How would you feel if you discovered that almost everything you were doing with building muscle was dead wrong? Imagine all the time, money and effort you have spent in the gym was contributing to building muscle – the wrong way! Everything you have read on building muscle has left you with little to show for your hard earned efforts…
There are dozens of muscle building mistakes that we all fall victim to which results in bringing you progress to a complete halt. Don’t be too hard on yourself, because like all things in life, building muscle is a learning process. That does not mean you must forfeit years of personal trail and error when we can learn the mistakes of seasoned trainers who walked before us.
Here are the first three biggest and baddest ways to building muscle the wrong way. Erase these mistakes from your thought process and you will be one step closer to earning beach body worthy status:
Building Muscle The Wrong Way #1 – Skipping Out On Your Cardio…
Before you disagree take note that I was once a long distance triathlon and running champion so my cardiovascular standards and perceptions of ‘fit’ are much higher than your local trainers or expert bodybuilding author. It drives me crazy when I hear fitness experts preaching that weight training is just as good for keeping your heart and lungs in prime condition. Who are they kidding?
Weight training, designed for bodybuilding, is almost useless for stimulating your cardiovascular system. Bodybuilding style weight training for your cardio is just about as good as spending the day playing video games. Sure, I know your leg training workouts and super sets make you feel like you sprinted up the street for 100 m but this is far cry from a optimal cardio system.
Do not buy into the latest fad that cardio will kill any chance of building muscle. Cardio must be in your program even if your goal is maximal muscle gain and you are the skinniest of skinny. Aerobics plays a vital role in building muscle and has been shown to speed up recovery from weight training by transporting oxygen and blood flow to the muscles.
The circulatory system is developed because more oxygen is pushed through your blood resulting in a greater number and size of blood vessels. Since there is a greater cardiovascular density of blood vessels, your circulatory system has more ‘supply routes’ to shuttle oxygen and nutrients to the body tissues, including muscles, and shuttle away waste products that can slow muscle growth, repair and recovery. In the end, this means you will create a more optimal environment for building muscle!
Building Muscle The Wrong Way #2 – Overtraining The Biceps And Triceps
I’ll bet any money that you would do almost anything for a set of sleeve-stretching set of arms. Any money that you would do almost anything for a pair of bulging biceps and rock-hard triceps!
Interestingly, every time I ‘m at my gym, I see small and weak dudes spending a full hour doing every bicep and tricep exercise imaginable. They do set-after-set, week-after-week with nothing to show but the same skinny noodle arms. What they fail to realize is that for maximum muscle growth and strength, the biceps and triceps require very little direct stimulation!
Do me a favour and take a close close at the size of your thigh. Now compare the size of your thigh to the size of your bicep. Does it make sense to spend the same amount of time training arms versus your legs when your legs are over 4x as big? Of course not! Now compare the overall size of your back to the overall size of your arms. Now compare the size of your overall chest to the size of your overall arms. You should now realize that a larger muscle group should be trained differently than a smaller muscle group.
Focus the majority of your training on the large muscle groups – that is chest, back, shoulders and legs. Focus on increasing the strength and size in these big muscle groups and rest assured, building muscle in your arms will become easier.
Now hear me out. I’m not saying that direct arm training is a waste. I’m simply leading you to discover that less is often more when training small muscle groups such as your bi’s and tri’s.
Building Muscle The Wrong Way #3 – Not Focusing On Getting Stronger
I can’t count how many times I have down a fitness consultation with a young new trainee and bring up the idea of including a strength cycle early in the program and he instantly fires back, “But I don’t care about how much I can lift, I just want to get ripped and muscular.”
I get his short attention span back by stating, “Building muscle will almost always follow if you simply focus on getting stronger, I mean getting really stronger.” Unfortunately, training to get stronger seems to no longer be apart of the average trainees training regime.
Since the fitness industry has become more commercialized with balls, balance pads, fancy selectorized equipment and ridiculous infomercials, people have neglected the necessary time building requirements to build a solid foundation for long term success. Including bodybuilders.
Consider that the stronger you become the more sets and reps you will be able to lift for more specialized movements. The better your technique. The faster your recovery. The longer and harder you will be able to train. And rest assured, when you get stronger from week to week, the muscle mass will follow!
Don’t believe me? Next time you go to your gym check out who the biggest guys are. Don’t be surprised if they are also the strongest. Have you ever seen anybody will a small frame who can deadlift four plates, squat three plates, bench press two plates or curl 1 plate (per side respectively). I didn’t think so.