Four common diet and exercise-related mistakes that are damaging your gains!
Let’s face it, when it comes to training and exercise, the majority of us lift weights because we want to gain muscle and look better. It may sound vain, but we do.
Of course there are many, many other reasons for lifting, including the fact that it’s good for us, it helps beat stress, it can improve our general health and well-being, it can make us stronger, and it can even improve our day to day quality of life in the process.
Whatever your reasons for weight and resistance training may be, you’ll want to make the most out of your training and as a result will be looking to really maximize your gains.
However, in their minds, many people will be following the most effective gym training program in the world, as well as eating and drinking the most beneficial produce in the world for building muscle, yet will barely be noticing any improvements in their bodies at all.
If any of the above sounds familiar to you, perhaps you’re guilty of making one or more of these four very common diet and exercise-related mistakes that could be damaging your gains?
Take a look, see if any of them apply to you, and if so, ensure you follow the advice provided on what you can do to put things right.
Overtraining – This is probably one of the most common mistakes that people looking to improve their physique will ever make. We all know that in order to get muscle you need to train at the gym which is why so many people will follow a gruelling gym training program day after day, week after week, month after month in order to try and pack on as much muscle as possible.
In reality, however, all they’re doing is breaking down and destroying muscle tissue, before the body has chance to repair and replace damaged muscle tissue with bigger, stronger, and larger newer muscle tissue.
We don’t grow when we exercise, we destroy muscle, we grow when we rest.
If we’re following a gruelling gym training program requiring you to spend countless days and hours in the gym with very little rest, your body won’t have chance to repair itself and so you won’t see any progress.
Aim for at least two days off from the gym per week, and if you find yourself feeling constantly tired and sore, listen to your body as this is a clear indication of overtraining.
Not mixing things up – Another common mistake that people tend to make with their training is to follow the same gym training program for months upon months, even year upon year, without changing things up.
They’ll stick with the same exercises, the same routines, the same weights, and the same repetitions every single time, and yet will be surprised when their body fails to respond to the training.
The body has a great knack for adapting to stressful situations and building up a resistance, which is why during the first few months of training you’ll see great improvements in your strength levels and physique, which will become less and less as time goes by.
In order to make the best progress, when you hit natural plateaus and stop noticing any improvements in your training, you should mix things up with your training.
Try following a new gym training program for a few weeks and see if that helps.
If you’re lifting heavy weights for relatively low reps, try lifting lighter weights and performing more repetitions instead as you’ll be amazed by just how well your body responds to these changes.
Not taking your diet seriously – If you’re serious about getting in shape or maybe want to get ripped fast, then you’re going to have to take your diet extremely seriously and will in fact have to prioritise it over your training. You can follow the most effective and most popular gym training program in the world, but if your diet and nutrition isn’t on point you may as well not bother as you simply won’t make any real progress.
Make sure you take your diet seriously, consuming the right foods in the right quantities at the right times.
Stay away from processed junk food, make sure you get enough vitamins, minerals, and protein, and make sure you space your meals out every three hours or so.
Too many machines – Now, resistance machines in the gym are fantastic and they should still most definitely be included as part of pretty much any gym training program with the intention of building lean muscle mass.
However, one mistake that people tend to make is performing too many machine-based exercises as opposed to compound and free-weight exercises instead.
Machines isolate muscle groups, which is great for bringing lagging body parts up and helping to sculpt and tone various muscle groups but if you’re looking for overall muscle growth as a whole, focus your attention on compound and free weight exercises instead. Compound exercises work more than one muscle group at once, which means more muscle groups will benefit from one exercise.
For example, when training chest, if you use the chest-press machine, your pectoral muscles will be isolated, working just the chest and nothing more. If you perform barbell bench presses instead however, not only are the pectoral muscles worked, but so too are the triceps, the deltoids, and even the abdominal muscles as well.
Machines are still very important, but if muscle growth is your main objective, focus mainly on compound lifts and free weight exercises early on in your workouts, and finish up with a few machine-based exercises to really exhaust the muscles and finish them off.