Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top mistakes I see young and novice lifters doing

Biggest mistakes I see that most young guys are doing - 

1.  Too many movements that lead to pain later on - Skull crushers, terrible technique on bench press, never doing rotator cuff work.

2.  Not doing a pulling movement for every pushing movement they do - Equalize the workload here.  If you're doing 50 reps of total volume for pushing, you should be doing 50 reps of pulling as well.  

3.  Too many similar pressing movements - Flat bench, incline, decline, then db bench press.  Pick one or two per training session.  Not 5.  

4.  Not enough single limb work, especially for the lower body - You don't often see young dudes doing lunges or split squats.  I guess they think those are things women should do.  Not at all.  A big factor in overuse is that people tend to favor one side in their squatting movements and "lean" more to it than they realize.  This can often lead to knee and IT band problems.  1 legged work will help to keep you balanced and also let you know which side is lacking.  

5.  Wearing a belt too much - If you wear a belt, throw it on for your heaviest sets of squats and deadlifts.  You don't need it for fucking side laterals or curls.

6.  Testing too much and not training enough - Maxing out every god damn week.  If you want to max out, do so every 6 weeks or so.  This way you can assess how productive a training cycle was.  I don't care who you see on youtube doing this shit each week.  Maxing out all the time is highly unproductive for 99.999% of lifters.  TRAIN.  Don't test.  

7.  Too many isolation movements - I see guys at the gym that are 165 pounds doing 4 kinds of curls, leg extensions, and cable crossovers and very little if any time in the squat rack, or doing heavy rows.  Do you want to "sculpt" a pebble or a giant slab of rock?   

8.  Too many "bro" and forced reps - Terminate a set with a rep left in the tank.  If you're going to take a set to failure, then terminate the set at the point where your partner or spotter has to help you just a little to complete the last rep.  I swear every week I see guys doing a set of 10 where they were able to a whopping 3 reps on their own before ol boy starting helping.  That and all the half repping "constant tension" bullshit I see.  In case you're not aware, full range reps stimulate more muscle fiber than half reps.  

9.  Going "too" heavy - Bouncing the weight off the chest in benching, doing half squats because you know you'd get buried in the hold, doing shrugs where you just nod your head back and forth.  All bullshit.  Go heavy enough so that you stimulate growth and strength gains in an efficient rep range, and with proper technique.  If you have to resort to cheating reps out in a way that sets you up for injury then you didn't check your ego at the door.

10.  Bouncing around from routine to routine - This is actually not just a young guy problem, but lots of guys problems.  Pick a program based in sound training principles for your level of experience, and stick with it.  Not for two weeks, not for a month, but for a LONG TIME.  6 months, 12 months, 18 months.  A long time.  It takes a long time to get strong, and a long time to become efficient at the big movements.  It's hard to get good at something when you keep changing shit every few weeks.  Pick something and milk it until there's nothing left.  Being a chronic routine changer is the best way to accomplish nothing.

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