9 Muscle Building Mistakes: From Skinny to Huge!!
How to correct simple mistakes to accelerate your results
1. MISTAKE – Improper Form /Technique
Correction – Strength training requires that you lift a weight slowly and through the full range of motion in order to work the muscle correctly. Mastering the correct technique for every exercise performed is imperative whether it is anaerobic or aerobic activity, therefore do yourself a favor and buy a book, spend some time watching demo videos, some people find it beneficial to hire a trainer to learn how to perform the exercises correctly. Respecting the integrity of the exercises will save you time, money and injuries. The better your technique / form the more productive results you will get.
2. MISTAKE – Over training
Correction – Over training causes injuries, retards progress, it interferes with muscle and the nervous system’s ability to recuperate. Repetitive over training on your body will also lead to muscle break down (catabolic state = the body eating its self for nutrients), leaving you mentally and physically burned out. Reevaluate your training fitness regiment, “quality is better then quantity.” Training is all about getting the right type and amount of physical stress, followed by the right amount of rest. It is in this rest period where you recover and grow stronger. With that said, feeling fatigued can indeed be a sign of the onset of over-training. If sufficient rest is not included in a training program then regeneration cannot occur and your performance will inevitably plateau and eventually decline.
3. MISTAKE – Neglecting to warm-up or just not warming up properly
Correction– Always take the time necessary to warm up your entire body and pay special attention to the body part you are training. Warm up is usually a high rep, low intensity, exercises, the idea is to increase blood flow and body temperature of the involved muscles areas promoting flexibility and mobility. The warm up is the key to unlocking tight muscles, ligaments and tendons, with out a warm up you are inviting injuries thus halting you progress.
4. MISTAKE – Ignoring the stretch
Correction – Stretching is a great way to begin any fitness session. It lets you know quickly, which areas are tight and which ones are limber. Stretching is different from your warm up, a stretch helps relax and elongate a muscle after warm up and before resistance training. The proper method of performing a stretching program is to take your time and allow your muscle to lengthen gradually as you bend and reach, NO BOUNCING OR JERKING. When stretching try for a maximum effort or bend, attempt to hold the point of full extension for a full 15 to 20 seconds. Warming up and stretching is the most common left out part of a training program and the biggest mistake anyone can make. After worming up, You should stretch your muscles before, during and after any physical activity whether its aerobically or anaerobic.
5. MISTAKE – Cheating
Correction – There are so many ways to cheat in the gym, whether its resistance or cardiovascular training. When it comes to resistance training a cheat is known to professional athletes in the advances stage of training as a technique that allows the lifter to train beyond normal, taking them past the point of failure. Do not confuse this with the lazy, short cuts methods that will only slow down progress, Some people know they’re doing it without the knowledge of the detrimental effects it has on their results, while there are others that don’t realize short cuts, Improper Form /Technique are cheats. For cardiovascular training a good example is, if you’re one of those people that lean on a treadmill or stair master for support, you’re cutting down on the full benefits of the exercise. Placing your hand on the rail (other than receiving heart rate info) while on the stair master or the treadmill is a BIG CHEAT. To correct this safely, you need to start at the beginning, walking swinging your arms normally with a slower pace at a lower incline and gradually increase to your desired pace with out the assistance of holding, resting, or leaning on the rails. Thus giving you more benefits, more calories burned better stamina, endurance, balance and quicker results.
6. Mistake – Poor Nutrition
Correction-A nutritional diet is as much a part of a fitness program as exercise, and what you eat will affect every aspect of your workout. Nutrition is the most over looked part of any type of physical training; as a matter of fact it is one of the most important for achieving your goals. Your nutritional food intake should work hand in hand with your training. For instance, weight training requires more protein for building and toning muscle, for endurance and stamina, you must have a sufficient amount of carbohydrate. For endurance activity use slow burning carbs before, and fast burning carbohydrates after. Fat should be avoided pre-exercise unless the exercise is for endurance. The post exercise meal should consist of carbohydrate, protein and perhaps a small amount of essential fats (the good fats like; omega 3), in a form that is easily and quickly digestible. Refrain your self from junk food, there are many meal replacement products that are a better choice. Just pick the one that is suitable for your training regimen. Lastly but just as important, WATER! I can list 10 positive effects water has from weight loss to general heath, water is the most abundant nutrient in the body so just take my advice and consume plenty of water.
7. Mistake – Lack of concentration
Correction-When you’re distracted, preoccupied and not focused during your training you are definitely inviting, boredom, sloppy form, and even burnout or injuries, equating to negative benefits. Take a few seconds out and reevaluate your training strategy, think about the results that your trying to accomplish, focus on the benefits that your trying to achieve, move to a different machine or exercise if need, this will stimulate your concentration. When possible find somebody to train with, a training partner can keep you focused and concentrated. Having a partner allows you to encourage each other resulting in positive gains.
8. Mistake – Too “stressed” to train
Correction -Everyone has a certain amount of stress in his or her lives and the body usually has enough coping strategies to deal with everyday life. Occasionally, we are overcome by the extra stress in our lives especially for those of us in the Law Enforcement Profession. Stress can dramatically affect your attitude, training, and sleep cycle. Exercise and training can be used to reduce stress levels and should not be used as an excuse to avoid training. Research has shown that physical exercise is the best tension reliever. It is a very important remedy for stress. Nothing eases stress more than exercise. Use your training to provide an outlet for negative emotions such as frustration, anger, and irritability. The key is proper concentration and staying focused.
9. Mistake – too much too soon
Correction – The term “no pain, no gain” should not be taken literally, it’s a motivational term used mostly by professional athletes, it does not apply to everyone. Being overzealous can be harmful, looking for results over night is discouraging and causes the typical burn out. Do not chew more them you can handle. Everything in moderation, star out slow and work your way up, your body needs to adapt slowly physically and mentally, especially if your new to the fitness regiment, you must have patience, results will come, the key is consistency.
IFBB PRO JOSEPH PALUMBO
IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal Fitness Instructor
Freelance writer: Workouts and Training Techniques, Strength Training and Conditioning, General Fitness, Weight Loss and Nutritional Needs
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