1. Training like a professional bodybuilders
The most common muscle building mistake is copying the training of professional bodybuilders. Many boys think that if they want to look like pros they have to train like them. They couldn’t be more wrong. Any professional bodybuilder spend over $20000 a year on steroids and supplements besides most of them have been training all their life – 20 years or even over 30 years, that’s why their muscles are adapted to such a heavy workouts. You can easily divide their workout on two and do first half one day and another half next week, otherwise you’ll be only destroying your muscles and getting smaller and weaker.
Don’t copy the technique from their videos either. Just because you see them training in certain way, doesn’t necessary mean that they train whole year with the same technique. Maybe they are using some kind of shocking method that we don’t know or understand but next month they train totally different way. Good example would be some videos with Ronnie Coleman. In many of them you see him doing partial repetitions – most of his movements aren’t longer than 10 inches. That’s not the way we should train. However in different videos he trains with full range of motion. So don’t copy them, you never know what their goal is.
2. Reading bodybuilding and fitness magazines
Unfortunately most of bodybuilding magazines are destroying this sport. If they wanted to write everything that we should know about weight training, diet and supplements probably in a first 3 or 5 issues we would have enough knowledge. Would they make any money then?? No! That’s why they are confusing people with different workouts every month usually far too heavy for a mortal man or with tips like: ‘how to turn your fat into muscles’ which is impossible or ‘how to gain 10lbs in a week’, etc. Reading most of them is a waste of time. They have to sell you an issue every month, other way they make no money. So stop reading them if you are because it will only confuse you. In training principles you’ll find most information you should know about working out and if it’s not enough or you want to ask about something else go to question page and write there what you would like to know and I will answer you or post an article about it.
3. Not training legs.
Legs are the strongest muscles of the whole body. By avoiding training this body part you might develop very funny disproportion: big upper body and chicken legs. It looks stupid, trust me, I know few people who did it and really regret it. Besides you’ll never be strong if you have weak legs. They are the base of our body and the most important muscle group; furthermore women pay as much attention to them just as we pay to theirs.
4. Not squatting.
To train legs properly and to maximize the growth of all your muscles you can’t avoid squatting. Have you ever seen power lifters? Do they have thick arms? And do you think they spend hours doing dumbbell curls or overhead triceps extensions? No, they don’t, if you’re not sure. Look around your gym; do you see the biggest guys? They squat.
Because squat is a compound exercise (nearly every part of our body is involved) and we can apply heavy loads, it increases the production of testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone). It stimulates our whole body to grow.
I hated squat. Usually after 2 sets I was ready to go home. It changed after 4 weeks of GetStrongworkout. Once I started to squat and learned proper technique my all lifts went up. I felt much stronger and I was growing. So if you don’t squat, try it. Even with an empty barbell and week by week add some weight. You won’t regret it.
5. Too many activities – not resting enough.
If you work hard 10 hours per day, go to gym 3 days per week, train mixed martial arts in days between and during weekends play basketball with your friends you can forget about gaining weight because you burn too many calories. You have to give your body some rest, much sleep and eat more food that you use if you want your muscles to grow.
6. Training with too heavy weight.
I think that’s a very common mistake. You train with your friends and you don’t want them to think that you are weaker than them so you load the barbell with too much weight. Then you can’t lift it with a proper technique and tempo.
Leave your ego at home and remember: when you build muscle mass, train with moderate intensity – about 65%-85% of your max. Choose the weight that will allow you to lift it within the right repetition range (around 12 in a first set, 10 in second and between 8-6 in the last) and with the proper tempo. If your technique breaks down during exercise stop it. Never perform additional reps with a bad form – it can cause injury and put you out of training completely for weeks.
7. Resting too long between sets.
I see so many people spending too much time on endless conversations at the gym. They do one set, then talk for five minutes, do another one and so on… Bodybuilding training has to be short and intense. Optimal resting time between sets should be around 60 seconds. Too long breaks won’t force additional muscle fibres to do the work and therefore your progress will be very slow.
8. Not eating right.
Muscle mass growth depends very much from what we eat. Without the right nutrition you’ll never get big muscles, doesn’t matter how hard you will train. So educate yourself a bit and start eating as a bodybuilder should if you don’t. Remember also about post workout nutrition, which is probably the most important meal of the day and has the biggest impact on muscular development.
9. Working out too much one body part
Most of beginning trainees want to develop their chest and biceps. That’s why the most popular exercises at the gym are bench press and barbell curls. There is nothing wrong with that as long as other muscles are trained as well. Unfortunately usually they train only these muscle groups most of the time forgetting about the rest. Sometimes they do shoulders, hardly ever back muscles and sure they don’t need to have strong legs.
If we focus too much on one body part like chest for example and won’t train the opposite – back muscles – our progress will stop completely. Our body will be ‘defending’ itself from developing imbalances and slow down the growth of the stronger muscle. Besides our chest will get tight and smaller; back will become round and weak.
To achieve proper development and good looking, proportional, aesthetic physique we have to work on every muscle group that we have, do as many pulling as pressing exercises and as many sets fortriceps as for biceps. Of course we can’t neglect legs.
10. Wrong technique
First thing you have to do is to learn the proper technique. I’ve described the proper execution of themost important exercises so study them before you enter the gym. You’ll not be able to do them perfect straight away but always try to improve.
Without the proper movement pattern you’ll not be training muscles that you want to train and in the worst case you will injure yourself. So read, watch videos, observe experienced lifters at your gym and learn from them. Of course practice with a very light weight, empty barbell or even broom-stick if the barbell seems too heavy at the start. Once you’ll master the proper execution of the exercise you can increase the weight.
At the end of the day we are all humans. We all make mistakes. The most important thing is to learn from them and the best would be to learn from other people mistakes rather than do them ourselves. Knowledge about weight training developed pretty much all over the world along with internet in recent years. Therefore by reading this website you have really big advantage over people who trained 20 years ago and over anybody who is starting bodybuilding without educating himself or learning this sport from fitness magazines.