Biggest Mistake Bodybuilders Make

biggest mistake bodybuilders make

Time is precious a commodity. I wasted three years of my training life making bonehead mistakes in the gym, thinking I was Rocky Balboa or Arnold Schwarzenegger and pounding myself into the ground. I went from 160 pounds soak and wet to a whopping 163 pounds from 2009-2012. It was only recently after I wised up and educated myself, that I was able to jump from 160 pounds to about the 190ish that I am now with minimal fat gain.

Here are 4 Things that are halting your progress from becoming big and jacked:

Training Too Hard Too Often

exhaustedAlthough the actual state of overtraining is harder to reach than you think it is, most people don’t allow their central nervous system to recover enough in between workouts. Your central nervous system controls everything and it’s vital to your progress that you give it time to rest. Lifting weights 7 days a week for two hours a day isn’t going to get you looking like a bodybuilder unless of course, you’re taking steroids. Training with weights 4 days per week is probably optimally for most people.

Notice I said WEIGHTS, not training in general. It’d probably be a good idea to do some conditioning work 1-2 times per week on your “off days” such as sprints, sled work or bodyweight training. Also, don’t train longer than an hour. Your testosterone levels are at their highest about 30 minutes into your workout, baseline at about 45 minutes into your workout and then cortisol, the stress hormone that hinders your progress, steps in at 60 minutes. Keeping it short will make you train with a sense of urgency which will result in a more fulfilling workout.

Next, don’t go over 20 total work sets per day. This doesn’t include your warm up sets. Training hard for more than 20 sets once again screws your central nervous system up and makes recovering properly a longer process. Finally, don’t train to failure. Again, this is another central nervous system oriented issue. As soon as your form breaks down, STOP. I don’t care what your program says, it’s not worth it. Train hard, but don’t destroy yourself. Oh, and by the way, make sure that you’re taking enough rest between sets!

You’re Using the Wrong Exercises

Chest cable flys, triceps extensions, concentration curls, and seated calf raises with 8 45 pound plates are not going to get you big and strong. Compound exercises do this. Always start with your big, compound exercise first in your training session. These exercises are squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, bench presses, chin-ups, and rows. If you did nothing else but focus on getting incredibly strong in these 6 lifts for the next year I guarantee you’d be the biggest, most bad-ass version of yourself that you have ever been. Remember, start with the big lifts and get really good at them; machine training and isolation exercises should make up a very, very small portion of your program.

Program Hopping

Here’s a secret most people don’t know: any program works. Where most people mess up is that they never have a program, to begin with, and if they do, they do the program for a week and a half and then ditch it because their biceps didn’t go from 12 to 18 inches in 11 days. Building muscle is a frustratingly slow process; it’s those who have the patience and work ethic that reap the benefits of their programs. Once you get a program, stick with it for at least 8 weeks. Give it a chance! You’ll grow, trust me. Some great programs to try are Wendler’s 5/3/1 or Elliott Hulse’s Grow Stronger Method. Or try out, they have a bunch for free.

You’re Eating Wrong

fast food mealI’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “eat big to get big”. This is actually true, very true. I had to eat upwards of 3500-4000 calories a day to see any appreciable size gain. Luckily, I am a lover of food, so that was not a problem, but I know some individuals don’t enjoy eating that much. Sometimes to eat that much you have to break that amount of calories up into 6 meals, or if you’re like me, you can sit down to one 4000 calorie meal and be content. Either way, eat big to get big.

This does not mean, however, that you allow yourself to become a fat mess. My advice for gaining mass with a limited amount of fat is not eating breakfast. Skip it entirely, or just move it later in the day. Periods of fasting 12-16 hours take stress off of your digestive system; if you’re digesting food every 2 or 3 hours your body’s abilities are stretched too thinly. Your body can focus more on recovery if it is not digesting food constantly.

Although some people need to break their calories into smaller meals, eating 6-8 times a day to “keep the fire burning” for your metabolism is a myth; IT IS NOT NECESSARY. Combine fasting with conditioning work to keep yourself lean and mean during the muscle building process. Also important to note is your protein intake. Try to get a gram per pound of body weight. For example, if you weight 160 pounds, get 160 grams of protein per day. If you need to keep a journal to track this, then, by all means, do so, it’ll make the muscle building process that much quicker and effective.

To discover and learn a system that has been built and put together by modeling the best of the best in natural bodybuilding and is based on science and application and not merely theory, a system that is proven to produce results while avoiding these biggest mistake bodybuilders make.

Thermogenics For Weight Loss

Thermogenics have always been popular for weight loss. Ever since the dawn of supplementation and fat burners, people seeking weight loss have relied heavily on thermogenics hoping for a magic pill that’ll shed those extra pounds in no time. Thermogenics are substances that promote thermogenesis in the body. By definition, thermogenesis is the process by which body produces heat energy. This heat energy is used to maintain your core body temperature.

Your metabolism comprises of several different calorie burning parameters – Calories lost during:

  • Daily exercise
  • Internal bodily processes E.g. Breathing, respiration, digestion
  • Maintenance of lean muscle mass

Thermogenesis – Conversion of calories to heat energy

Thermogenics work by increasing thermogenesis throughout the body. This way, you burn more calories by creating more heat energy. Thermogenics have the ability to increase our metabolism by 5 – 10%. Typical substances that are labelled as thermogenics include coffee, green tea, chocolate, Capsaicins, Guarana, MaHuang and white willow. The important thing to understand is that thermogenics may partially help you in losing weight but you can’t rely too much on them. Of course, taking a serving of green tea 2, 3 times a day will elevate your calorie burn and give your metabolism a little boost but you still need to do the hard work of exercise, training and fitness. As always, there are no shortcuts when it comes to weight loss. You didn’t gain the extra weight in a week so you won’t be able to shed it off in a week as well.

Thermogenics for Weight Loss Thermogenics for Weight LossThermogenics come in different size and shapes. Some are available in their natural form like Black chocolate, coffee, Oolang tea or green tea. There are commercially available supplements as well that contain caffeine, guarana and MaHuang. The problem with supplements is that they contain very high doses of such chemicals. I wouldn’t suggest these supplements as they can cause serious problems such as excessive sweating, irritability, hyper-activity and in some cases, even heart palpitations. A better option would be to utilize what nature has to offer us. A very good anti-toxin is green tea and it is also a credible thermogenic. A cup of green tea in the morning before your workout can kickstart your day with an increased calorie burn. Coffee is an alternative too. Thermogenics usually work best right before a workout. They are also known to curb appetite.

Another side effect of thermogenics that you should know is insomnia. Try to use thermogenics before 4 – 6pm in the evening. Preferable time is early in the morning. This way, the thermogenics won’t disrupt your sleeping cycle. If you’re really bent on using thermogenic supplements, my recommendation to you is to start with a small dose early in the morning and observe the effects on your body throughout the day. If there weren’t any effects, you may increase the dose slightly, the next day and continue to increase it on daily basis until you find your sweet spot.

Also be sure to cycle these supplements for a limited duration. Cycling supplements means that for example, you use the supplement for 2 weeks and then stay off it for 1 week. Cycling is important in thermogenic supplementation otherwise your body counteracts the supplement and builds tolerance. This tolerance build-up in the body can decrease the effectiveness of the thermogenic supplement used for weight loss.