Common Exercise Mistakes

You could spend months on strength training and see little progress, because you’re doing things wrong. What is ‘wrong’? Exercises or practices that are not effective for the variables that are unique to you.

It’s not your fault. Bodybuilding magazines can overwhelm and confuse you with inaccurate information. Sometimes, it’s possible to misunderstand suggestions and techniques that may well have worked for other people.

Here are some of the most common training mistakes, that could leave you demoralized if you don’t fix soon!

  • Training too hard

Hard work is good, but not so hard that you feel smashed at the end of every workout. After a certain duration, strength training is no longer anabolic. It becomes catabolic like any other exercise and starts breaking down muscles instead of building them. You need to workout only to the critical volume, after which anabolic potential and intensity potential both start spiralling down.

Each individual has his or her own critical volume, to be discovered during a standard 3-week training cycle. In your first week of workouts, try not to miss reps and don’t lift at your limit. You should feel fresh at the end of your workout. In the next week, lift closer to limits and don’t miss reps. When you leave the gym, you should have some reserves of energy but you’ll also feel like you’ve worked hard. In the third week, try to beat your personal bests but don’t be unrealistic. You may miss a few reps and feel fatigued at the end.

  • Overtraining

Overtraining refers to training more weeks continuously than you need to, and doing more reps than you need to. The ideal may be between 3 and 12 weeks of continuous training, and no more than 10 to 20 work sets for each workout. After your strength training cycle, take a week of recovery with no strength training. You can take on other activities instead. Also, don’t make the mistake of trying to give equal attention in volume to all muscle groups. You don’t need to devote three or more sets to every exercise.

  • Not working the weak muscles first

Another common mistake is ignoring weaknesses. Pick your weakest muscle group and work it first thing in the week and first thing on the training day. That’s the muscle group that will show the most improvements. It’s common knowledge that the weakest muscles should receive the highest priorities. But many people fail to put it at the start of their workout schedule.

  • Following the same muscle group workout sequence

Another common mistake is not to vary priorities when training. In other words, using the same muscle group sequence over and over again is not useful. You need to vary your sequences. This will help to prevent muscle imbalances that will result from any sequence. It will also prevent you from neglecting certain muscle groups, leading to stagnation.

  • Setting yourself up for injury

You can prevent injury simply by avoiding practices that cause muscle imbalance and affect joint stability. If that sounds complicated, make a list to help you. Look at your workout cycle and identify any imbalances you’re creating. Are you pushing more than you’re pulling? You need to balance it out better. Also, look at the sequence. Do you push or pull earlier in the week? Switch it up so that all movements receive equal prioritization.

Are you avoiding these common mistakes?

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