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Biggest Mistakes That Weightlifters Make When Trying To Gain Muscle
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Biggest Mistakes That Weightlifters Make When Trying To Gain Muscle

When you go to the gym, do you notice the dudes around you? Likely you see them there all the time if you’re consistent with the time of day that you train. Have you ever noticed if these guys are progressing with their bodybuilding? It may be true that not every guy is looking to get massive, but the vast majority will be looking to gain muscle.

If you haven’t already, analyze the men that you see on a regular basis at your gym. Given a month’s time, many of them probably don’t look any different than they did before. In fact, they will probably continue to “try to train” and remain the same throughout the entire year.

These people simply are not training properly. Either they are not providing their body with the proper nutrition or they aren’t forcing adaptation in their workouts. In some cases it will probably be a combination of both. If you have found that you have hit a ceiling and you are not progressing like you should, this article is for you. I’m going to outline the most common mistakes made when training.

1) Lack of Progression

Believe it or not, many people just wing it at the gym. They believe that if they simply lift weights until they can’t lift anymore that they will magically gain muscle. This simply isn’t the case. The only reason that the body builds muscle is due to forced adaptation. The body must be convinced that for the sake of its survival that it must gain more muscle.

In order for this to happen, consistent and measureable progression must take place. You need to perform with more power output than the previous week. This is why a workout log is critical. I don’t care how amazing your memory is, if you don’t record exactly how many reps, sets, and how much weight you lifted the last workout you will fail.

This progression needs to be constant. As long as you beat your previous workout in a fair manner (as in not sacrificing form or technique) then you will force your body to enter a state of adaptation.

2) Lack of Technique

So the idea is to simply lift as much weight as possible within the targeted rep range right? Wrong! You must lift the maximum amount of weight within the targeted rep range using flawless technique! When I say technique, I’m referring to both form and range of movement. The best workout routine to gain muscle will enforce proper execution of both.

The point of an exercise is to effectively stimulate a targeted muscle group. Proper form allows this movement to stimulate the targeted muscle group in the most effective way possible. Thus it’s extremely important that you execute each and every movement with flawless form.

Range of motion for each exercise is equally as important. The idea here is to maximize the amount of muscle fibers that you stimulate. The more muscle fibers that you stimulate, the more potential there is for growth. With this in mind, you need to maximize your range of motion for each exercise.

The reason so many weight lifters fail at technique is their ego. They believe that they can lift more weight. In doing so, they then sacrifice technique in order for them to execute the last few reps. Clearly, this contradicts the reason they’re there in the first place. The reason they are working out is to gain muscle. If they sacrifice technique, then they are also sacrificing potential muscle growth. Keep your ego in check and focus on proper execution of each exercise.

3) No Cool Down Phase

After their excruciating workout, misinformed or ignorant weight lifters might go straight to the change room and go home. Little do they know, they are hindering their muscle gains by up to 25% simply because they didn’t stretch properly afterwards.

After a tough workout, lactic acid builds up in the damaged muscle group. This lactic acid is there to prevent the muscle from getting over worked. On top of this, lactic acid literally eats away at your muscle fibers as part of the muscle break down process. This puts your body into a catabolic state. You want to be in an anabolic state which allows muscle to be built, not destroyed.

Obviously you want to get this lactic acid out of your muscles as quickly as possible. An effective way to do this is by stretching out the muscle group that was just traumatized. This helps to drain the lactic acid out of your muscles and provide a more anabolic environment.

4) Too many reps and sets!

When it comes to building muscle, less is more. Many amateurs believe that if they spend hours at a time in the gym and keep lifting until they can’t lift anymore that their bodies will look like the hulk. Little do they know, that they are simply training their type 1 muscle fibers at that point. Type 1 muscle fibers (slow twitch fibers) are responsible for endurance.

Great endurance doesn’t mean large muscles. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Large muscles cannot operate for lengthy periods of time. At a certain point, the large type 2 fibers shut down and the type 1 fibers take over. Type 2 fibers have much more potential for growth when compared to type 1 fibers. This is why you must focus on training your fast twitch type 2 fibers.

The way that this is accomplished is by performing no more than 2 sets for each exercise and lifting within the range of 4-7 reps. If you can lift more than 7 reps, then the weight is too light. Vice versa, if you can’t lift more than 3 reps, the weight is too heavy.

5) Recovery Time

Each muscle group should only be trained once a week! Many wanna-be bodybuilders over train their muscle groups on a weekly basis. Don’t let your body fool you. Even though your muscle group may not be sore after a couple of days, it doesn’t mean that you are fully recovered! The best workout routine to gain muscle will acknowledge this.

Not only do you need to strictly train a muscle group once per week, but you need to be sure that you don’t train sub muscle groups consecutively. For example, you should never dedicate one day to chest and then the next day to arms. This is because you will be training your triceps two days in a row! This will force your body to increase in type 1 muscle and not type 2 like you want.

6) Sufficient Nutrition

Since you workout out on a daily basis, you can eat whatever you want right? No! It doesn’t matter if you’re training with the best workout routine to gain muscle in the world, if you don’t eat right, you won’t gain any muscle at all. You must provide your body with sufficient amounts of protein, low GI carbs, and healthy fats.

How much is enough? This depends on your body type. A naturally skinny dude, known as an ectomorph, will need a lot more protein and calories to build muscle compared to a naturally large mesomorph. For this you will need to dig deeper and learn more strictly about nutrition. The best workout routine to gain muscle will usually give you these details.

These are the main mistakes that way too many people are guilty of committing at the gym. If you learn a great workout routine to gain muscle then these factors will be addressed already. But, if you catch yourself doing any of these mistakes, be sure to step back and recalibrate your workouts.


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