Everyone’s always telling you to “do this” to build muscle. So I thought I would change things up this week by creating a top 5 “don’t do this” list to help you pack on more muscle faster, by avoiding these common mistakes
#1 Don’t Lift Too Heavy
Everyone seems to be obsessed with lifting weights that are way too heavy for them to handle. I think it’s just our competitive nature, we all want to appear strong and able to bench more than our training partner.
Maybe it’s because you’ve been told that heavy weights build the most amount of muscle in the quickest time. It’s true that you need to lift heavy to create enough tension in the muscle to stimulate growth, but more is not better.
Lifting too heavy is not optimal for the following reasons:
- Causes tension to shift from the target muscle as you struggle to move the weight
- Reduces the ability to lift with good form
- Has you working outside the optimal muscle building 8 – 12 rep range
- Puts excessive stress on joints and connective tissue
Weight lifters and bodybuilders have completely different goals. Weight lifters train for strength while bodybuilders train for hypertrophy (muscle growth).
If you want to build the most muscle, leave your ego at the door, stop training like a weight lifter and start training like a bodybuilder.
#2 Don’t Do Silly Supersets
I used to do supersets quite often but soon discovered, like many things in the world of bodybuilding, that they are a complete waste of time and counterproductive to the goal of muscle growth.
Sure, they provide a great cardio workout, but you’re not in the gym with the primary goal of increasing your fitness level, you’re there to build maximum muscle mass. And as I’ve discussed about supersets, they have no place in a muscle building program.
#3 Don’t Train too Long
And this takes us to another “more is better” problem… training for too long.
Your workout should take just 45 – 60 minute max. This is more than enough time to cover all of your working sets with high intensity and is the optimal workout time frame to benefit from the release of anabolic hormone.
#4 Don’t Change your Workout Routine Too Often
Everyone is looking for that ‘perfect’ workout program that will turn them into the next Mr Olympia. Some people believe that some secret workout routine is out there somewhere, all they have to do keep changing their workout until they find it.
Here’s the secret to the best workout program on earth:
Take any popular training split, learn how to perform every exercise with perfect form and follow it consistently month after month.
There is no perfect workout routine, and as I’ve already discussed here there is really no need to keep changing workouts.
You’ll never get results if you keep changing things all the time. The key to making any workout routine produce great results is to be consistent, maintaining a high level of intensity and follow the law of progressive overload.
#5 Don’t Forget the Negative
The negative (also known as the eccentric) part of a repetition is when the muscle is lengthening as you lower the weight.
Studies show that lowering of the weight while maintain tension in the muscle is important for stimulating growth.
Each repetition has two main motions – the concentric phase where the muscle shortens to lift the weight and the eccentric where the muscle lengthens as you lower the weight.
You must maintain tension during both these phases to maximize growth. Don’t let the weight return to the starting position under little or no control. Make sure to lower the weight in a slow and controlled motion.
By maintaining tension on the negative rep you put place the target muscle under tension for longer, squeezing every bit of growth out of each rep.