Bodybuilding is a sport in which people are constantly learning, even IFBB pros who have been consistently entering and winning shows for decades upon decades. It is a sport in which only the very strongest will thrive, and we aren’t talking just physically either. If you are mentally weak, bodybuilding will break you sooner than you may think, and you will find yourself asking whether the sport really is for you. It doesn’t matter whether you are competitive bodybuilder, a sponsored athlete, or just somebody looking to build up your physique, if you wish to get the most out of your bodybuilding experience, you need to know what you are doing. Every day in gyms all over the globe, there are countless men and women making the same types of bodybuilding mistakes and errors, and as a result they are paying the price. To ensure this does not happen to you, here are some poor bodybuilding habits that you should avoid making.
Not eating enough before you train
If you are going to be lifting weights, you obviously need enough energy to be able to do so, and if you haven’t eaten enough before you train, your body simply will not have the energy required to get you safely through your workout. Although there are some studies that point to the fact that fasted exercise will result in greater levels of fat loss, when lifting weights, you need energy as you will need your strength. When training, much of your energy will be utilized via carbohydrates, so make sure you have consumed a decent carb source before you train. Oats make a fantastic pre-workout meal as they are loaded full of energy, they provide sustained releases of energy, plus they are rich in B vitamins and minerals, and they taste pretty great as well.
Not warming up
This is an all too common mistake made by gym-goers all over the globe, and it could potentially be a very serious mistake to make. Before you begin your workout, you should take 5 – 10 minutes to perform some light stretches, before performing some very, very light sets with the weights you are about to use. This stretches muscle fibres and increases their elasticity, making them less susceptible to rips and tears, plus it improves your circulation and gets more oxygenated blood into your muscle cells. This will improve your performance and will make you less susceptible to injury, so make sure you stretch and warm up before you begin your training.
Lifting with bad form
When you perform certain exercises, in order for them to be effective, you need to ensure that your form is perfect. If you lift with bad form, not only will the exercise not be as effective because it won’t be hitting the target muscle groups as effectively, but more seriously than that, you will actually be putting yourself in danger as bad form is a recipe for an injury. If for example, you are arching your back when curling, you could potentially pull a muscle or even slip a disc in your back, which will be hugely painful and debilitating, and it could result in you being out of the gym for a number of months. When you perform an exercise, if you are unable to execute perfect form with the current weight you are using, strip away some pounds and try it with a lighter weight instead.
Lifting with ego
There are many meat heads out there who try to show off when in the gym and lift with their egos, which means that they basically try lifting weights which are far too heavy for them, which puts them in all kinds of danger. You should always leave your ego at the door before you enter a gym, which means you should never try to lift weights which are far too heavy for you, just to try and show off. To start with, nobody actually cares what you are lifting because they are too busy concentrating on their own workouts, and then of course, if you are lifting heavy weights with poor form, people will instantly pick up on this and will not be able to take you seriously anyways. What’s more, you could potentially injure yourself, which, if you are lucky, will just come as an embarrassment to you, or more seriously, you may require surgery and medical treatment.
Taking in too much protein
Protein is needed by the body to build muscle, and to repair damaged muscle tissue and fibres, this is nothing new. However, the body is only able to process so much protein at once, and in one day, so if you are taking in too much, not only will a lot of it be going to waste, but on top of that, you could actually damage your health in the process. A lot of bodybuilders still work under the assumption that they need to flood their bodies with copious amounts of protein each day in order for them to bulk up and build muscle. They will chow down on platefuls of eggs, chicken breast, steak, fish, seafood, and other protein sources, before washing everything down with a protein shake not long afterwards. Studies conducted over the years however, have found that the average human body is only able to process around 40 – 45g of protein at a time, so if you are eating huge quantities of meat, containing more than double this amount, once the body has processed that 40 – 45g of protein, the rest will simply go to waste, so you may as well not have bothered. Aim for 35 – 40g of protein every three hours, making sure to include a protein shake as one of your meals.