Successful lifters avoid common pitfalls in many ways.
Check out what these common pitfalls are and how to avoid them.
Weight Lifting Common Pitfalls
Program hopping is when someone switches from program to program.
More times than not, the lifter will switch to whatever the new hot trend is on the internet.
Program hopping is going to lead to inconsistent training, no progressive overload, and you simply won’t make progress like you could if you stuck with one program.
Using Programs From Popular Muscle Magazines
Most programs from popular muscle mags don’t focus on anything in particular in regards to your goals or progression.
They take a list of exercises and put them on a page with a ripped guy doing some curls and play it off as the “workout of the year.”
The disregard to progression, a reasonable amount of volume, and balance of exercises used leads to lack of progression.
Life gets hectic and I have dealt with my fair share of times where I couldn’t train.
If you make it a habit of missing workouts and not being able to commit to a schedule every single week, you are not going to progress as much as you would like to.
If you want to build muscle and strength or lose weight, you’re going to have to start making the schedule work and do the work.
Don’t fret if you miss a workout every few months because of something coming up… Just don’t skip the gym because you are “kind of tired.”
Not Eating Right
If you are trying to lose weight then you need to change your diet and eat correctly.
If you are trying to gain weight and build as much muscle and strength as possible, then eat as much food as you can find and keep it as clean as you can.
Don’t get upset when you are eating a calorie deficit and you aren’t seeing the gains you want.
Not Sleeping Enough
I’m a huge proponent to doing what you have to do to be successful, but not getting enough sleep somehow through the day will keep your body from recovering.
I’m not going to be scientific and say why you need a certain amount of sleep but if you striving to sleep for 8 hours a day will help your body recover from your brutal workouts.
I’ve been known to sleep for 5 or 6 hours during the night and napping throughout the day. I’ve also been known to not sleep for a couple of days and sleep extra hours on other days.
I’m not giving you a pass to sleep all day, but make sure you cut down on the partying and late nights; it will help your body recover and build that muscle.
Nor Progressively Overloading
Simply put, progressive overload is striving to add weight to the bar or reps to your sets every time you enter the gym.
Making huge jumps in weights will not happen once you are past your beginner stage.
Strive for progression and you will make marked progress.
Ego Lifting or Testing 1 Rep Max Too Often
If you’ve ever been in the gym with your buddies or had a cute chick in the gym, you don’t want to look like a wimp so you start lifting your max weights (or more).
This is ego lifting; your ego gets in your way of training and you want to show off.
Ego lifting sets you back in terms of progression because you’ve essentially fried your nervous system which will take longer to recoup and you will have to deload just to get back on track.
Testing 1 Rep Max Too Often
Never regularly test your 1 rep max regardless if you are training to be a powerlifter, building muscle, or simply just trying to get stronger.
If you are training to compete in a powerlifting competition, this should be the time you test your maxes.
I see too many guys come to the gym and bust out their 1 rep max week after week and wonder why they can’t make progress.
The reason you shouldn’t test your 1 rep max is because your nervous system can only handle so much before it needs to rest and recoup; think: deload.
Relying On Supplements
If you think you can’t workout without a pre-workout or can’t make gains without slamming protein shakes, you are wrong.
Sure, training with a pre-workout can help with energy and focus, but it is not going to be the only reason you hit those personal records… it’s all in your head.
I get a lot of questions like “what supplements should I start taking to build muscle?”
When I tell them to start eating right and train consistently, it’s like I’m telling them to do something unheard of.
How Successful Lifters Avoid Common Pitfalls
It’s not luck that elite athletes like Jonathan Byrd, Clint Darden, or Jimmie Pacifico reach the level they do.
They avoid all of the bull crap that is shoveled out of these muscle mags promising gains in just a few workouts.
There are no successful lifters that have become elite overnight; it takes years and years of consistency, progression, and passion.
I’m not completely discounting muscle magazines, but they are in the business of making money.
From what I’ve seen, they put making money and having catchy articles are more important to them than seeing you get bigger and stronger.
They surround themselves by like-minded successful people.
If you want to learn how to squat 1000 pounds, ask people who squat 1000 pounds.
Elite athletes aren’t elite because they listen to all of the advice and try anything that seems to be popular.
Building muscle and getting stronger is simple but takes hard work and a lot of time.
They understand how much time and hard work it will take.
Elite athletes are risking their life and limb to become the best athletes in the world.
They understand that this is a journey and will take years and years of painful days, achy joints, and training even if they don’t FEEL like it.
Even if your goal is to lose 20 pounds and run a mile under 10 minutes, there is a process that you are going to have to take to burn the fat, get faster, and build your conditioning… it won’t be easy.
They know there are no shortcuts.
There are no shortcuts to anything worthwhile in life.
Losing 5 to 100 pounds, building up a 600 pound squat, or being competitive in a bodybuilding contest takes patience, drive, and hard work.
I browse forums and see too many people who read these articles that promise gains in mere weeks and they are upset when they don’t look like Kai Greene after a few weeks of training.
If I can only get one thing across to you from this whole article, it would be:
Stop thinking about every little aspect of training, eat for your goals, and have fun; the gains and body you want will come.
There are going to be times you miss a workout or don’t feel like going… take that with a grain of salt and move on.
Don’t put yourself into an anxiety attack because you missed the reps you had set up for this workout; we all have bad workouts.
Take it from me, you are only going to achieve more if you stop thinking and start doing.