Lifting too much weight
Guys lifting too much weight is very common and it’s a huge mistake for a few good reasons.
If you’re lifting beyond your ability your technique is going to suffer and if your technique suffers you are not going to be working those muscles effectively. If you don’t train your muscles effectively you are not going to see any improvements, or very little improvement anyway.
Another good reason to lift within your ability is to prevent injuries. Injuries will only set you back and they can set you back permanently with a serious injury. I have trained with guys that still haven’t recovered fully, even several years after the injury which were caused by lifting too heavy with poor technique.
Working out everyday
I did this during my first 6 months of weight training before I was educated by some more experienced lifters. Something that I learned was that our muscles actually grow while we are resting, you should be getting at least two days rest a week to allow those muscles to recover and grow. Working out every day could result in over training which could prevent muscle growth and increase the chance of injury and muscle tears. Training everyday could also be mentally draining and harm your motivation for the long term.
Unbalanced muscle targeting
Often people will focus on certain muscles and neglect others, a few examples of this would be training the abdominals and neglecting the lower back. Performing lots of pressing exercises for the chest and forgetting about the upper back and pulling exercises. Working the thighs and neglecting the hamstrings.
Not only will this lead to an uneven looking physique, it has the potential to cause injury. You should work at increasing the strength of all your muscles equally, this will result in a healthier, stronger and better looking physique.
Talking too much
It’s good to have someone to train with, having a spotter can be very helpful when weight training, they can help you push past failure during your final reps which helps to trigger muscle growth. However for obvious reasons if you spend most of your time socializing you’re not going to be training and if you’re not training you will not gain anything.
Performing the wrong exercises
If you’re just starting out there is a good chance you have been performing a lot of isolation exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions and leg curls to build up those arms and legs. These exercises are great, however you should instead be performing compound exercises like the bench press, lat rows, pull ups, squats and deadlifts. These exercises will be far more effective when it comes to building muscle, including the muscles in the arms and legs, they will also burn off more calories, therefore potentially burning off more body fat.
It’s better to perform exercises like bicep and leg curls when you have already developed some mass in those areas as they will help to develop shape and definition.