Training for muscle growth is not that complicated of a process, but there are numerous variables we need to keep in mind.
Plus, given the fact that we are already putting in the effort, making small improvements can lead to tremendous differences in muscle gain.
To that end, here is a list of four common muscle-building mistakes and what you can do to avoid them:
- Cutting The Range of Motion Short
Research consistently shows that training through a more extended range of motion leads to more muscle growth.
But, to lift more weight, many trainees unknowingly sabotage their progress by cutting the range of motion short.
Take, for example, the bicep curl. Many lifters try to curl a lot of weight and, as a result, don’t fully extend their elbows and barely get the weight to the top position.
What you should do instead is pick a weight you can lift through the full range of motion and do each repetition with mindfulness.
Sure, you’ll probably have to lower the weight, but you’ll be able to build more muscle.
- Using too Much Momentum
Another typical result of trying to lift too much weight is the use of excessive momentum.
The problem is, by using momentum, you take away tension from your muscles, which only serves to slow down your muscle growth.
To train your muscles effectively, you need to pick a weight you can lift gradually without having to use explosiveness. Resistance bands are great for this because they offer what is known as linear variable resistance – the more the band stretches, the more tension it provides.
Even if you try to use momentum, you won’t be able to.
So, you can get yourself some long resistance bands and start doing accessory exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, and back rows with them.
- Not Improving Over Time
Seeing improvements in your performance doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve built muscle because there is also a neural component in the whole thing.
But, not seeing improvements is a good sign that you’re also not building muscle – this is because a larger muscle has a greater potential for strength.
So, over time, you should push yourself to improve and, ideally, see gradual increases in:
- Work capacity
- Ability to recover from a given amount of work
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, don’t expect to achieve much muscle growth.
- Not Pushing Yourself Hard Enough
Training should be uncomfortable and sometimes even grueling. Your workouts should be challenging, and you should feel reasonably tired by the end.
If you feel that you’re breezing through your workouts, you’re never getting a good pump, and you never feel muscle soreness (though soreness doesn’t necessarily predict muscle growth), then you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough.
The best thing you can do to start getting more from your current training is to begin pushing yourself more. The moment you start feeling your workouts more challenging is the moment you’ll probably start getting better results.