We began counting down the TOP 10 TRAINING MISTAKES yesterday with numbers 10-6 (click here for part 1), so now its time to cover the top 5. Pay careful attention, because this is a posedown of the blunders responsible for halting more progress than any others. Get out your workout logbook and tighten up your wrist straps as we count down the five most likely derailments of your training progress and explain how to avoid them.
Class is in session.
Click NEXT PAGE to see the #5 training mistake!
MISTAKE #5: TOO LITTLE REST
When it comes to over training, we prefer to focus on the resting component and not the working component because, for most bodybuilders, the problem is not too much workout volume or intensity. Instead, the culprit negating their gains is almost always insuf f icient rest between workouts. You need to properly space your gym sessions to make cer tain you fully recover and grow before hitting the heavy iron again.
- Allow at least 72 hours between workouts for most bodyparts (calves and abs, excepted). So if you train triceps on Monday, you can hit them again on Thursday.
- Avoid doing heavy squats and deadlifts on successive days. Try to schedule 72 hours between such workouts.
- Be aware of how secondary muscles are worked in compound exercises and schedule your workouts accordingly. For example, front delts get stressed during chest-pressing movements, so avoid training shoulders and chest on contiguous days. Instead, allow at least 48 hours between such workouts or hit both in the same session, so they can recuperate simultaneously.
- Cardio can rob your recuperative reserves. Avoid leg-intensive cardio the day prior to leg day.
Click NEXT PAGE to see the #4 training mistake
MISTAKE #4: AVOIDANCE
Except for those lucky few who already have too much of a good thing, bodybuilders don’t neglect biceps or pecs. On the other hand, f rom raw neophytes to those doing their thousandth workout, too many bodybuilders neglect cardio, stretching and abs — none of which provide the pleasing pump of dumbbell curls or bench presses — and they may not allow any room in their routines for smaller bodyparts, such as forearms. You’re likely unaware that you’re shortchanging some crucial bodybuilding components and therefore shortchanging your overall progress.
- Sweat the “small stuff.” Make time and space in your routine for abdominals, calves, forearms, lower back and traps. In fact, abs and calves can be trained more f requently than other bodyparts. Likewise, always schedule time for cardio, instead of relegating it to “if I have time” status.
- Give every bodypart its own routine. Instead of a “leg routine,” have a “quad routine” and a “ham routine” and a “calf routine,” even if one follows the other in the same workout. Similarly, give your traps their own routine instead of merely lumping them in with shoulders or back.
- Find a way to work in muscles you might otherwise avoid, such as abs. You can do this by performing sets of abs between those for another bodypart, such as shoulders.
Click NEXT PAGE to see the #3 training mistake
MISTAKE #3: MISSING THE TARGET
Abs, back, quads, triceps and traps — those are five bodyparts where, over the course of our classes, we discussed missing the targeted areas with exercise selection and performance. What do they have in common? They’re all complex bodyparts with a variety of areas to hit — and thus a variety of areas to miss. Too many bodybuilders think they’re hitting, say, their lower lats or outer quads while in fact they’re whif f ing over and over again.
- Know your anatomy. Over the course of our 16 lessons, we regularly featured anatomy charts for that month’s muscle(s). For example, the deltoids and triceps both have three heads. You need to know where those heads are before you can then target each one.
- Learn how to hit the target. Each month in FLEX, we focus on how to stress specific areas. Sometimes the best exercise may surprise you, but trust us to give you the proven formulas as well as the latest scientific research, so you’ll know precisely how to nail ever y target.
- Do your target practice. It’s up to you focus the most stress on the muscles and areas of muscles you want to grow to attain a complete physique.
Click NEXT PAGE to see the #2 training mistake
MISTAKE #2: SHORT & QUICK
It’s easiest to stay in the midrange of reps and avoid stretches and contractions, and that’s why bodybuilders work the middle on set af ter set. Consequently, they also minimize their gains. This can and does occur with any bodypart, but it’s especially prevalent on leg day. Too many bodybuilders go too short and quick on reps of squats, leg presses and standing calf raises. This allows you to move more metal, but not motivate more muscle. The key to growth is stressing your muscles through full ranges of motion.
- Learn the proper range of motion, and use a weight that allows you to get at least eight full-range reps.
- During reps, forget the weight and instead focus on feeling your muscles contracting.
- You may wish to extend some sets via burns (quick partial reps), but do this only after reaching failure with full-range reps.
Click NEXT PAGE to see the #1 training mistake
MISTAKE #1: INSUFFICIENT INTENSITY
Over the course of the H.U.G.E.™ Gym Class, we repeatedly told you ways — big and small — to alter your workouts. That is because the most common training mistake is sticking to the same routine long after it’s outlived its usefulness. For some, it’s a lack of imagination that keeps them doing the same basics in the same order. For others, a kind of iner tia takes over, so they robotically do the same exercises for the same reps with the same weights, giving their muscles no new stress to adapt to. If you’re making continuous strength gains on a routine, you can stick with it. If you’re not, change it now.
- As with our number three mistake, sometimes the problem is a lack of knowledge. Learn all the exercises you can do for each bodypart. You may be surprised by all the variations to even limited movements like shrugs and wrist curls.
- Try the various machines in your gym. Sometimes just subtle differences in things like the placement of pulleys and hinges can make a big dif ference in how two similar machines work your muscles.
- It’s not just exercise selection you can alter. Other variables include the number of sets per exercise, the number of reps per set, exercise order and the workout order of your training split. FLEX
If you missed PART 1, click here to see solutions #6-10!