The muscles know what to expect, and they just adapt to the program. It’s important to work different rep ranges to force muscles to keep adapting.
Note these basics:
A) 1-5 reps—neurological changes and gains of pure strength
B) 6-8 reps—neurological adaptations, as well as metabolic and structural changes, resulting in gains of strength and hypertrophy
C) 8-12 reps—there is little neurological adaptation, but lots of structural change, resulting in major hypertrophy gains
D) 13-20 reps—changes are mostly metabolic, resulting in local endurance gains
Depending on your goals, you should vary rep ranges every few weeks. Overdo the 8-12 range and you may get huge, but your strength will suffer. Conversely, staying in the 1-5 rep range will make you incredibly strong, but very little visible change will occur and your chance of injury increases.
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You Never Change Your Routines
The next biggest mistake you can make is never changing your routine. This stagnates your body’s development, since it isn’t being challenged with new, varying movements.
When your muscles perform the same routine over and over, you plateau. Instead, switch your workouts up every 4-6 weeks to keep stimulating muscles, cause muscle confusion, and improve results.
By changing your routine, you challenge your muscles to work against new stress, which forces them to adapt and improve.
Unfortunately, lifting too heavy too soon prohibits the neurological and physiological adaptations within the body, which are essential to safely increase the weight load. As a result, your form inevitably suffers, putting you at risk of injury.
To complete reps, we sometimes sacrifice perfect form and recruit additional muscles, which effectively sacrifices the primary muscle(s) for which each exercise was selected to develop.
Instead of muscular gains, you gain bad habits and lose progress and muscular development. In addition, injuries can occur which, if serious, could have you benched from your workouts for weeks.
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You Forget to Strengthen Stabilizing Muscles
“I lift regularly but my max lifts aren’t getting heavier, what’s the deal?” and “I keep hurting myself while trying to lift heavier” are frequent complaints among lifters.
Strengthen your rotator cuff group of muscles (deep within the shoulder) as well as your triceps. Want more developed quads and a better squat? Don’t forget to strengthen the glute medius and piriformis, two muscles that aid in hip stabilization.
Improving the strength of those smaller muscles helps you maintain the integrity of the joint, preventing injuries and allowing you to lift heavier weights going forward.