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5 Common Training Mistakes To Avoid
1. TRAINING TOO FAST
The point of weight training is to develop the maximum strength and size. You can’t get much intensity from a muscle that is too tired. Give your muscles time to recover from a set before doing another. The time needed is usually more for power exercises (up to two minutes) than it is for lighter, bodybuilding sets. But even for bodybuilding, rushing from one set to another without taking time to rest just means you can’t work the muscle with the intensity you need.
2. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE PUMP
Your muscles get bigger and fuller looking when you pump them full of blood, glycogen, and water. But that’s not the same thing as creating strength and hypertrophied muscle tissue. A good pump is part of bodybuilding; it feels good and makes your physique look better onstage. But actually building strength and size involves a lot more than just pumping the muscles with low weights and high reps.
3. YOU CAN’T OUTWORK A BAD DIET
It’s true that you are what you eat, and a poor diet will prevent you from making the gains you’re working so hard in the gym to achieve. Eating fast food or too much fat/sugar/salt or handicapping yourself with too much alcohol intake is hugely counterproductive to gaining the strength and size you’re hoping to attain. Also, gaining too much unnecessary fat makes it much harder for powerlifters who are trying to make weight or bodybuilders working to get ripped. This whole thing is difficult enough without handicapping yourself with a poor diet and bad eating habits.
4. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE YOUR POTENTIAL
As I said earlier, the body won’t go where the mind hasn’t gone first. You need to be realistic about your short-term goals, but open-minded regarding your ultimate ambitions. Plan to make continuous progress and keep pushing through plateaus and sticking points. If you have a bad workout or can’t lift what you think you should in a given training session, just use that as motivation to achieve that much more in your next workout—or in the next week or month. Expect success and do all you can to achieve it. Everybody has setbacks. Don’t let them discourage you from making continuous progress.
5. DON’T INCREASE THE VOLUME OF YOUR WORKOUTS
Weight training is a series of sprints, not a marathon. Unlike other athletic training, you don’t improve by increasing the volume or frequency of your exercise sessions. You get better by doing more—more intensity, using heavier weights—in the same amount of time. Again, if my Power Bodybuilding program doesn’t seem enough for you, you’re not doing it right. I’ve trained with partners who thought they were in great shape, but ended up puking by the side of the gym.