Step in to any gym and you are sure to see a few guys pulling off some of the most bizarre training programs imaginable.
When you look at the type of exercises some guys do and the terrible state of their diet it would seem like they are trying to get rid of muscle instead of grow more.
Since we all love reading about how guys screw up at the gym we’ve decided to put together a list of ways to completely ruin your physique.
If you want to become a skinny-fat, weak dude simply follow the guideline below.
If by chance it turns out you are actually making one of these mistakes don’t worry – we’ll tell you how to correct the error so you DON’T actually end up looking unaesthetic.
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1 – Too Much Cardio.
Did you know that doing too much cardio will actually mess up your gains?
Remember that when you are trying to bulk up you need to consume more calories than you burn.
By doing tons of cardio you are just making that harder since you will need to eat more food to compensate.
Avoid extended cardio sessions (45 minutes +) and definitely don’t do cardio on an empty stomach as your body might break down muscle tissue as fuel.
If you want to make things even worse, do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
When you wake up your body is already in a catabolic state since you haven’t had anything to eat for a while.
If you start working out intensely you will simply burn more muscle as your body looks to get energy from somewhere.
Keep your cardio sessions short and after having a meal which you can use for fuel.
2 – Overtraining.
While Arnold might have bragged about spending endless hours in the gym this type of training won’t actually do you any good.
In fact, once you pass the 20 sets mark you are pretty much just overtraining your muscles.
It might feel like you are making progress because your muscles feel swollen and tight, but that’s not from actual muscle growth.
It’s simply inflammation and blood rushing into the muscle desperately trying to keep up with the demands.
These types of training sessions increase cortisol levels, which in turn mess up your testosterone production.
Instead, stick to training with fewer sets, in the hypertrophy rep range, focusing on heavy compound lifts.
Not only will you make more gains but you will also have more free time.
3 – Not Eating Enough.
Look, nobody wants to end up being fat but that’s not an excuse to eat less than your body needs to grow.
While consuming more calories than maintenance level might lead to some fat gains you can immunize the effects by hitting the gym regularly and lifting heavy.
Track your daily intake and aim for a 250-calorie surplus.
This should lead to 1 pound per week of weight gain.
If you are eating the right foods and lifting heavy most of this will be muscle.
4 – Too Many Isolation Exercises.
Way too many guys go to the gym and train 5 or 6 day splits for individual body parts.
For example, chest day, back day, leg day, arm day, etc.
This is really an outdated way of training and leads to overtraining certain body parts while undertraining others.
Instead, structure your workouts around the main compound lifts like deadlift, squat and bench press.
These should make up the majority of exercises you are performing.
If you stick to the right exercises you will only need to go to the gym 3-4 times per week leaving more time for meal prep, rest or other activities.
5 – No Variety.
Are you doing the same workout today that you did six months ago?
Your body is smarter than you think – over time it gets used to performing certain exercises and they cease being effective.
As a result, you need some variety.
Change up the exercises, weights, rep schemes and order.
This will shock the muscles and encourage them to grow so that they can handle the variety of workouts you throw at them.
6 – You Don’t Eat Often Enough.
Look guys, 3 meals per day simply won’t work for bodybuilders.
If you want to get big you need to eat more frequently.
For example, eating six times per day keeps your metabolism high and your muscles replenished.
Also, by taking in all of your calories in 3 meals you will likely giving your body more calories than it needs at that given time.
Guess what it will do with the extra calories? That’s right, extra body fat!
7 – No Warm-Ups.
Active stretching before working out as well as warm-up sets are crucial for preparing your body for the workout ahead and avoiding injury.
Additionally, stretching after a workout is a great way to get the blood flowing into the muscles and help speed up recovery.
If you aren’t currently stretching before and after your workouts you are only shooting yourself in the foot.
8 – Not Enough Rest.
Did you know that most of the muscle repair and growth happens while you are sleeping?
If you are getting less than 8 hours a night of shut-eye you are severely limiting your body’s ability to build muscle mass.
If you are so busy that you don’t have time to sleep you need to make some lifestyle adjustments ASAP.
9 – Your Testosterone Levels are Low.
This is important.
It doesn’t matter how hard you train or how clean you eat. If your testosterone levels are low, you simply won’t grow.
If you have low testosterone you will most likely get fat and your muscles will disappear.
Testosterone the male hormone is responsible for muscle growth.
If you have low testosterone levels it will be almost impossible to gain muscle mass.
Find out how you can raise your testosterone levels naturally in our guide on the best testosterone boosting supplements.
10 – You Only Train Beach Muscles.
If every trip to the gym is chest/biceps day, then your overall development will suffer.
While these might be your favorite muscles to train, your body will look unbalanced and unaesthetic.
Legs, back, triceps and shoulders are all important to a well-rounded physique.
Besides, improving your back will actually help boost your bench press, thereby making your chest look better as a result.
11 – You Skip the Protein Shakes.
Whey protein isolate is a great way to hit your daily protein intake goal.
It’s particularly effective immediately following a workout as it is the fastest absorbing protein out there. As a result, the nutrients get to your muscles quickly!