3 Common Weight Lifting Mistakes that are limiting you Muscle Gains Want to make little-to-no gains in the gym? Make these common lifting mistakes
There’s a reason why the majority of people that work out regularly don’t have much to show for it, and why so few people ever build truly impressive physiques. And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not (the lack of) steroids–many drug users are just as flabby and weak as the next guy.
The reason why so few people are able to build muscular, strong, lean, healthy bodies is they are doing too many things wrong in and outside of the gym.
Training and eating right isn’t particularly complicated, but there are quite a few moving parts that need to be integrated and coordinated. It’s not as simple as “train hard and eat big.” There aren’t a couple “secrets” to getting big, lean, and strong. There are a collection of principles that must be properly and consistently applied..
3 Common Weight Lifting Mistakes
Common Weight lifting Mistake #1
- Focusing on High-Rep “Burnout” Workouts
If you want to work your ass off for little-to-no results, especially as you move beyond the “newbie phase,” and eventually hit an unbreakable plateau, then you want to emphasize higher rep ranges in your weightlifting.
And by “higher rep ranges,” I’m talking about the widely recommended “hypertrophy” rep ranges of 8 to 10 and 10 to 12 reps per set.
I used to be a dedicated high-repper and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in dramatically (and naturally) transforming my physique is just how important heavy lifting is.
Body Grows when you progressive over load.
For major exercise like Bench press,squats, deadlift aim for working with 80 to 85% of your 1RM (which puts you in the 4 to 6 or 5 to 7 rep ranges) is an incredibly effective way to stimulate both myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, resulting in big, dense, strong muscles that don’t disappear when your pump subsides or when you get lean.
Trust me on this one–the big, shredded guys that do 15-25 sets per workout, 10-12+ reps per set, with supersets, drop sets, and other fancy rep schemes, can only look like they do because of drugs.
You, as a natural weightlifter, will get nowhere with their routines. It took me years of spinning my wheels to learn this.
The smartest way to train chest as a natural lifter would be to choose 1-2 main lifts which you would perform at the rep range of 2-6 (to build strength) and then pick 1-2 assistance lifts which would be performed at rep ranges of 8-12 (to expand muscle glycogen stores and gain mass). The amount of sets per exercise varies a lot between individuals but should land between 2-5.
Here’s an example of what this could look like in practice;
- Main exercise for the sternal head of pecs 4×3
- Main exercise for targeting the clavical head 6×3
- Assistance exercise 8×2
- Assistance exercise 10×2
- Assistance exercise 12×2
Here are the list of workout
- How To Get Bigger Arms Fast
- Back Workout: 4 Easy Exercise to Build a Wide Cobra Back
- Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science)
- Shoulder Workout- 4 Easy Shoulder Exercises for Big Delts!
Common Weight lifting Mistake #2
- Doing a Bunch of Isolation Exercises
This mistake is a natural outgrowth of the last, as the high-rep burnout workouts almost always have you doing a bunch of isolation work.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, an isolation exercise is an exercise that mainly involves one muscle group (it isolates it). For instance, a dumbbell front raise is an isolation exercise that targets your anterior (front) deltoid muscle.
The opposite of an isolation exercises is a compound exercise, which is one that involves multiple muscle groups. For example, my favorite compound exercise for shoulders is the Seated Military Press.
Other compound movements are deadlift, bench press, squats… compound movements are multi joint movements.
The bottom line is compound exercises should be the bulk of your workouts, even if you’re an advanced weightlifter.
Common Weight lifting Mistake #3
- Ascending Pyramid Training
Not only did I used to focus on high-rep workouts, I also followed a standard pyramid protocol that went like this:
- Set 1 – light weight: 12-16 reps
- Set 2 – light/medium weight: 10-12 reps
- Set 3 – medium weight: 8-10 reps
- Set 4 – heavy weight: 4-6 reps
This type of protocol sucks because by the time you get to anything remotely heavy, you’re so fatigued from your previous sets that you can barely move the weight and thus can’t sufficiently overload your muscles
When you’ve already exhausted your muscles and then try to load up the plates, you’re going to find that you can’t lift nearly as much as you could if you hadn’t done all the lightweight work. For example, if you can Bench Press 225 pounds for 5 reps when you’re fresh, you’ll be lucky to get more than 5 reps with 185 pounds using an ascending pyramid workout structure.
The real problem here relates to progressive overload, which boils down to progressively increasing tension levels in the muscle fibers over time. That is, adding weight to the bar, progressively lifting heavier and heavier weights over time.
Bottom Line if you want to get bigger, you have to get stronger, and ascending pyramid training is horrible for building strength.
The smart way to do it is
- Set 1 – heavy weight: 4-6 reps
- Set 2 – medium weight: 8-10 reps
- Set 3 – light/medium weight: 10-12 reps
- Set 4 – light weight: 12-16 reps
Conclusion on Common Weight Lifting Mistakes
Always hire a coach so you have expertise and you will reach your goals faster.
Learn the basice and proper form for all the exercises.
In the end listen to your body and see how it responds to different exercises workout and diet.
If you need more help then Sign up for my 1-on-1 coaching program where you will get to learn your situation, your lifestyle, and your experience, and then build a workout program and nutritional strategy that fits into your busy life. We get to know you better than you know yourself, and we’ve got the results to prove it! Consider checking out my coaching program if you’re looking for that next level of expert guidance and accountability.