7 Common Mistakes Holding Back Your Gains

Do you work out regularly, but see little or no improvements? Are you trying to build muscle and gain strength? Then you should reassess your diet and workout routine. Simple things, such as using bad form, missing out on the big lifts, and doing too much cardio, can ruin your gains and hold you back. From newbies to advanced lifters, everyone makes mistakes. This happens in all sports, not just in bodybuilding.


Here are seven common mistakes holding back your gains:

1. Lifting Too Heavy

Sometimes, training as heavy as you can isn’t the best option. When you push yourself to the max, you might not be able to focus on the lowering phase of an exercise. Lowering slow and controlled stimulates muscle growth. This means doing bench presses without bouncing the bar off your chest and biceps curls without a rocking motion. Lifting too heavy can also affect your form. If you want to get bigger, maximize your time under tension on every rep. Use strict form at all times and focus on the muscles being worked.

2. Not Lifting Heavy Enough

Not lifting heavy enough is just as bad as lifting too heavy. Doing biceps curls with 15-pound dumbbells won’t help you too much. Strength training isn’t meant to be easy. It’s important to challenge yourself and increase the load gradually. If you’re stuck to the same weight for months, or feel that your current workout routine is piece of cake, then it’s time to go heavier.

3. Lifting Too Long

Unless you’re preparing for a competition, your workout shouldn’t exceed 45 minutes to one hour. Train each muscle group for 20 to 30 minutes. Many lifters spend hours at the gym without being aware that lifting too long can lead to muscle fatigue and catabolism. Working out for more than one hour overtrains your muscles and affects your strength. The time trap is a common mistake, especially among newbies. Spending more time in the gym won’t double your results.

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