5 common exercise mistakes

Updated: May 18, 2018

5 of the most common mistakes I see people doing in the gym or while training, believe it or not, it's not just beginners that are doing these mistakes, many seasoned trainers and gym goers often still do some or even all of these mistakes. To ensure you get the results you want please have a look at my thoughts below:-


(1) This is by far the main one I see - people are trying to use weights that are far too heavy for them to use properly. Now I can understand the confusion, you lift heavy weights to get bigger??? Well no it doesn't work like that, firstly you need to look at the weight as only a tool, it's not the focus of the exercise or training, (unless you are a powerlifter or strongman, these will be addressed in a separate blog). The idea with bodybuilding is to sculpt your body to the exact look you desire that your genetics allow, this is achieved by fully lengthening and shortening the muscle while under load to create muscle damage, which can repair, increase in side and strength, as there is new denser tissue where the damage has occurred. Form of the exercise is of great importance, not only reducing injury risk, but the greater the control the greater the breakdown of the muscle fibres due to your body not cheating the weight up I.e. bouncing the weight, over arching, swinging or one of the other many ways people cheat the weight up, this puts greater strain on bones, joints and ligaments or other muscle you are not trying to use. By using a weight which let's you feel the muscle as it works through its full range of movement (muscle mind connection), the contraction and stimulus of that muscle is far greater.


ACTION TO TAKE - use a weight that can be used comfortably for 6-8 reps with strict form and timings of concentric (lift) 1sec, eccentric (lowering) 3sec, 1sec pause then repeat for 10-12 reps once your form breaks do 1-3 reps with 70% good form this is classed as failure, this will make the exercise much more challenging especially after a few sets.


(2) Not logging and recording training sessions or programs, now this may seem simple but a lot of people don't log the days they trained what muscle group, what exercises they did, how much weight they used or how many sets and reps they did. Why is this important??? Well firstly I want you to try and remember what you had for lunch a week ago......??? I wouldn't be surprised if you didn't know, and it's the same with training, how can you remember all that, it also a clear indication of your progress if you are lifting more weight using more reps or resting less between sets it's a clear sign that you are making progress, on the flip side of that if you aren't making progress that will also show allowing you to change things so once again you can make progress.


ACTION TO TAKE - keep a clear log or training plan/journal, whether it be a note book, file and paper, app on your phone, even one of the many programs we offer on our website which are formatted in a simple easy to log and follow structure. (ALWAYS look to progress each session whether it be one more rep than last time or one more set, even 1lb heavier or reducing the in between rest, anything is progress.


(3) Following professional bodybuilders or athletes, expecting to look like them. Now this is going to be a harsh reality check but if you want to look like Arnie, Ronnie Coleman or Dorian Yates, if you don't have their exact genetics then it's not going to happen, it's that black and white. But that doesn't mean you can't create a physique that others would kill to have, look at becoming the best YOU can be, by working on your body as an individual to enhance your weakness and better your strengths you will have far greater results.


ACTION TO TAKE- Take a long honest look in the mirror and break down your best and worst body parts, research and compile info on best practices and exercises for underdeveloped muscles, and put a programme together aimed just for you, or invest a little bit of money in a PT or coach to develop a programme for you, as their knowledge and skill set will save you a lot of time, and trial and error, and could speed up the process.(please keep animal performance in mind 😉)


(4)The expectation for being a hulk like freak in six months. This is another reality check, it takes YEARS to get an amazing physique, years and years. You tend to make the best and quickest gains the first 6-12months you start training, after this period it slows up drastically, so strap in for the long haul if you're looking to make serious gains, it can be done just be patient, bodybuilding if anything teaches you to be patient.


ACTION TO TAKE - Understand it takes a long time so focus on enjoying the process of building , don't focus on the end goal, because even if you reach your end goal it will change and you will have a new goal, (STEROIDS are a huge temptation for people looking to reduce time to reach their goal), I'm not saying to do it or notto do it, just ENSURE you educate yourself so you know what is what before doing it as there are potentially huge risks using steroids, I have done many videos on steroids on YOUTUBE and my FACEBOOK page please feel free to check them out or email us at animalperformance@outlook.com and we will get back to you about any queries.


(5)Skipping legday and compound exercises.


For me this is a massive pet hate of mine, people more than happily bench press a shed load of weight and you never see them squat or deadlift EVER. That being said, if you are a competing bench presser then I can understand more why you don't squat and deadlift, but even then some leg work can benefit bench pressing for the ground drive and stability. Anyway anyone who is serious about training or developing their body, legs are a must, yes it's painful, yes it's hard and yes it will be all worthwhile when your quads are bursting through your jeans, and even guys with arms bigger than their legs will shrivel up and not make eye contact. There is also research and studies indicating that training these large multiple muscle group lifts heavy increases your overall development and can provide a surge in hormones (testosterone and growth hormone) but this hasn't been conclusively proven.


ACTION TO TAKE - Use compound exercises as the cornerstone of your programme and training, ensure you work on getting the technique perfect first then once that is complete build up the weight while maintaining the good technique you've developed, if you have any concerns about your ability to perform these exercises safely, consult with a trainer or member of staff in the gym you use or invest in a coach or personal trainer, DON'T BE A PUSSY AND NOT DO THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE HARD, if it's hard it's worth doing.


Again I have rambled on to the point you are probably asleep, but if not and you made it through and enjoyed the content please give it a like or share, leave a comment on your personal thoughts, all feed back is welcome, thank you so much for the support and we will try our utmost to keep bringing relevant, requested content out, Stay healthy, stay strong, stay hungry.

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