Are You Guilty of These Common Weightlifting Mistakes?

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Answered by: Stephanie, An Expert in the Starting Weight Training Category
There are many things people do wrong during a workout. These are usually beginner mistakes, but sometimes don`t get corrected. Veteran gym members feel most in control with their workout, but may end up with problems if they work out wrong.

Weightlifting is a learning experience for all involved. It takes a long time to master the safety aspects. It takes even longer to learn what the body wants, as everyone is different.

Here is a look at five common weightlifting mistakes to avoid!

1) Avoid increasing weight before perfecting form.

People always make the mistake of increasing weight every set or workout. It is good to up the weight for muscle growth and strength improvement reasons. The body will not respond well if the form is off. Improper form takes away from the intended muscle contraction. This causes the wrong muscles to get used and increases the risk of injury.

Do not increase weight for any exercise until the form is perfect. Do warm-up sets at varying weights. Increase the weight by set until meeting a fair working weight. This is the most weight to use. If the goal is 10 reps and they are challenging, wait to move up in weight until 12 reps per set with perfect form becomes doable.

2) Avoid shocking the body in the first three months.

The body is already in shock when someone starts lifting weights after never doing so before. “Newbie gains” get made in this time frame. In a beginner’s first few months, most resistance training will be effective. Visible differences will be noticeable after three months. Changes get harder to make and see as time passes.

The body starts to plateau after this period. Breaking plateaus requires shocking the body. Putting all the effort into shocking the body from day 1 is illogical. For best results, keep to a basic workout plan for the first three months. Feel free to add new variables once the first three months are over.

For example, a beginner may choose to do back squats once or twice a week. Although they would be better off waiting for three months to start doing deadlifts. That’s a double bonus; testosterone release in the legs influences greater anabolism in the body.

3) Avoid doing too many isolated exercises at first.

Isolated exercises are movements that only use one body joint. These are opposite to compound movements, which take at least two joints and activate more of the kinetic chain. An isolated exercise will help to shape and chisel a muscle, but it will do little for increasing muscle mass.

For best results, wait to get a fair bit of muscle mass at a low body fat percentage. This is when it makes the most sense to add isolated exercises. They will get the body in competition-level shape and can definitely help with preparing for a photo shoot.

4) Avoid increasing weight when diet is weak.

Weight increases get done when bulking up. The extra calories makes it easier for the body to have the energy to improve its’ strength. The body’s increased weight can take on a greater load. Lifting weights while increasing body weight means the added weight has a muscle-dominant composition. Strength maintenance is the goal during a cutting diet. Do not try to increase the weight beyond a moderate difficulty level. The weight can increase once caloric intake returns to maintenance or above maintenance levels.

5) Avoid thinking the body will always keep in form.

When beginners get a little more experience, they often think the body will continue to use the same form it used in the beginning. This is where lifting mistakes start to become an issue. The body is not going to just remember what it did before and apply it all the time. The muscles are never used to what they are doing, because the weight load always changes.

This makes it important for all lifters to keep an eye on their form. If the form begins to deteriorate in a few years, it could cause a broken back, which may have been preventable.

Record a video while performing an exercise where form is an issue. Post it on YouTube and link to it on Forums to get better insight. Show a personal trainer, or even get them to watch while doing the lift. Track form over time and see if positive changes get made.

Keep an eye at form changes when nearing and hitting personal records. This is where errors and physical weakness are most noticeable.

Not guilty of any of these common weightlifting mistakes?

Don’t relax too soon; there are 1000’s of mistakes made at gyms every single day, but it only takes one to ruin your life.

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