While there are many different ways to perform strength training exercises, there are definitely some big mistakes that you will want to avoid. If you are making these errors you are most likely sacrificing some of the fitness benefits you could be seeing as well as having a progress rate that is severely stalled.
1. Not Lifting A Heavy Enough Weight
One of the biggest strength training mistake that people make is not lifting a heavy enough weight to challenge themselves. If you can comfortably perform 12 or more repetitions of any given exercise than this is a sure sign it is time to bump the weight up. In order to progress you are going to have to apply an overloading stimulus and lifting more weight is the easiest way to accomplish this.
Obviously you never want to be lifting such a heavy weight that you are sacrificing good form, however it must be heavy enough that your body is not easily able to handle it. This is critical for success.
2. Doing Too Much Strength Training
Another severe strength training mistake that so many people make is either going to the gym too frequently or staying there for too long per session. Ideally you only want to be in the gym performing strength training exercises 3-4 times a week for a period of about 30-60 minutes total. If you are there for 90 minutes 6 times a week you are either spending too much time talking to your workout friends or are not on an effective program.
The reason this strength training mistake is so huge is because if your muscles are not recovered by the time you go to the gym next you are only going to further break them down thus not seeing any increase in strength or size. Do this long enough and you are setting yourself up for severe overtraining and that will require you to take weeks if not months off. It is definitely not ideal for anyone who is involved in fitness.
3. Not Eating Immediately After Your Strength Training Session
If you think trying to wait a while after you are finished your strength training session is the best way to ensure fat loss you are mistaken. This is a very big strength training mistake because right after a session your body is crying for nutrients to both repair the muscle tissue and restore muscle glycogen levels. If you give these to your body as soon as possible you will enhance recovery abilities and allow yourself to train sooner again than if you didn’t.
It is important to consume both protein and carbohydrates in this meal as the protein provides the raw building blocks for repair and the carbohydrates provide the energy for this repair to take place and for being stored as energy in the muscle tissue for future use. Note that this is the one time of the day that what you eat is least likely to turn into body fat so you will want to be sure you are never skipping this meal.
So have a good look at your workout and make sure you are not making any of those top three strength training mistakes. If you are it will well be worth your time and effort to make changes to your program. Not only will you perform better but you will likely feel and look better as well.