4 Mistakes You are Making with Your Training
1. You are overtraining
In most cases I wouldn’t say trainees are overtraining as they are not hitting a level of intensity high enough. But very regularly in a single session most people are doing too many sets which prevents them from training at a higher frequency. The more often we train a muscle the more we expose it to a stimulus. The more we stimulate a muscle the more potential it has for hypertrophy. In most cases, individuals need to improve/bring up certain body parts, so it doesn’t make sense to only train them once per week. You need to hit these body parts at least twice per week as the multiple bout of frequency is more effective for hypertrophy. Therefore, reduce the number of total sets you do for a particular body part in a session so you can then train that body part again sooner.
2. You aren't encompassing all the mechanisms of hypertrophy
i) Mechanical Tension
We need loading, and without progressive loading we will not adapt as optimally as we could. The goal with mechanical tension is to generate the largest muscle force achievable through a full range of motion. The best way to achieve mechanical tension is to find the heaviest weight which you can perform the exercise perfectly for reps. Adding more and more load on to the bar and attempting one reps will result in poor form and recruitment of muscle groups you aren’t intending on focusing on. My suggestion is to use a weight between 80-90% of you max, allowing you to perform the movement with flawless execution.
i) Metabolic Stress
Equally under high amounts of metabolic stress we will recruit much more high threshold motor units. Metabolic stress in other terms is training for the burn/pump. You must keep consistent tension on the muscle by performing reps with no rest in between, and using techniques such as not locking out at the top of the rep. By doing this you will pump blood into the muscle via the arteries, the regular muscular contractions will stop the veins from letting that blood escape, which in turn brings about metabolic stress and cellular swelling.
3. You are making poor exercise selections
Don’t be married to one exercise! Not everyone needs to BB Squat or Deadlift from the ground. Your exercise selection depends on the individuals mechanics. We can use alternatives such as a Hack Squat, Machine Squat instead of a BB Back Squat or use a Rack Deadlift instead of a conventional Deadlift. We need to use the big movements as they are best for maximal loading, but as I said, the one you use is completely dependent on your mechanics. If you have been squatting well for years but still don’t have developed legs then you may need to address this and move over to the hack squat and you might be able to connect better with this piece of equipment. Same goes with deadlifts – you may be a great deadlifter, lifting heavy numbers, but you aren’t building good erector thickness……. this is an indicator that you should try rack pulls instead.
4. You aren't tracking and logging properly
Weight, reps, rest….. these are the variables determining if you are overloading your body each week. If you don’t log them and track how do you know if you are progressing. You won’t remember off the number of sets, reps and rest you do for every session.. We need to adjust these variable to create a stimulus to cause an adaptation. Our bodies won’t change unless we expose it to a new circumstance. Not tracking the load and reps will mean you don’t know what you must go for the be better than last week and progress.