You might know a seasoned bodybuilder or you’ve just finished re-watching a Schwarzenegger film and decided you want to be built like Conan. Either way, lets see if we can help you avoid the five most common pitfalls for bodybuilders.
#1 – Don’t Believe The Scales
The scale of the problem, if you forgive the pun, is quite big as many new bodybuilders will judge their success by incorrect weight gain. That 2lb gain might be pure fat, whilst those bench presses or reps might not be working with a really bad diet. To succeed you need to judge by the mirror not the scales. Love handles or moobs don’t qualify as muscle! You need to focus on gaining muscle not weight.
#2 – Don’t Skip Those Stretches
Your boss handed you a late assignment, you need to pick the wife up from her friend’s house and you need to pop by the supermarket for groceries. This all means less time for your evening workout; so what do you do? Skip the stretches or do a ‘light’ warm up and cool-down stretches. Whatever you do, do not skip stretches. They are the most important part of the workout.
This process helps condition your body to the workout period. It tells your body both psychologically and biologically that you are beginning and finishing a period of strenuous activity. As such, always make time for the stretches!
#3 – Make Sure To Take A Break
Your body needs time to repair or recuperate. The old adage ‘the longer you train, the bigger you’ll grow’ is just a plain and simple untruth. Your body has a limit. You need to understand your limits. You need to eat the right things and take breaks otherwise you’ll lose not gain muscle.
The best thing to do is to mix it up. Why not run or do cardio exercises one day, whilst the other day is for reps down the gym whilst always remembering to eat healthy and to keep yourself hydrated. Therefore, always make time for your workout breaks.
#4 – Always Plan Ahead
You have decided to drive from London to Edinburgh without having planned the route, would you ‘wing it’ or not? A good driver would always plan their journey. The same goes for good bodybuilders. Make a training plan with goals and objectives. It’s always better to workout when you know what you are a) doing and b) what you want out of it.
There is no point working out if you have no objectives. You need to be ‘accountable’ to yourself and as such you need to have the ability to evaluate your work and your regime. This can help to identify issues, problems and also help boost support and morale. So get a notepad or send yourself an email – plan your short and long-term goals and objectives so you don’t waste your workouts.
#5 – Don’t Go Through The Motions
Your workout regime needs variety. You might have noticed a few guys down the gym who do the same weights, same reps and in all probability at the same time. This is not working out for results but rather working out for the sake of working out. This helps nobody. You need to focus your attention on what you are doing. Remember this can be done by mixing up your weights, styles, reps and exercises.
Your body won’t as quickly get accustomed to such changes. Your time there in the gym is not to show off to the other guys but to help you define yourself (not just physically). Think about your goals and from that develop a routine that complements your projected results.
There you have it the five most common mistakes newbie bodybuilders usually fall prey to. The five things you need to do; look at yourself in the mirror instead of on the scales to see the results, always make time for stretches – warming up and cooling down is a part of your workout, always take a break as your body needs time to recuperate, plan ahead and make a training journal that will help you plan ahead and gives you motivation and finally don’t workout for the sake of working out think about your goals and create a workout regime that emulates what you want our of your workout.