Top 5 Bodybuilding Mistakes for beginners

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.

Bad diet
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.

Bad form
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.

I your new to the sport I hope this helps.

Maximise your Bench Press

The bench press is  one of the Mecca of weight bench exercises. The bench press is generally used by most people as a measurement of how strong you are, although using the bench press as a measurement of total strength isn’t a very good indicator of your overall physical strength. However it is a great exercise that will help build your chest as well as your arms and being able to push alot of weight on a bench is a great way to show off to your friends. Many people do not realize that half of the work is in the technique.

Position yourself correctly
Most people, especially beginners do not know how to position themselves on the weight bench. when resting on the bench, line yourself correctly so that your forehead is inline with the center of the bar and your arms are of equal distance apart. this will help you balance the weights once you have lifted them from the rack. once you have the balance sorted each arm will take equal load of the weight thus preventing one arm taking too much weight and failing a few reps short of your full potential.

Use full and precise Movements
There’s nothing more important than form. if you cant lower the bar to your chest at a controlled speed its time to lower the weight until you can. on the push action its both beneficial to push fast and push the weight up slowly so from one week to the next or on different sets fluctuate the speed at which you push the bar up. you will gain no benefit in dropping the weight to your chest (you may however cause an injury).

Breathing is a big deal, if you stop you will fail to circulate oxygen around your body and muscles, which will decrease the amount of repetitions you can achieve as the lactic acid will build up faster. As you lower the bar breath in. as you push the bar breath out – DO NOT HOLD YOUR BREATH!

Mix it up
Don’t allow your muscles to get used to any particular weight or set of repetitions whilst Benching. mix it up occasionally by lifting less weight with more repetitions. Also have a session at least once a month were you try and lift as much weight as possible, even if you only achieve one rep. if you put your body through un-normal stressful situations it will respond better.

Partner up
there’s nothing more encouraging than a training partner. a training partner will give you more focus and will help push you that little bit further. You can also cheat on the last few reps with the assistance of a training partner and they can also be there for safety to help you if you struggle to rack the weights or drop them.

Rest and Relaxation
Do not bench press every time you see a weight bench. Your Muscle’s need to rest every time they have been through a stressful exercise (recommended amount of rest is 24hrs). if you don’t rest, your muscles will never get the chance to repair themselves which will result in a sports injury which could put a stop to your bench press action altogether.