Trying to pack on some serious muscle mass at the gym? Stop! You’re probably doing it all wrong. There are 3 common workout mistakes that you need to know before you go any further. Once you know these bodybuilding hacks, you’ll have a competitive advantage over other newbies in the gym. Read on to find out what they are.
1. You’re rushing things in the gym
Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you want to get seriously jacked, patience is key. Devising a proper workout plan is a good place to start but if you’re rushing things in the gym and not focusing on proper form, you could be losing out on newbie gains (the amount of muscle you build when you first start working out).
Even worse, you could be putting your body at risk if you’re training with weights that are just too heavy for you.
Here’s the thing: When you start training, your connective tissue probably can’t take the strain if the weights you’re using are too heavy. The solution? Start off slow and take your time.
Here are some top tips for newbies when it comes to weight training:
+ It’s an age-old cliche but bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. If you want to get ripped, start off with lighter weights and gradually increase the amount of weight every week (about 5 percent should do it) otherwise, you’ll plateau and just be wasting your time.
+ Combine isolation exercises (that focus on one part of the body like bicep curls) with compound exercises (movements that focus on more than one muscle group, like squats) to give your body a better workout.
+ Don’t just focus on the exercises that target the chest and biceps. This is a common mistake that newbies make and one that should be avoided.
Devise a plan whereby you train every body part – such as the often-neglected shoulders, back and lower legs – so that you can achieve a better body composition.
2. You’re not lifting weights properly
Sorry to break to you but you’re probably lifting weights wrong if you’re a beginner. Don’t panic, you’re not the only one. After all, even the world’s best bodybuilders had to start somewhere.
+ Focus on form. You shouldn’t be straining when lifting weights (and you could be doing damage if you are). This is one of the most common workout mistakes beginners make in the gym that ruins their progress.
Practice doing the exercises with proper form before you consider increasing the weight.
+ Rest for at least 30 seconds between each set.
+ Don’t train the same body part two days in a row. You actually build muscle when you’re resting (away from the gym).
3. Your diet is awful
Think you only build muscle in the gym? Think again. What you eat – and how often – plays a major part in lean muscle mass development so make sure your diet is on point if you want to become a beast.
Struggling to incorporate healthy foods choices into your diet? Don’t worry – it’s a lot easier than you think. You can make a few simple changes in the kitchen that will build some serious muscle in no time.
You can make a few simple changes in the kitchen that will build some serious muscle in no time.
Here are some beginner’s diet hacks:
+ Protein is the building block of muscle and you’re probably not getting enough of the stuff. Start by consuming a gram of protein for each pound of your bodyweight (for example, if you weigh 170 lbs, aim for 170 grams of protein a day). While this might sound a lot to a newbie, it’s easier to achieve than you might think.
Eat foods that contain the best protein sources, like lean meats (turkey, chicken, beef), fish (tuna, salmon, mackerel), nuts and seeds, and lots of eggs if you’re serious about bodybuilding.
+ Decide whether you want to cut or bulk – two bodybuilding terms that might sound alien to a newbie. When you bulk, you’re eating at calorie surplus (consuming more calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight) in order to build lean muscle mass.
When you cut, you’re eating at a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight) in order to lose fat.
Decide on what your goals are and adapt your eating habits accordingly.
+ Boozy nights out can harm your gains. It’s not just the alcohol that can do damage (studies show that alcoholic beverages can temporarily reduce testosterone, which you need to build muscle mass) but binging on fatty, unhealthy food the morning after the night before could hinder your progress too.
+ A cheat meal can do wonders if you’ve been dieting for a while but don’t make it a regular occurrence. If you want to take a short break from your diet, indulge in a high-carb snack to increase your glycogen levels, which can be depleted if you’re eating at a calorie deficit (cutting).