As an athlete, and as a person, you’re probably already aware of the awesome potential which you currently possess. Whether or not you’ll admit it, you are probably currently massively underachieving. Don’t feel bad about it – everyone is underachieving. We’re only using a fraction of the intellectual horsepower of which our brain is capable, and all of us waste time that we’ll look back on one day and regret. However, those of us who are able to minimize the amount of mistakes we make, or limit the impact of the errors we are making alone the way, are most likely to see success going forward in the weight room. Ready to analyze then conquer some of the most common mistakes you may be making?
Whether we’re talking about training, nutrition, or supplementation, there isn’t much space between a groove and a rut. By the time we find that perfect rhythm guaranteeing results in the gym or in the kitchen, our body grows accustomed that that habit and halts rowing as a result of adaptation to that particular stimulus. In other words, as soon as you discover the perfect bench press workout or calf training mix, your body will have already adapted to that particular workload and stopped creating new muscle growth to combat that particular new workload. Therefore it is up to you to continually change up the workouts, foods, supplements and rest patterns that you are giving your body in order to always keep it guessing!
We’ve all picked up a copy of FLEX or Muscular Development with Arnold Schwarzenegger on the cover and imagined what that cover picture would look like with our face on it. We’ve all imagined wearing the body of a pro athlete and decided we’d be happy with even a fraction of that levels of strength and development. However, unless we were born with similar world class genes, and started training at an early age, we aren’t likely to achieve that physique we’re imagining. That’s okay – and it’s completely normal too! When planning your goals, start with something simple such as “add ten pounds of muscle to my body” or “lower body fat by 3%”. Once you achieve those goals, you can add a slightly loftier set of goals. If your first goal in training is “Win the Mr. Olympia title”, you are likely setting yourself up for a major letdown.
You train hard for an hour, consumed your post-workout protein shake, and got your 8.5 hours of sleep. Why haven’t you added 2 inches of pure muscle to your arms overnight? Well, you may end up adding those 2 inches of muscle, but it will likely take you 3-4 months, and that’s only if you are doing everything right along the way! Results never arrive quickly, no matter how much dedication and focus you show. Patience is the most commonly lacked attribute in young trainers. Their bodies are primed for growth and they have all the enthusiasm in the world. However, by failing to temper their expectations, they leave themselves disappointed once they realize good gains in terms of leanness, muscle size and strength will take months to add, not days or week. This is a marathon, not a spring, and you’re in it for the long run!
Some days, your diet is absolutely perfect. Others, you tend to forget you’re on a bodybuilding diet at all. By running so hot and cold, you often nullify the positive results you have gained in the days prior, tossing them right out the window with a weekend of eating like ‘normal’ people. If you need a cheat meal or a day off, you should take them. However, taking an entire weekend off of your diet, or missing an entire week of training, will only squander the gains you’ve made over the previous weeks’ worth of worth. Be consistent in your training and nutrition, and require of yourself that all breaks in the action are brief and are spaced out. Many a good lifter has lost a year worth of training and nutritional awesomeness by showing a month of inconsistency. Don’t fall into that trap!
No athlete is perfect, in terms of consistency, effort, or achievement. There are going to be good days and bad days along your journey. In the end, if you’ve managed to amass more good days, then you are likely to continually make progress and become a bigger, better, leaner and stronger your. Work to avoid making these common mistakes and you’ll see those positive results a lot faster. When you observe inconsistencies or mistakes, record them, and work to change up your patterns so you can avoid them in the future. Over time, these lapses in judgment will become fewer and further in between. Good luck!