Blog » Muscle & Fitness » 5 Common Training Mistakes You Could Be Making At The Gym
Muscle & Fitness

5 Common Training Mistakes You Could Be Making At The Gym

Every guy who wants to add size or muscle mass, or to get leaner and improve their body knows that there is no way to get around the requirement to spend time in the gym challenging their muscles.


That all sounds deceptively simple. The reality is that every guy finds a way to sabotage themselves in one way or another while they’re working out. And plenty find more than one way to do something poorly while they are in the gym.


If you do more than a couple of these things wrong, then it is far more likely that you will hinder your workout effectiveness to the point that you won’t see any of the results you are aiming for. With Max’s Challenge, we put all the building blocks you need in one place. And in this article, we isolate all the things guys can still get wrong in the gym, and how you can fix them.


So ask yourself, and be honest, how many of these do you do?

Lifting Like the Hulk


Yes, lifting heavier weights leads to muscle gain. But lifting weights that are too heavy for you not only increases the risk of injury, which will put you out of commission for a couple of weeks, it also doesn’t work.


Think of a back squat. It might feel good to rack up multiple 20kg plates on either side of the bar. But if the total of that weight means you can only get a few inches down, then you’re not actually doing any good. Dropping the weight down to the point you can get your upper leg (quads) parallel to the floor is the way to go. Why?


It’s because the range of motion matters almost as much as the weight moved. If you have a huge weight but are only going through 50% of the full range of motion up and down in a lift, then you are really only doing half of the exercise. So that’s not only cheating, it’s ineffective in building muscle. You should aim for a weight that is challenging and makes it hard to complete your final set, but lets you go through the full range of motion from top to bottom. If you have to start cheating and doing half or three-quarter reps, it’s too heavy.


Doing the “Insert Workout Name” Here Workout


The 300 Workout. The Chris Hemsworth Workout. The Wolverine Workout. The Navy SEAL Workout. We could go on for hours like this. But every time a superhero movie comes out, or a new fad hits the market, there is a workout to match it. There’s a reason for that. “Branded” workouts like these sell magazines and generate internet page views. We bet that you were even tempted to Google one of those in the list above.


But getting results from a workout is less about chasing what’s newsworthy and more about putting in consistent work. The workouts you do should be based on your own current limits and challenging them. Changing your entire workout programme every couple of weeks won’t allow your body to learn to adapt to the continual steady overload you need to be challenging it with. If you feel as though you are getting bored or need a new challenge, swap out a few lifts for new ones that hit the same muscles, or add a new piece of equipment, but keep the majority consistent. It’s the best way to better results.



Not Keeping Track


If you’re like most guys, you probably think you can keep track of your workout in your head. But let’s do the numbers. Most workouts involve eight to ten exercises. Then you add on the variables of the number of repetitions and sets per exercise. Then you’ve got to remember the weight. That’s 32-40 pieces of information.


That makes it pretty easy to mix up whether you were using the 22.5kg dumbbells for your incline press for four sets of ten reps or the 25kg weights for three sets of eight. And why even bother to try? A card and a pen, or any number of free rep-weight-set tracking apps will do the job. If you don’t, you’re probably going to make mistakes here and there and be not working to full capacity, which will limit your gains.


Not Overloading


Too many guys are happy cranking out the same reps, sets and weights for too long. To see any results, there are two words you need to understand: progressive overload. Bearing in mind what we said earlier about not lifting too heavy so that you can still complete the full range of motion, progressive overload is the next step.

By challenging your muscles to do more at regular, planned intervals, you force them to adapt. You can do this in three ways.

  1.  Add weight to your lifts.
  2. Add repetitions to your sets, for example taking an eight rep set to a ten rep one.
  3. Add a whole set.

Each variation will work to tax your muscles and body more and deliver better results than if you simply repeat your workout month after month.


Too Much Downtime

Scrolling on your phone, chatting to other people in the gym, spending too much time picking songs to listen to during your workout or getting distracted by the TVs. All of these things increase the downtime between exercises and hamper workout performance.

If your muscles rest for too long, you start to lose the benefits of training them in the first place. Aim to keep your breaks between 60 – 90 seconds. If you think you already are, use a stopwatch to time yourself during your next workout. Chances are like most of us, you’ll be surprised at how inconsistent your rest times are through a workout.

When you are taking up Max’s Challenge, keeping these pitfalls in mind and correcting for them will take your results from good to great – so save this article and check back to make sure you’re making good habits and sticking to them.



Share this article


This article is proudly brought to you by the team at MAX'S. Read more articles by MAX'S


Leave a comment