10 Most Common Weight Training Mistakes

Weight training mistakes are often a barrier to muscle building success. Avoid the following mistakes and you are left with the potential of a long, healthy lifting career and ultimately the body you have always been hoping for.

Mistake 1: Training with no-written goal(s)

Without any written goals, it is pointless to work out at all! Many train aimlessly and hope for the best. However, this is definitely a mistake. Goals must be specific, clearly defined and written down to be your best guide in training. Writing a goal down is the first step in making it a reality.

Mistake 2: Training While Injured

If you are injured in any way, it is best to seek treatment. Never attempt to train through pain. Pain, regardless of location, will create altered muscular tension across the joint and lead to edema and inflammation. This will cause fibrous reaction which will ultimately lead to limited muscular elongation, restricted joint movement and tendon function limitation. If left unchecked, functional disability may occur.

Mistake 3: Ignoring Posture

Good posture protects the supporting body structures form injury. It is the position where movement begins and ends. Significant muscular imbalance throughout the workout may be experienced if you begin in a bad position. This may lead to injuries and pain.

Mistake 4: Ignoring Nutrition

Nutrition provides the basic building blocks and energy you need to recover from a session in the gym. Without it, you are probably degrading muscle tissues when you train with any kind of intensity. It is best to avoid junk foods and soft drinks during and after your workout sessions.

Mistake 5: Training like a Bodybuilder

Many body-building programs are not suitable nor functional unless you happen to be a bodybuilder. They are generally structurally imbalanced, devoid of variation and has poor periodization schemes. Thus, avoid blindly following some program you see in a magazine.

Mistake 6: Lack of Training Variation

Training routines must be periodically varied to avoid boredom and muscle stagnation. Manipulation of acute exercise routines is necessary for continued progress. Periodization techniques which involve alternating phases of high volume (reps) with phases of high intensity (load) is important for progress. This is because the nervous system will adapt after awhile and progress will stagnate.

Mistake 7: Training with No Periodization Model

Periodization refers to planning the training process. Training can be broken into mesocycles (yearly plan), macrocycles (monthly plan), and microcycles (weekly plan). By failing to plan, you are basically planning to fail.

Mistake 8: Ignoring the Principle of Specificity

The body’s adaptation to training is very specific to the type of training that has been executed. Train the arms if you want that part to develop strength. However, you may not know that you have to do it at specific volume and intensity range for optimum results. Performing exercise in sets of six to twelve repetitions is a plausible option.


Mistake 9: Overuse of Unstable Surface Training

Unstable surface training is basically training using wobble boards, dyna discs and BOSU balls. Although, this method has shown to increase core muscle activity and stability, its application is very limited as you decrease force output of limb muscles and alters neuromuscular recruitment patterns and may interfere with stable surface training. If it is to be used, know what you are doing instead of blindly following a functional training fad. Most importantly, it should be done in a appropriate way and according to your target goals.

Mistake 10: Excessive use of machines

Machines operate on a fixed axis of rotation, meaning the same ligaments, tendons and muscle fibers are used in the same order every time to complete a given repetition. This will cause the nervous system to down-regulate motor unit recruitment in order to protect joints from injury. Besides that, over-utilization increases the risk of overuse injuries and repetitive stress.

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