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Five Mistakes People Do When Weightlifting That Ruin Gains

There are a lot of common mistakes people do when weightlifting in an attempt to build more muscle that ends up wasting a lot of their efforts to put on extra muscle weight.

Below are just 5 of the most common things people do which ruins their ability to put on lots of muscle.

#1. Lack of Sleep

Sufficient sleep is fundamental for recovery. Neglecting sleep can reverse the effects of being in an anabolic (growth) state which you are creating through quality nutrition and exercise, and lead to catabolism (muscle tissue breakdown), which is counterproductive for building muscle.

When you are sleeping, your body begins repairing damaged muscle tissue through the release of natural human growth hormone (HGH) which is needed to grow and develop. Generally, this is produced in higher amounts when your body is getting the rest it requires, which for the average person, is at least 8 hours a night.

However, if you are not getting enough sleep, this process gets disrupted and can slow down your overall muscle development. If you find that your eyelids weigh a tonne when you arise in the morning, you simply did not rest optimally.

Studies have also shown that lack of sleep raises the hormone cortisol which is a catabolic hormone that causes stress on your muscular system and can undo all the hard work you have been putting in. Not what you want!

Allocating enough time for rest should be as much of a priority as watching what you eat and maximising the intensity of your workouts.

MUSCLES GROW WHILE YOU SLEEP, NOT WHILE YOU WORKOUT.

#2. Lack of Nutritional Foods and Protein

The old saying holds true, you need to ‘eat big to get big’. Your muscles require the right fuel in the right quality and quantity to truly grow and develop.

The most effective way to measure how much you need to eat to get bigger is to first workout your calorie maintenance level. This is the amount of calories you need to eat each day if you were to do nothing but rest and remain at the same weight.

Once you have worked out your calorie maintenance level, you want to begin eating slightly more calories on top of this and move into a calorie surplus (eating an extra 200 – 500 calories as a base).

It is important to apply trial and error during this stage, as going well above your calorie maintenance level may lead to unhealthy weight gain in the long-term.

However, eating at a calorie surplus will prevent your body burning fewer calories which can be used to repair and develop damaged muscle tissue from exercise, and ultimately, lead to more growth.

A few things to mention is that your approach to nutrition should be as clean and unrefined as possible. Staple foods such as lean meat, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pulses and legumes should form the bulk of your diet, all the while avoiding refined and processed foods as much as possible.

LOTS OF PROTEIN AND VEGGIES SPEEDS UP MUSCLE GROWTH.

#3. Not Targeting the Muscles Properly

Performing an exercise using proper form is actually important. If you perform a bicep curl with your elbow pointing outwards for example, you are using your shoulder and other muscles to help you lift the weight, when you should have your elbow tucked in and you should only be using your biceps to lift the weight.

Simply lifting the weight is not enough. You are just going through the proverbial motions. What you want to do is target the correct muscle, only use that muscle - and do it properly!

A common mistake within this is for people to be lifting the biggest dumbbell or barbell they can lift, when what they should be lifting should be roughly half of that and lifted with the correct form to maximize muscle rippage.

In order to build new muscle tissue you first need to rip the old muscles, and if you are using improper form - and consequently ripping less muscle tissue - then you will not be maximizing the amount of new muscle tissue when your body regenerates while sleeping.

IF YOU ARE NOT RIPPING MUSCLES, YOU WILL NOT GAIN MUSCLE.

#4. Lack of Planning and Execution

If you do not plan to succeed, then you are effectively planning to fail.

Keep a journal. Make an exercise plan. Record how often you are exercising, what exercises you are doing, how many you are doing, and any changes and notes.

Within this plan you should also plan to increase your exercises over time, both in terms of number of reps, amount of weight being lifted, and the types of exercises you are doing so you are constantly challenging your body to do new things.

For example lets say you start off doing 6 different exercises for 6 minutes each.

Two weeks later you should change your routine and start doing 7 different exercises for 7 minutes each.

Wait two weeks, then start doing 8 different exercises for 8 minutes each.

Two weeks, 9 exercises for 9 minutes each.

And so forth. Remember to rest and stay hydrated.

Furthermore you need to stick with it and keep exercising. If you stop, take breaks too frequently, end up being lazy and procrastinating - well then it is really no surprise if you fail because you failed to execute the plan.

EXECUTING THE PLAN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PLAN.

#5. Lack of Understanding what you are Doing

During all this time you should be researching how to best achieve your weightlifting goals. You should be striving to become super knowledgeable on the topic at hand. So for example if you are trying to put on lots of muscle, you might even use techniques used by bodybuilders in order to beef up faster.

I am not recommending steroids or anything like that, but there are various power-lifting techniques you could certainly utilize in order to achieve better results. The more you know about these exercises, the more likely you will be able to use them, use them properly, and get results.

When in doubt, consult a personal trainer who specializes in weightlifting techniques.

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