If you’ve been looking at motivational posters on social media or your local gyms which have “go hard or go home” or “work until your muscles hurt” or “no gain without pain” or something to the effect of relating success to extreme weight training, then you’ve clearly been looking at the wrong posters. We come over so many cases where users claim that they’ve been at it in the gym for so long without ever achieving their desired result. In order to help you avoid the same fate, we’re sharing this article on muscle building mistakes!
Common Muscle Building Mistakes to Avoid
1. Prioritising Quantity Over Quality
We live in an age where we believe more is better. A gaze around the gym might show mindless addition of reps and set backed by piling unreasonably more plates (mostly on the leg press machine and rarely the squat rack if not for 1/100th partial rep squats). Most folks aiming to add muscle might believe training seven days a week must undeniably be better than three. What these people fail to realise is the foundation of quality muscle building still rests upon what it used to be about a hundred years ago – Getting stronger. Becoming stronger is neural training. The central nervous system demands its necessary share of rest before it is ready to tackle new challenges in your next workout. In the words of the Bodybuilding Legend Lee Haney: “Stimulate, not annihilate!”
Pro Tip: Build Movement Quality in a lift before gradually adding volume (sets and reps), before gradually adding weight.
2. Chasing The Pump
If you are a true meathead, you remember the first time you curled that lonely barbell in the gym and the immediate next thing you did was flex your arms before the nearest mirror. It’s okay if you did. Pursuit of the ‘pump’ or build-up of metabolic fluid as a result of high volume resistance training in a muscle has fascinated millions of people entering muscle building. The degree to which pump helps increase muscle size fades as quickly as the pump itself a few hours after training. Don’t get me wrong, metabolic and high rep training has its place, though making every exercise in your program a high rep per set one in order to feel the temporary pump at the expense of actually getting stronger (refer to point 1 above) would be a big miss.
Pro Tip: Focus more on documented progress in weight lifted and the volume for which it is lifted rather than an arbitrary goal like ‘feeling the pump’.
3. Pain is (the only way to) Gain
Most people wearing the ‘Pain is Gain’ t-shirts have a very myopic vision of their training years. Most of them belong to the late teens to late twenties. Fast forward ten years and they may soon begin to laugh at their idea of ‘balls-to-the-walls’ intensity every workout, week after week. As we age, especially as we enter 30s, training revolves more about recovery than making unending progress. Joints and connective tissue take a solid hit if we are really lifting seriously. As such, making every workout a masochistic fiesta can seriously hamper our joints’ ability to outperform them later.
Pro Tip: It’s okay if a workout didn’t leave you hurt and devastated. Try to make a majority of your workouts in a year energizing and your training longevity might increase by several years.
4. Taking Supplements Is Like Pressing A Switch
All of us know that someone who swears by his or her shelf full of powders and pills claiming to transform them into a machine. Supplements have their place in the life of serious strength and physique athlete. However, replacing natural, real food with doses of meal replacement drinks is a strategy that might fail to deliver real robust and healthy changes in your physique. Quality, natural and fresh nutritional food would always beat sole supplementation.
Pro Tip: Make a select handful of supplements such as Whey and Creatine Monohydrate a tool to fill in the gaps in your nutrition wherever or whenever you see it, rather than a staple in your diet.
5. I Need To Train Like A Pro
In the pursuit of ‘Big Guns’, an amateur might look up the internet for the training split of an eight time Mr. Olympia winner and begin to emulate it in his training. The efforts might soon begin to be outweighed by the stopping of gains through either injury or incorrect loading parameters and the trainee might soon end up in dire frustration before switching to an altogether new program, this time followed by a multiple ‘World’s Strongest Man’ title winner.
Many individuals fail to understand that it might take more than a decade of continual solid and consistent effort with the big lifts in order to come anywhere near being called a pro. And we aren’t even talking about ‘pharmaceutical aids’ yet.
Pro Tip: Aim for Health first, followed by getting stronger, followed by improvement in appearance whenever drawing out your training strategy or designing a muscle building program.
We hope this article helps you avoid these common muscle building mistakes and aids you in making the right choices. For more on fitness, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions on GOQii PRO within the GOQii App, where you can get one-on-one guidance in real time by certified fitness experts.