Bodybuilding is all about progression and doing whatever it takes to progress. We’ve all done things that we look back on and scratch out heads, wondering what on earth we were thinking, or how we could possibly think such a thing could lead to results such as increased muscle mass, strength, a decrease in bodyfat, etc. There are still many obvious things that people overlook – or simply don’t know they’re guilty of doing so – which can be found here.
#10 – Lack of Training Volume
Volume, or the total amount of exercises, reps, and sets performed during a workout, can be influential in achieving progressive overload which is essential for building muscle. Along with a lack of intensity, a lack of volume can also hinder you greatly. If you’re not getting the best results for a certain body part, try increasing the volume and see how it works.
#9 – Too Much Attention to Fine Details
If you spend your nights looking through research studies about a supplement, ingredient, training technique, etc that is a “breakthrough secret that personal trainers don’t want you to know about”, then take a step back and realize that these are things that may seldom influence your progression in the gym. Focus on achieving what matters most: correct dietary intake, correct training, correct recovery, and consistency to wrap it all up.
#8 – Not Enough Intensity
You may find that you can cut your workout times in half, AND achieve better results by focusing on the intensity of your workouts. Keeping workouts intense ensure the muscle will reach progressive overload – which is essential for building new muscle. As much as people don’t want to hear it, workouts should not be relaxing and easy if you want to get the most out of it.
#7 – Improper Focus on Body Parts
Curls for the girls, right? Do you want big arms, a huge chest, and an overall aesthetic physique? There are many training mistakes in regards to training specific body parts, as well as a general avoidance of training body parts that improve a physique’s aesthetics. Don’t avoid training your legs. Don’t neglect your rear delts. Don’t forget how much more muscular a wide and thick back will make you look. Don’t neglect working your triceps for bigger arms, since they make up the majority of your arm’s mass. Make sure every body part is worked regularly in order to maintain symmetry and balance with your physique.
#6 – Lack of Proper Recovery
Overtraining is a commonly discussed issue in fitness. Some studies are aimed to prove that overtraining doesn’t exist (or is much less of an issue than previously claimed), while others sway the other way. One thing is for certain, overtraining can be caused by a lack of RECOVERY. Certain factors may influence how often and how hard an individual may train based on that specific person. Some people can train a bodypart four or more times per week and make progress, while others have achieved the best results training only once per week. To reduce the likelihood of overtraining, ensure you’re getting enough sleep, enough calories, and a balanced diet rich in vitamins and essential nutrients.
#5 – Too Much Attention to Supplements
I’m not disregarding the effectiveness of supplements at all here – but supplements are meant to SUPPLEMENT your normal dietary intake, and not replace it. All the supplements in the world will not build muscle mass if you are not even taking in enough calories, protein, etc to build muscle in the first place. Choose a few proven-to-work supplements and focus on your diet to achieve better results.
#4 – Improper Lifting Form
This is common in every gym. Some exercises are worse than others. Almost every gym that I’ve ever been in, if I ever even see somebody doing squats to begin with, they’re done wrong about 95% of the time. Loading up more weight than you can handle and squatting down 3 inches is not going to give you results. What do all of these people squatting with a three-inch range of motion also have in common? PENCIL LEGS. Also, bouncing the bar off your chest in pressing exercises like a trampoline might not be a good idea, either. There’s nothing wrong with training heavy, but sacrificing form to do so is a big no-no.
#3 – Improper Training
Everybody has their own opinion on what type of training works best, and there are a million studies to show why each form of training works best. There are, however, some basic principals most successful bodybuilders all abide by – more or less the core fundamentals. These may include the addition of free weight exercises, compound movements, a training split, etc. Full body, 3-hour circuit training workouts might work for somebody trying to generally improve their shape, but it’s not likely to be beneficial to someone trying to attain the physique of a bodybuilder. Follow core principals that are proven to work and steer clear from the outrageous crap that you sometimes see in the gym (i.e kettle bell medicine ball squats, which I have personally seen).
#2 – Lack of Consistency
Consistency is KEY to everything bodybuilding – regarding training, diet, you name it. Many fail to realize that bodybuilding is a continual progression of one’s physique and it takes time to achieve a great physique. Some may find spurts of motivation, hit the gym and diet hard for a month, burn themselves out, and then revert back to a lifestyle full of junk food and laziness for another 6 months. In reality, even if the intensity was lessened and the diet wasn’t PERFECT, having even just two months of consistency would have provided much, much better results. Results will come slowly, and it is in your best interests to keep consistent with training, diet, supplementation, and everything in tune with bodybuilding.
#1 – Improper Diet
An awesome physique isn’t made in the gym, it’s made in the kitchen. No matter how hard you pound the weights, or how much cardio you do, if your diet isn’t in check – your results are going to suffer. While you may not need to be weighing every meal to the gram and counting calories, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what is going into your body. Without enough calories, your body simply will not have the nutrients it needs to build new muscle. With too many calories, you’ll be adding too much fat and will not be able to display whatever muscle you have hiding.