you'll be fine.


#6

Are you stretching before and lifting? Do you do some light exercise and stretch during your rest weeks (assuming you take them...)? How often are you taking a break from lifting?


#7

Who says muscle bound and cramping is a myth? You don't have to get cramps because you have muscle but its not a myth. As you get muscle you have to do more to provide your body the nutrients and elasticity to maintain. Without knowing the type of cardio you do, the nutrients you take in, or the amount of stretching I don't think anybody can give you accurate advice.


#8

Do you use a lifting belt?


#9

Do you curl in the squat rack?


#10

Do you quarter squat?


#11

To answer some of the questions:

Yes I do brief warm-up stretching,also try to stretch throughout my workout most times.

if my cardio you mean treadmill, stationary bike stuff, no.

I take creatine, protein shakes, drinking lots water, some herbal vita supps

I do take breaks from training every 4-5 months, I take week or 2 off. cramps can occur during workout especially ab work, crunches; but also away from gym while resting as I described.
serious posters can also PM or email me.

thanks


#12

Sounds like more carbs and a little steady state cardio would help alot.

As far as nutrients go non-exotic foods they say are the best are bananas,apples, and spinach.

Unless your sweating like crazy salt from gatorade is not all that necessary.

Last but not least cut the herbals for a little while they can be great for a short term goal but over the long time some of them start to build up and have slightly negative effects. (Except green tea)


#13

No one really knows what causes muscle cramping, but common thoughts are electrolyte imbalance (might be from mild dehydration) and muscle fatigue. Maybe because a person that trains hard is more likely to have one of those problems, you are inclined to get more cramps. I have also noticed that once a muscle cramps, it seems more likely to cramp again in the days following, like it's already on the verge of another cramp.

I've also notice that there are certain cramps I always seem to get in the same spots no matter what (when I first start to run I get a stitch cramp just beneath my collar bone nearly every time, year in and out).

Anyway, make sure you're hydrated and recovering fully from your workouts for a couple of weeks and see if that helps any.

Good luck.


#14

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#15

The Muscle Bound Myth is a complete myth. The only truth to it is that elite bodybuilders who get really, really huge will become less mobile because of their excess bulk.

I remember when I was a freshmen in high school people would talk about how huge the star running back's back was and how even though he's good at his sport, he must have no flexibility. Then during track season I saw him stretching out his legs, and touching his head to his knee.

Does anyone realize how insanely massive someones muscles would have to be for them to get to a point where they've lost normal rage of motion and can't be helped with stretching? If you don't, go see the Carl in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Movie.


#16

It doen'st have to be insanely massive, and it's not a myth. Like you said your highschool running back ran track. Track practice consists of stretching and running.

If you take a person and just have them do nothing but a bodybuilding routine they will eventually become less flexibile then someone who doesn't do that routine.

The fact that many people who can lift weights can now do other functional things is not because weights doesn't stiffen you, its because they compensate by doing different types of exercises(plyometrics,sports, HIIT).


#17

How's your digestive system? Do you tend to get constipated? If so, more fresh fruits and fibrous veggies should do the trick for you.


#18

lower your dose of creatine for a few days.....


#19

But they can still compensate! You need to be really super jacked to lose normal range of motion and not be able to cure yourself with stretching. Symptoms of being musclebound don't come from getting too huge. They come from not having a complete program that includes stretching.


#20

That is one gay picture you have there.

1) Ass Shot

2) Using Tiny-Ass Dumbbells for Romanian Deadlifts

3) Posing suit that makes the bent-over Ass Shot even more gay