1 – Look Upwards During the Squat and Deadlift
At this point we all know that it is important to make sure you keep your core tight and your lower back locked during the squat and deadlift. After all, rounding your back can lead to some pretty nasty injuries. For most guys, back rounding occurs as a result of poor flexibility or inadequate strength – in other words, lifting more than they can handle. One piece of advice that gets dished out a lot to prevent lower back rounding is to look upwards during the lift. For example, you will look at a specific spot on the ceiling and focus on it throughout the lift.
While this might help you remember to keep your back arched in the short run, it’s actually something that should be avoided. When you tilt your head backwards you are putting your neck in an unnatural position. Add to that the fact that you are carrying some heavy weight on your back (or you are about to lift it from the floor) and you can actually end up putting your spine health at risk. Instead of looking up, keep the head neutral to avoid any neck injuries. Some people even find that keeping a neutral spine helps them emphasize hip drive more.
2 – Squatting is Bad for Your Knees
Squatting is without a doubt the best bodybuilding exercise you can do. It works pretty much every muscle in the lower half of your body and even recruits upper body muscles as stabilizers. However, if done incorrectly you won’t get anywhere near the maximum benefit. Some guys seem to think that squatting deep is bad for your knees. As a result, they never break parallel and in some cases only go down about one quarter of the way. The truth is that squatting past parallel isn’t risky for your knees. However, squatting with bad form is. As long as your form is solid and you are using a weight that is reasonable there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to squat past 90 degrees.
3 – Progressive Overload means More Weight
If you haven’t heard of the concept of progressive overload, it essentially means that over time you need to increase the amount of weight you are lifting in order to make your muscles grow. However, a lot of guys seem to misunderstand exactly what that statement means. For example, most people assume that they need to increase the amount of weight they lift in order to progressively overload the muscles. The reality is that there are a variety of ways to overload the muscles such as: increasing the weight, performing more reps than last time, shortening up your rest time, doing an extra set and changing the tempo of the rep. Just because you can’t handle a higher weight doesn’t mean you can’t make things more challenging for yourself by changing one of these factors.
4 – You Shouldn’t Move Your Upper Body When Doing Rows
While it might work at very low weights, it simply impossible to keep your upper body completely still when rowing heavy weights. You are essentially limiting the amount of weight you will be lifting to your arm strength. Instead, using a bit of momentum to get the rep started will allow you to emphasize your back muscles and lift far more weight. Go ahead and watch videos of guys like Dorian Yates and Ronnie Coleman doing rows. Notice how they use a bit of momentum to get the reps started.
5 – Keep Your Feet Shoulder Width Apart
This is probably one of the most commonly dished out bad pieces of gym advice. The truth is that everyone has a different body and needs to adapt accordingly. If, for example, you have wide shoulder and narrow hips you will need to take a wider stance. See what works best for you – as long as you are comfortable and your form is solid then there is nothing to worry about.
6 – Supplements Aren’t Necessary
We’re all for emphasizing whole foods in our diet – in fact, we advise everyone to make sure they are getting the majority of their calories from healthy, homemade foods. Having said that, we’re all looking for the way to make gains as quickly as possible. While you can certainly make gains without supplements, you will have a much easier time if you take the right ones. Before you jump to conclusions – no, we aren’t suggesting you should take steroids. While many bodybuilders certainly rely on synthetic hormones to compete we don’t recommend you do it if you are simply lifting recreationally.
Instead, we recommend taking a natural testosterone booster. These products use a combination of well-researched natural ingredients to help your body produce more testosterone on its own. As a result, you get faster muscle gains, carry less body fat and recover quickly. You also get all of the other benefits of being a high-testosterone man, such as more confidence, higher energy levels and stronger sex drive. Click here to check out our dedicated testosterone booster page for more information on the benefits of these supplements.