3 Lifting Mistakes You MUST Not Make

Posted by Jason Ferruggia

If you’re a skinny dude who is serious about building muscle and getting stronger there are three very critical mistakes that you absolutely can’t afford to make.

I can’t tell you how many times I see guys in the gym committing these cardinal sins and how badly I wish I could help them all.

Unfortunately I can’t save everyone but I’ll always do my best to give my loyal readers an unfair advantage over everyone else.

Mistake #1: Training Too Frequently

One critical mistake skinny guys always make is to train 6-7 days per week. This is completely unnecessary and counterproductive.

Back in the early days of the Iron Game it was standard to train three times per week. Then steroids came along and everything changed. But if you’re not using steroids and don’t have incredible genetics for building muscle that’s not gonna get you anywhere.

When I first started lifting weights I trained six days per week for four years straight. And although I made some progress you would never know I ever picked up a weight.

When I discovered guys like John McCallum and Dorian Yates I cut my workouts back to just three days per week. From there my progress skyrocketed.

And every time since then, if I ever go down the road of experimenting with more than three workouts per week I get nowhere. As soon as I cut it back progress takes off again.

As a newbie you can do full body workouts on all three of those days. When you get beyond your first year of training a rotating two way split that has you training three days per week is AWESOME! It’s one of my all time favorite ways to train.

There are a few different ways to split up the workouts but one simple way is to do upper body on one day and lower body on the other day. Create 2-3 different workouts for each and rotate through them. So one week you would train upper body twice and lower body once. Then the following week you would train lower body twice and upper body once.

I’ve never not had clients get incredible results on that program.
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Mistake #2: Training Too Long and Too Hard

The next mistake is allowing your workouts to last more than 60 minutes (not including warm up time). After your first heavy set of any workout your body will start pumping out growth hormone and testosterone at much higher levels than normal.

Blood tests have shown this increased anabolic hormone release to peak at around a half hour into your workout. By 45 minutes you are back down close to baseline. After that point cortisol production starts to take over testosterone output.

That is why you have to get in and out of the gym as fast as possible.

When you do that your focus and motivation remains high and it’s less likely that you’ll over train.

In addition to keeping your workouts short you also want to be sure that you don’t overdo the intensity. There are a few ways to do that. First of all, don’t use any off the charts level of psyching up before sets. No smelling salts or headbutting the wall.

Secondly, don’t go to failure during your sets. Always finish when you have 1-2 reps left in the tank.

Mistake #3: Always Using the Same Weights

The third critical mistake I see on a regular basis is people constantly using the same weights. I’ve said this a million times but it bears repeating, the most important thing you can do when trying to build muscle faster is to regularly add weight to the bar (or do more reps with the same weight).

Consistent strength gains in a hypertrophy rep range (5-10 reps) will build muscle faster than anything else you do in the gym.

This may go against a lot of what you have read but think about it logically.

If you took two twins and had one do supersets, drop sets, forced reps and steadily increase his training volume over the course of six months while using the same weights, then had the other simply double the weight he could do for eight reps on a squat, deadlift variation, military press and chin up, which twin do you think would be bigger at the end of the experiment?

The answer should be obvious.

Eliminate these mistakes today and start growing tomorrow.

Train hard.