A lot of people fall in love with the idea of wanting to build muscle. They often start out with good intentions and visualize themselves looking a certain way within a few months. More often than not they get this better image of themselves from the front cover of a magazine. All this fantasizing finally digests in their mind until they decide to hit the weights. Without thinking they haven’t really done any research and marched straight to the gym and started pumping Iron, this is were things start to go wrong.
The top 5 bodybuilding mistakes for beginners are:
Lack of commitment
Most people hit the gym thinking its going to be a quick fix and within a month or two they think they will be ready to pose for the front cover of muscle magazine, wrong. I can’t count how many of my friends have talked me into letting them train with me only to stop 5 weeks down the line. This is not only a waste of their time but also a waste of mine. After 5 weeks you should expect your muscles to feel more toned, You will even see a fairly fast increase on how much weight you can lift. But you really wont see any difference in size until 5-6 months down the line. And because it takes so long you wont notice the difference, as it is a slow progression over time. I suggest taking pictures before you start and then every 4 months onwards to compare. realistically give yourself 1 year of committed training.
Most beginners don’t understand that rest is also a big part of building muscle as is lifting the weights. You should generally only workout for about 45-90 minutes and not train the same muscles within 24-48 hours of each other. Its not a requirement to lift weights as often as you can for long periods of time. REST is one of the most important factors in bodybuilding.
Diet again is an important part of building muscle. Your body needs protein and lost of it, try and eat 25-30 grams of protein every 2-3 hrs. You also needs complex carbohydrates, try and eat 5 smaller healthy meals (protein and complex carbs combined) throughout the day so your body as always got enough nutrition rather than eating two to 3 big meals a day which your body cant digest and use all at once. Eating smaller regular meals will avoid excess food being stored as fat and give your muscles plenty of nutrition to repair themselves.
Lifting weights incorrectly can also have a negative influence on your bodybuilding ambitions as well as cause sports injuries. If you are targeting a specific muscle always try to isolate that muscle with the weights. Always lift weights in a controlled manner and if you think you are lifting the weights wrong, ask an instructor.
Lifting too much weight
Ok this one also applies to some experienced lifters also. A few years ago down at my local gym I used to get asked by this guy (who reckoned he knew everything about bodybuilding) to spot him. He would pack the bar with as much weight as he could to do about 5 reps. Thing is, I would also have to lift the weight with him. So he ended up doing 1 rep and I helped lift the other 4 reps. He would then take his top of and pose in the mirror for 5 minutes. After 1.5 years of going to the same gym together I noticed he never made any improvement and still lifted the same weight. I also see a lot of beginners walk in the gym and lift more than they can control which also leads to bad form. My advice here is to start of low and build up. Don’t feel stupid because others seem to be lifting a lot more weight than you.