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The Top Muscle Building Mistakes To Avoid

Good honest information about proper weight training and nutrition for building a lean muscular physique is harder to come by than ever before. The problem is information overload. These days we have so much information coming at us from fitness and diet guru's preaching about their latest breakthroughs on late night TV infomercials everyday. Hundreds, even thousands of exercise and nutrition books fill bookstore shelves. Dozens of magazines clutter the newsstands every month. And to top it all off there are new websites popping up everyday adding to this bog of misinformation at an exponential rate. 

 How to build muscle? The question is asked in many different forms by bodybuilders around the world. And the reason isn't hard to imagine. There are so many myths floating around that it is easy to get misled and make serious mistakes which can be harmful or delay your bodybuilding journey.

Here are some elementary bodybuilding mistakes made by beginners.

Not Being Consistent With Your Workouts

This is probably the single biggest factor that will determine your success or failure long term. If you are not consistent then it doesn’t matter if you have the most sophisticated scientifically designed workout program on earth, because it will be totally useless to you unless you actually follow it consistently.

A “half assed workout” routine that you follow consistently week after week will produce more real world muscle gains then the most perfectly planned out workout routine that you only follow occasionally.

Every time you complete a workout, you not only build your body, but you develop your character and self esteem. This makes you feel good about yourself and starts a positive upward spiral that reinforces you to be even more committed and more consistent.

Everything you do either helps you, or hurts you. Every single workout, every single meal, they all add up. Building a strong muscular physique is the cumulative result of hundreds of consistent workouts. 

Good manners cost nothing

It's also useless getting ripped only to get ripped apart by furious gym-bunnies. "If you're strong enough to lift 100kg on the bar, you're damn well strong enough to put it back on the rack," says Dr Elesa Argent, personal trainer and ex-bodybuilding champ. "Don't squat on a piece of equipment either – let people jump in during sets if the place is busy." And say please and thank you.

Stop Smoking and Drinking

Many beginner bodybuilders are averse to giving up their recreational activities like smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. Smoking increases blood levels of carbon monoxide which impairs oxygen delivery to muscles during exercise. Without adequate supplies of oxygen, the tissue chokes and is unable to perform well during exercise.
Alcohol increases fatty acid levels in blood and the extra fat often gets deposited as a layer over the abdomen muscles. Drinking also reduces testosterone levels, indirectly inhibiting muscle growth. So give up smoking and drinking to enjoy muscle growth.

Not Monitoring Your Progress

So many people just go through the motions with their workouts with no real rhyme or reason for what they are doing. This happens a lot with older gym goers who have been working out for years, but it also can happen to younger lifters as well. They just get into the habit of showing up at the gym day after day and mindlessly go through their workouts doing what ever strikes their fancy.

How many people do you see at the gym with no training journal, no written plan, and no way to keep score to tell if they are making progress or not?

For a lot of these people going to the gym just becomes a part of their social life. Now I agree that this habit is a lot healthier then hanging out at the local pub, drinking pints, and playing darts. But with a little planning, the time you spend in the gym could be a lot more productive and result in building a lot more muscle… (and then you’ll actually look good when you go out to the pub :-)

What gets measured, gets improved… All it takes is little bit of time assessing where you are right now and planning out where you want to go (i.e. how much muscle do you want to build?) Then create a plan of action on how you are going to get there (i.e. a specific workout program and eating plan). Or get an experienced coach to help you create an action plan. Then you simply follow through with your plan and monitor your results. And make adjustments to your plan as needed so that you achieve the results you want.

The old saying “failing to plan, is planning to fail” is often overused, but it is 100% accurate, especially when it comes to bodybuilding.

Squat like a baby

Squats, in particular, are a valuable muscle-builder often rendered near useless through poor technique. "Watch a baby move and they will easily perform a deep squat while transitioning into tiny footsteps," says MH online fitness editor Neil McTeggart (neilmct.com). "As adults the deep squat has been replaced by two-inch knee tremblers: guys attempting to impress everyone by squatting triple their bodyweight in front of their chest." Go deep to build both size and power.

Leg it

One of the most common sights in gyms everywhere is huge-chested behemoths waddling around on spindly legs, risking injury and looking ridiculous. "You can't get great symmetry without well-developed hamstrings, quads and calves," says Dr Argent. "Substitute some benching time for squats, curls and lunges and you'll look so much better.