Mistake #1: Never Making Alterations to the Routine
This is probably one of the most common mistakes that can be made. More often than not, people who are not educated in the realm of the fitness stick religiously to their routine for months on end, maybe even longer. The main issue here is that the human body adapts to any stimulus placed on it, in time. When someone is performing the same routine day after day, eventually that person will reach a plateau of stagnation as the body has already adapted to that particular stress. That is to say, there will be no increments in performance, or muscular size. By constantly changing the routine, the body will constantly make adaptations and progress with respect to performance and hypertrophy.
Mistake #2: Jumping the Gun
Another major issue that is commonly seen in the weight room is that people try to progress to heavier loads too rapidly. This has to do mainly with polishing one’s ego or trying to impress friends or the fitness community. This causes many problems. The first thing to happen deals with exercise technique plummeting, thereby impeding proper physical adaptations within the body, leading to a very high probability of injury-incursion. Instead of attaining the muscular gains one seeks, bad habits develop, injuries occur, and physiological adaptations become uneven, perhaps even non-existent.
Mistake #3: Overtraining a Particular Muscle Group
One of the most important tenets to muscular hypertrophy deals with symmetry. When an individual obsesses over a particular body part, like the ‘beach muscles’ (i.e., the chest and biceps), he or she most often trains that body part too often. For starters, the muscles require adequate time to recover and grow, something that cannot happen if they are constantly trained. The other thing is that even if they do grow, what’ll happen is that they will ‘over-develop’. This phenomena can be seen in people who obsess over their chest musculature. What you tend to see is that they appear to be hunched-over, like an ape. This deals with them focusing too much on that one part, and neglecting the back!
Mistake #4: Resting Too Long
A pretty common phenomena in the gym deals with socialising between sets whilst resting. This is not necessarily a problem, but it can be depending on your goals. When we are dealing with muscular hypertrophy, scientific evidence highlights that optimal rest intervals for maximal muscle mass gains is around 30 to 90 seconds. When you see people chatting, quite often the chat will not last as short a time.
Mistake #5: Never Allowing the Knees to Progress past the Toes
Another surprisingly common mistake deals with the squat, where the myth states that going
too far forward (and thus down), places dangerous shearing forces on the ligaments of the knee. Following this train of thought, the range of motion of the exercise is impeded, thereby eliminating the potential benefits of the exercise. If the knees do not progress past the toes, then what will most likely happen is that the hips need to travel farther backward so as to compensate for the restricted motion. The irony is that this places dangerous shearing forces on the spinal cord, or places more pressure than should be allowed. If you need more proof, all you have to do is have a look at Olympic weightlifters. In order to squat down as far as they do, their knees travel quite a bit over their toes with an astounding amount of weight overhead. This is done for years without any harm done, provided lifting technique is adhered to.