Everyone wants to be a bodybuilder, but don’t nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight.
-Ronnie Coleman 8x Mr. Olympia
The majority of people who “workout” have no clue what they’re doing.
Surprising, I know, considering the fact that we live in the greatest information age in the history of mankind.
And as Ronnie Colman said, everybody wants to build a body but nobody wants to lift heavy weight. (well, that’s my version at least)
In fact, not lifting heavy enough is just one of the many mistakes that people make in their pursuit of building a better body.
What are the other mistakes?
Read on to find out!
14 Most Common Muscle Building Mistakes
Mistake #1 Always Using The Same Rep Range
If you’ve read my blog for any extended period of time, you’d know that I highly recommend training in the 4-6 rep range. This is because low rep ranges build muscle FAST and are especially good for beginners.
However, there comes a point in time when low rep training does more harm than good.
Eventually, your progress will stall and training with heavy weights on a regular basis will fry your central nervous system, which will lead to gross overtraining and injury.
So, instead of beating your body into oblivion, switch to a higher rep range (8-12) every 2-3 months to keep your body feeling good.
Mistake #2 Failing To Adapt Your Diet To Your Body Type
Fact: We’re all born with different body types and metabolism speeds.
If you’re a naturally skinny guy with a super fast metabolism, you’ll need to eat more meals per day so that your body gets enough calories to grow.
On the other hand, If you have a normal metabolism and tend to gain both muscle and fat easily, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t eat more than 3 meals a day.
In fact, I’d even go as far as eating just 2 meals a day without snacking.
Figure out which category you fit into and adjust your diet accordingly.
Mistake #3 Relying On Supplements
I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more.
Supplements don’t do anything and are nothing but a giant waste of money!
Protein powder is not a substitute for food, pre-workouts are a ridiculous concept, and creatine is overrated.
Just eat normal food and get plenty of sleep at night.
THAT’S LITERALLY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO MAKE GOOD PROGRESS!
Mistake #4 Only Lifting Light Weights
Even though professional bodybuilders make a living from lifting light weights, this isn’t the optimal way to train.
You see, pro bodybuilders can get away with lighter training because they take steroids!
One of the key benefits of steroids is that they put you in a continuous state of heightened protein synthesis.
That basically means that they can train however they want and still make muscle gains.
However, us naturals have to play by a different set of rules. For us, protein synthesis is only heightened when we lift heavy weights.
Heavy weights do the most muscle damage and force your body to get bigger and stronger faster.
Mistake #5 Using Machines Instead Of Free Weights
Barbells and dumbbells are the best tools to use if your goal is to build the maximum amount of muscle mass possible.
Free weights offer benefits like:
- The ability to use a natural free range of motion
- Add Strength and size to your smaller stabilizing muscles
- Stimulate more overall muscle fibers
How do I know this?
Because whenever I go to a public gym, I can easily do the full weight stack on most of the machines, even if I’ve never used that particular machine before.
However, if I was to load a barbell up with the same amount of weight as some of the machines and mimic the same movement, I would have a much harder time moving the weight.
Now, I will say this…
Machines can come in handy when you have an injury. But if you’re a normal healthy person, you need to ditch the machines for good.
Mistake #6 Not Lifting Consistently
You can’t expect to build muscle if you aren’t getting to the gym, and this is especially true if you’re a natural lifter.
You see, without the aid of steroids, your workout consistency is even more important.
As I said earlier, muscle protein synthesis only happens in naturals when we force it to by way of lifting weights.
After you train a body part with the right amount of intensity, muscle protein synthesis is heightened in that muscle for 48-72 hours.
Once that time window is up, you need to get back in the gym and train that body part again. This is why most natural bodybuilders train the same muscles at least 2 times a week.
In other words, if you ain’t lifting you ain’t growing!
Mistake #7 Not Being Present During Your Workouts
When I used to workout in public gyms, I would always see the same damn thing. People staring at their phones instead of focusing on their next set.
I’d often think to myself –
How do these people expect to get bigger and stronger when they aren’t even present in the moment?
And you know what? None of those people ever made any positive changes to their bodies!
