As with anything else in life, it's always better to concentrate on the positive in bodybuilding rather than the negative. After all, who wants to be lifting partners with the guy who draws pleasure from pointing out everything you do wrong while never giving congratulations for the excruciating last rep you pushed out.
Even so, those who want to become complete bodybuilders and reach their maximum potential need to accept criticism in addition to praise. Some lifters need more criticism than others, but everybody needs at least a little constructive criticism in order to improve. This being the case, here are 7 big bodybuilding mistakes that you could be guilty of. And if you are falling into the trap of making any of these mistakes, they could drastically reduce your muscle gains.
Mistake #1: Not stretching and/or warming up
Now it might seem kind of lame to start the article off with this mistake, but the reason it's first is because lots of bodybuilders are guilty of not stretching or warming up. The two main reasons why people don't like to stretch or warm-up before lifting is because:
1. It's boring and adds extra time to the workout
2. Most people don't think warming up has anything to do with getting stronger.
Now the first point is absolutely true, but it doesn't make a good case for not stretching/warming up – especially when you are more prone to lifting injuries when not warmed up. The second thing is completely untrue because you stand to lift up to 10% more weight by simply being loose and ready to go. Case in point, stretch and warm-up!
Mistake #2: Doing one rep maxes
Due to all of the weight room questions regarding 'how much you bench' or 'how much you squat,' people have an obsession with finding answers to these questions. However, you don't really gain anything in the way of muscular development by doing one rep maxes, and this is the quickest way to injure yourself. After all, you're putting the maximum amount of stress that your body can handle into one rep…..all so you can tell some beer-bellied football has-been how much you can bench.
Mistake #3: Only using free weights
A lot of articles are dedicated to how free weights are the only true way to pack on muscle while machines should be a second option. However, sticking to only free weights will rob you of extra muscle growth that can be gained by using both free weights and machines. Nautilus machines allow you to put a different kind of stress on your muscles that will shock them into new growth.
Mistake #4: Treating the gym like a social club
If you're someone who is just looking to get away from the wife and kids for an hour or so, and possibly put on a little muscle in the process, then messing with the radio and talking to other members for 10 minute increments is fine. However, if you're serious about muscular growth and want to see major gains, you can't treat the gym like a social lounge. Sure you can stop and talk for a few moments, but don't get distracted by other members for too long.
Mistake #5: Overworking the abs
I've heard more than a few people in the weight room bragging about how many sit-ups and crunches they do each day. 300…..500…..1,000….the list goes on. However, doing 500 sit-ups a day isn't something you should be bragging about because it shows stupidity in regards to abdominal training. If someone can do 500 crunches or sit-ups a day, they probably aren't putting enough stress on the abdominal muscles. Add some weight or switch up your exercises if you're doing this many repetitions. Also, avoid working your abs every day because they need time to heal just like any other set of muscles.
Mistake #6: Lifting when dehydrated
Some lifters think that refusing to get water while working out is like of badge of courage or something. But in reality, it's just a great way to rob yourself of more muscle gains – and what's manly about that? Muscle is nine-tenth water so not drinking water is going to decrease the volume of your muscles. In addition to this, you won't be able to work out as hard when not properly hydrated.
Mistake #7: Not getting enough protein
It's becoming a popular trend for renegade bodybuilding "excerpts" to diss supplements and tell people they don't need them. Unfortunately, many bodybuilders are following their advice even when it comes to protein supplements. But protein is the building block for muscular growth, and most people don't get enough of it in their regular diet (at least 1 gram per pound is recommended). So while you may choose to skip out on supplements in other areas, don't take chances by not having a protein supplement handy before and after workouts.
By Jeremy Olson
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