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5 Muscle Building Mistakes To Avoid

If I had to boil down the fitness goals of the average person in less than five words, it’d be a surprisingly easy task: “Lose fat and gain muscle.”

In reality there are many (many) other fitness goals, and lots of other reasons to workout and eat healthy foods; but this is what interests—and confuses—most people. While losing the extra pounds can be the most frustrating process, building muscle is harder for most people to understand.

It can be disappointing when you're working hard to lift weights and train your body, but you're just not seeing the results that you want. Your muscles may still look puny compared to the others in the gym or perhaps your arms have extra flab that you figured should be gone by now. If this is you, you may be making one of these mistakes:

Mistake #1: Resting Too Much

We all need to rest between sets, but resting too long can lower your heart rate and stop your body from refueling your muscles. It's recommended that you rest for 30 to 90 seconds between sets. However, that can be too long if you're training more than one muscle group at a time. Focus on one muscle at a time, and give it no more than a 30 second rest between each set to see better gains.

Mistake #2: You Don’t Eat Enough Food

Every guy tells us that he “eats a lot” but still can’t gain weight. We even said the same thing for years. But guess what? If you’re not as muscular as you want to be, you aren’t eating nearly enough.

Most skinny guys have a metabolism akin to a hummingbird hooked on trailer park meth. To combat your crazy-fast metabolism, you simply have to eat more food than you’re eating now.

At the height of his S2B journey, Tom (pictured below) was eating a Muscle Breakfast, Muscle Lunch, Muscle Dinner, and drinking three healthy, calorie-packed Super Shakes per day. Now that’s eating big. And it translated to 33 pounds of muscle.

So how much are you eating every day? Are you keeping track? You don’t have to count calories, but you do have to stuff your face with healthy food multiple times per day. 

Mistake #3: You Don’t Stick To One Workout Program

Skinny guys take the old bodybuilding colloquialism “keep your body guessing” to absurd lengths. But guys who get great results understand they only have to do two simple things:

Pick a program that’s made for them (a guy who wants to add muscle)
Follow the program for at least two months
Most skinny guys never build muscle because they’re too impatient to actually stick with a workout routine. That’s why in the S2B coaching program, our clients can track their progress throughout the year and stay motivated.

Mistake #4: Not Enough Sets

Depending on the rep range you're working, each muscle and muscle group requires a different number of sets.

Your quads, chest and back need the most, while your abs, forearms, and calves need the fewest. Your triceps demand more attention than your biceps, and your lower back should be worked harder than your sides.

Your goal should be eight to 10 sets per muscle per workout, and two or three days between workouts. This will give your muscles the push they need, but still enable you to recover.

Mistake #5: Too Much Cardio

While cardio is great for burning fat, it's not as effective for muscle-building. Not only does it use up the glucose your muscles need for energy, but it can actually degrade the metabolism of the muscle tissue as well. A bit of cardio is important, but if muscle building is your ultimate goal, you should limit the amount of cardio you do.

Stick with three or four steady-state, low-intensity workouts per week, or two or three high-intensity workouts.