5 Biggest Mistakes that Hinder Training

benjamin j marshall 

The 5 biggest mistakes that will hinder your training

There are a number of factors which can hinder training, this can be the case for people just starting out or those who have been training for a little while but haven’t seen an improvement.

These are my 5 biggest mistakes which will stop you from improving

Not eating enough

Lifting too much weight

Bad form

Using the wrong exercises

Not recovering enough (drinking enough, sleeping, intervals between muscle groups)

Let us break these down and explain how they occur and how to fix them

Not eating enough

A lot of people jump into a routine and want to build lots of muscle but also have a six pack, and then become disheartened when they don’t see any improvements. The problem here is diet, to build muscle you have to be in a caloric surplus (positive energy balance) meaning you are taking in more calories than you are expending though exercise and living. The problem is people are scared to go into a calorific surplus as they are worried that they will gain fat.

Many people actual eat less when they start a gym program in the hope they will get a six pack faster, and then get disheartened when they cannot progress with weights or they see no visual change in the mirror.

The problem is it causes a state of awkward middle ground where individuals don’t want to eat more as they don’t want to gain fat, however also are scared to cut calories to lean down as they are scared to halt progress in the gym.

My advice here would be committing to a goal, learn about nutrition and find out how to achieve that goal in the most precise way possible.

Give yourself a target of gaining some muscle, work out what your caloric needs are and then slowly increase them until you are able to see progression in the gym.

Lifting too much weight

Although this might sound silly but actually this can be something that is hindering your progression. A lot of people train with their ego and this causes them to use far too much weight than they need causing them to cheat themselves out of reps and never actually do enough work to stimulate the muscle.

Really think about your body when you are exercising, think about how much contraction you are getting and how much stretch in the muscle. If you are not feeling a full contraction or a big enough stretch chances are that the weight is too heavy and you are limiting your range of motion to compromise. If this is the case lower the weight and you will find you get a much better work out.

Bad form

This is normally the result of lifting too much weight as outlined above but it is not always the case. Sometimes people do not use the correct technique to complete the movement. This may sound like I am just being picky however there are problems associated with bad form. Firstly it can lead to serious injury, especially when combined with too much weight. You might strain, pull or even tear a muscle or permanently damage yourself if you do not use correct form. The other problem that effects your progression is that by not utilising correct form one ends up limiting the range of motion or just cheating and using momentum to do the work for you.

If you are having to swing your whole body to bicep curl 16kg (35lbs) then you’re not using correct form and actually the movement of your body and shoulder will take most of the weight of your bicep. Where as if you lower the weight keep your elbow tight to you side and pulled back then you can squeeze the bicep and get a much better contraction.

Use the mirrors in the gym to check your form, it might be seem egotistical to sit in front of the mirror but these are what they are actually meant to be used for.

Using the wrong exercises

Sometimes people focus on the wrong exercises to achieve their desired outcome. This is especially true for people just starting off, they see complicated exercise routines in magazines or specialist variations to “really target” a specific muscle group. They then end up trying to replicate this and forget they have to focus on building a strong base.

Before you try adding in any isolation exercises you should first ensure that you are incorporating compound exercises as the basis for all your workouts. Compound movements are those that use more than one muscle such as squat, dead lift, bench press, pull up and overhead press. These exercises alone can build a very impressive physique and should make up the first exercises of your work out. From there you can expand if needed but the focus should be on these first.

Not recovering enough (drinking enough, sleeping, intervals between muscle groups)

Finally you might have everything absolutely dialed in on your nutrition, you have a solid workout routine and your technique is good, however you still struggle to see improvements. One of the biggest mistakes people make is they think that you grow in the gym, this is not true. You break down the muscle in the gym and you repair and grow when you eat the correct food and sleep to allow repair.

Consider your workout routine, do you have the same body splits very close together never letting it fully recover and grow? Are you ensuring that you are drinking enough water in the day to properly regulate your system and finally are you getting enough sleep at night? If you’re up all night partying then I can guarantee that you are not.

If you are finding that you are not getting the results you think you should be then consider all these points. It might be that one or more of these are stopping you from getting the most out of the time you put into the gym.

Do your research into nutrition, workout splits and form, make sure you really have all these things in check.

Finally remember that it does take time to create a physique. Be patient and consistent and you will see results.


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