is very important to learn from your mistakes
but why even make the mistakes yourself if you
can learn from mine?
been training for more than 18 years and I've
made mistakes. I want to help you avoid making
those same mistakes in your training. It could
save you years of frustration!
1. Training Too Long
I first started training, I wanted to get the
fastest results possible so I figured more would
be better. My wake-up call came when one day I
did a 2 1/2 hour session and then lost a considerable
amount of strength in my next session.
Lesson: keep your training sessions from
approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour MAX! Any longer
and you are either just breaking your body down
or not working hard enough to get results.
2. Not Eating Enough Protein
training for about a year and gaining a whole
lot of weight (not all of it muscle!), I went
on a very low-fat diet. The problem with this
was I hardly ate any protein because meat had
fat in it! I couldn't figure out what the problem
was until one day, when I had had enough of low-fat
eating, I cooked up four chicken breasts (with
skin) and ate them all in one sitting. My strength
jumped up immediately!
Lesson: protein is critical for muscle-building
(and dieting). Don't get enough and you will compromise
3. Not Enough Cardiovascular
I first began training, I went from a 145-pound
cross-country runner to a 217-pound weight lifter
in 8 months. During that entire time I didn't
do any cardio training. Not only was a lot of
that weight gain fat, I felt really unhealthy
Lesson: even if you're trying to gain weight,
keep at least some cardio training in your program,
even if it's just walking a couple of times per
week. Your heart (and muscles) will thank you
4. Too Much Cardiovascular Training
the previous extreme, there was a time when I
was trying to lose fat and went to the other extreme:
too much cardio. I remember one session where
I did 20 minutes at the highest setting on the
Stair Master, then skipped rope for 10 minutes,
then did the stationary bike for 20 minutes, then
the Stair Master for another 20 on high, then
10 more minutes of skipping.
in great cardio shape but my strength and muscle
mass plummeted and, to be honest, I could have
achieved better fat-loss results with 15 minutes
of high-intensity interval training.
Lesson: too much cardio can be counterproductive.
Certainly, it will burn a lot of calories but
your muscles will burn more during the day just
sitting there. Short, intense sessions will spare
your muscle mass and boost your metabolism more
5. Using a Weightlifting
I started training, I used a weightlifting belt
for every exercise. I would basically keep the
belt on for my entire workout. It was a big mistake
and here's why:
is very effective for stabilizing the abdominal
core area. However, it is so effective that your
core muscles aren't challenged and don't develop
effectively. This can leave them weak and your
core unstable, fostering a reliance on the belt.
should really only be used for near-maximal lifting
with very heavy weights. If you need a belt to
do bench presses or barbell curls, you should
re-examine your form and honestly evaluate your
core strength. You may be setting yourself up
for a back injury.
is another thing to think about: a belt works
to stabilize your core by making your abs push
outwards against it. Do you really want to be
training your abs to push out and stay there?
It's like training to make your gut stick out.
Lesson: ease yourself off the belt if you
currently use one. You will need to slowly work
back up to your current weights to ensure you
don't hurt yourself. When you go to do a lift,
suck in your gut and tighten your abs. You will
develop far better core strength and stability,
not to mention tighter, flatter abs.
6. Lifting Too Heavy
goal has always been to develop muscle mass and
strength. There have been times when I used a
weight that either caused me to compromise my
form or didn't allow me to get enough reps to
rep range between 6 to 12 reps per set is most
effective for building muscle mass. If you consistently
use weights that only allow you to get 5 or fewer
reps per set, you will build strength and some
muscle but most likely not nearly as much as you
are capable of.
Lesson: if you want strength, do 1 to 5
reps per set. If you want muscle, do 6 to 12 reps
per set. Always push yourself to use more weight
but not so much that you compromise your form
7. Working Too Hard
clearly remember one dieting cycle I did where
I was so enthusiastic to lose fat that I severely
overtrained myself within the first two weeks.
In my enthusiasm, I buried my recovery ability
with extreme training volume and intensity. Coupled
with a reduced-calorie diet, this overly-hard
work spelled disaster.
Lesson: train hard but don't overwhelm
yourself. Your body needs time and nutrients to
recover and rebuild. This is especially important
when dieting for fat loss.
8. Not Eating Enough
is a mistake I've made many times before and am
sure I will make again. It applies not only to
muscle-building but to fat loss as well. Not eating
enough can really limit your results. But, as
we all know, life gets busy and it's hard to eat
and prepare frequent, healthy meals.
Do your best with the time and food you've got
and be aware that the more regularly and frequently
you can eat, the better. If you want to gain a
lot of muscle, you are going to have to eat even
when you don't feel like you necessarily need
to or even want to.
makes mistakes. There is no doubt about that.
I sincerely hope that the information I've shared
with you here will help you to avoid making the
same mistakes I have.