Stop dicking around with your iPhone and get your head in the game!
Mistake #8 30 minute Warm-up Sessions
For the love of god, stop wasting your time by doing a million and one different warm-up exercises.
You don’t look cool with your stupid foam roller and your “mobility” exercises are dumb.
Mistake #9 Picking The Wrong Training Partner
In my experience, training partners suck and do nothing but hold you back.
Unless you can find someone who has your exact same training philosophy and work ethic, you’ll be doing a whole lot of chatting and very little lifting.
You simply can’t bring your non-lifting friends to the gym and expect to have a productive workout.
And for love of god, NEVER TRAIN YOUR GIRLFRIEND OR WIFE.
Trust me, It always ends badly.
Mistake #10 Prioritizing Isolation Exercises
Unless you plan on being a competitive bodybuilder, isolation exercises are nothing but a giant waste of time.
Despite what you may have heard, you can’t reshape a muscle by isolating it and “feeling the burn”.
Your muscle shape and the size of your muscle bellies are decided by your genetics.
So, all you can do is hope that your mommy and daddy are attractive and have large full muscle bellies all over their body.
If they aren’t and don’t, good luck.
Mistake #11 Wearing The Wrong Footwear
Gel-cushioned running shoes, which are what most people wear to the gym, are the worst shoes that you can wear for lifting weights.
They provide an unstable surface that makes performing exercises like squats, deadlifts, and barbell rows nearly impossible.
If you plan on training with heavy compound barbell exercises, as everyone should, then you’ll want to pick up a flat sole shoe like these Converse All Stars.
If you can’t afford a pair of Chuck’s, lift in your socks or go barefoot.
Mistake #12 Relying On Lifting Gear
I never understood guys who use things like belts, wrist straps, squat suits, and bench shirts.
The whole purpose of lifting weights is to get stronger by doing hard physical work.
So, What’s the point of lifting a weight that you can’t even handle naturally?
Do yourself a favor and put your ego to the side, take the gear off, and build some good ol fashioned strength.
Mistake #13 Buying Into “Functional Training”
So-called “functional training” is the dumbest fucking term/fitness industry fad that has ever existed.
I’ll never understand how dancing around with a kettlebell and doing other silly shit makes you more “functional” than a linear strength program that features exercises like squats and deadlifts.
Actually, I lied…
I do know why people are obsessed with functional training.
Because good ol’ fashioned linear progression programs are HARD and people don’t like to do HARD things.
In fact, the functional training fad was the main reason why I had to get out of the fitness industry and ditch personal training forever.
I could no longer stand to be around retards who didn’t have a basic understanding of how human beings naturally interact with their environment.
AKA the force of gravity and strength.
I mean, why do you think the dudes in Dragon Ball Z trained in the gravity chamber thing? Because they knew that it was the quickest way to get stronger and faster!
Seriously, if skinny Japanese anime creators understand the concept of increasing the force of gravity to get stronger, fitness professionals should as well.
The only difference between us and the DBZ characters is they had access to gravity chamber technology. While we don’t have those capabilities, we do have barbells!
Mistake #14 Hiring A Personal Trainer
Unless your so-called “personal trainer” knows how to teach all of the basic barbell lifts effectively (which he or she doesn’t) they are a waste of fucking space.
Personal trainers and the personal training profession is such a joke that I still can’t believe people actually pay for it. (Again this is coming from a former trainer)
Anything that you could want to know about getting into shape is on the internet for free!
And if you wanted to get some 1 on 1 personal guidance, you’d be much better off hiring an expert strength coach (like me) who has actually lifted some real weight before.
Believe or not, simple barbell wielding idiots like myself actually understand the human body better than some doctors do today. And that’s fucking scary.
Bonus #15 Not Owning Your Own Home Gym Equipment
Friends, buying your own gym equipment is one of the greatest investments that you’ll ever make in your life.
You have nothing in this life if you don’t have your health and the best way to build a strong healthy body is to do simple barbell exercises with cheap basic equipment.
Not sure what to buy? No problem, I got you covered.
From The Man Himself –