I've put together a list of eleven major mistakes that bodybuilders must avoid, especially if they expect to continue gaining mass and not getting injured in the process. Eliminate the mistakes and kick-start your progress!

By: Stuart McRobert

Part 1 | Part 2

Made any progress over recent months? If not, it's time to make some changes - in and out of the gym. Continuing with what hasn't worked over recent months isn't going to help you over the next few months.

Even if you're making just one of the 11 mistakes listed below, you'll be limiting your progress. And if you're making many of these mistakes, you may be killing your progress. Eliminate the mistakes and kick-start your progress!

11 Training Mistakes

     Mistake #1. Not Getting Stronger.

    While getting stronger isn't the whole story for building bigger muscles, it's a big part for most bodybuilders, especially beginners and intermediates.

    The biggest muscles aren't the strongest, and the strongest muscles aren't the biggest; but if you don't build up to lifting decent weights for plenty of reps in correct technique, you'll never develop decent-sized muscles.

Strength Training Strategies That Actually Work! Strength Training Strategies That Actually Work!
Over the years there has been a surge of different strength training techniques that have come onto the market and just faded away. This article lists some tried and true techniques for making real gains.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

     Mistake #2. Using Weights You Can't Manage Properly.

    While getting stronger is very important, poundage at all costs is a progress killer. Most bodybuilders use weights they can't manage correctly.

    Cut back all your working weights by 10%, tighten up your exercise technique to make it impeccable, and then over a month or few, gradually build your weights back while maintaining perfect technique. Your reward should be some new growth. Then work into new poundage territory and garner further growth.

     Mistake #3. Adding Poundage Too Quickly.

    Piling on five and ten pound increments isn't the best way to go. Beyond the beginner's stage, strength is built slowly.

    Once you're at your current best weight for a given exercise, add only a little iron next workout - just one pound on the bar, then another after a week or two, then another, etc. Few gyms have the very small plates, so get your own half and one pounders and take them to the gym with you.

Do You Use Half-Pound And One Pound Plates?

Yes, They're Crucial For Tweaking The Poundage.
No, They're For Wimps.
Didn't Even Know They Existed!

     Mistake #4. Not Taking All Measures To Avoid Injury.

    Injury kills progress. Correct exercise technique - no body English, no yanking, no dropping, no heaving, no excessive ranges of motion, no blasting into a rep - is pivotal to training safely. Don't give mere lip service to the cliché, "Use good technique."

    Figuratively emboss it on your forehead, and pay heed! Breaking technique while training hard is a common and often devastating mistake. Disciplined training is about effort and good technique. Training safety also involves individualizing your exercise selection.

    If an exercise hurts, and you've been performing it using good technique with a controlled rep speed, and you've tried sensible modifications, drop that exercise. The first rule of exercise is, "Do no harm." Discard the reckless "No pain, no gain" maxim.

     Mistake #5. Focusing On The Wrong Exercises.

    Give priority to the building exercises, not the detail ones. While select isolation exercises have a valuable role, the major muscle builders are the big compound exercises such as:

    These are the ones you have to become good at, and use decent weights in, if you want to build big muscles.

     Mistake #6. Not Squatting.

    Do your utmost to squat well and intensively. The benefits are not limited to the thighs, glutes, and lower back. The squat has a knock-on effect throughout the body. While some people truly can't squat intensively in a safe way, most can.

Squatology: The Squat Can Work For Everyone Squatology: The Squat Can Work For Everyone.
There are so many variations of the squat that every body type can thrive on squatting. That is exactly what I am going to share with you today. Everone can benefit!
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    Revere the squat, improve your squatting technique, pay your dues, and you'll help your overall gains. But squat correctly and safely, or don't squat at all!

     Mistake #7. Not Deadlifting.

    Pay your dues on the deadlift. The deadlift is one of the most productive exercises for building mass. Master the technique of the deadlift - conventional style, or partial style from knee height - and over a few years slowly build the weight up to something impressive.

Deadlifts: The King Of Mass-Builders? Deadlifts: The King Of Mass-Builders?
As the king of mass gaining exercises, the deadlift cannot be ignored. I'll share with you extensive details about the deadlift including a beginning and advanced program.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    But impeccable technique is imperative; and avoid any exaggerated range of motion. Deadlift correctly and safely, or don't deadlift at all!

     Mistake #8. Insufficient Effort.

    If you're loafing in the gym, you'll never produce much if any growth stimulus. While you don't have to train till you literally drop, you do have to train hard. Do you really grind out every rep possible in each work set without compromising on your technique? If not, start now - crank up your effort level!

    To View Increasing Intensity Articles, Click Here.

     Mistake #9. Weight Training On More Days Than Off Days.

    Weight train on just three days each week. Either divide your overall program into three parts/routines:

    1. abs, thighs and calves
    2. back, biceps and neck
    3. chest, delts and triceps

    and hit each body part ONCE a week, or split your program into two parts/routines.

Training Splits: Which One Is Best? Training Splits: Which One Is Best?
Before I detail several of the split routine options out there, you will need to what days you have available for training. You can read it now and see why it will be beneficial to know your schedule.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    For example:

    1. abs, thighs, calves, back and biceps
    2. chest, delts, triceps and neck

    and alternate the two workouts, thus hitting each area three times every TWO weeks. Or try one option for a couple of months, then the other for a further couple of months, and see which works best for you.

     Mistake #10. Performing Excessive Sets.

    Perform no more than three work sets per exercise, and a maximum of eight exercises per routine. If you can do more than three work sets per exercise, you're loafing. Train harder so that you never want to perform more than three work sets per exercise.

     Mistake #11. Not Using A Training Partner.

    A good training partner will boost your training zeal and intensity. Find a training partner who has a similar recovery ability to yours, so that you can use a similar (if not the same) training program. Then push each other to deliver perfect workouts every time - intensive, progressive and always with correct, disciplined technique.

The Training Partner: Best Friend Or Worst Nightmare?
A good training partner can help you immensely in your workouts but a bad one can spell disaster. Before you decide if you want a partner, you need this information.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

    An inappropriate training partner can be your undoing. If he/she can recover quicker than you, and tolerate more sets and exercises, and if they push you to abuse forced reps and other intensity enhancers, cut your ties - pronto!

Next Time

Next time, a further 11 major bodybuilding mistakes you must avoid! Stuart McRobert's website can be found at Hardgainer.com.

Part 1 | Part 2

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Stuart McRobert

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i find this article true but false, instead of adding one pound a week simply do a negative rep. there are no wrong exercises as long as you do them right, just switch it up, in stead of bench do cable flyes. lastly training that much in one day with 4 separate muscle groups puts you i higher risk for injury. spread your workouts out and play it safe.

Oct 12, 2012 4:59pm | report

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I agree with my fellow man below. Always perform an exercise with the best form...and that is the perfect form! If an exercise doesn't work for you at that time, conduct a different one until you get proper instruction on one you need help on.

Jan 12, 2013 10:53pm | report

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perform only 3 working sets is complete garbage, focus on workload not number of sets

Apr 5, 2013 8:52pm | report
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