Have you started lifting weights at the gym but you’re yet to see an improvement? If you want that leaner, stronger shape that you’ve always desired, make sure you’re not making one of these 5 lifting mistakes.
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1. Not lifting heavy enough weights
Many people think that lifting bigger weights will make you bulky. On the contrary; the larger the weight, the more muscle mass you’ll recruit, and the leaner you’ll become as a result. It’s a common myth that most people believe!
2. Doing too many repetitions
If you’re able to do more than 12 repetitions, you’re working aerobically, not anaerobically. Aim to only lift a heavy weight for a maximum of 10 repetitions. If you’re really struggling to get the eighth or ninth repetition out, you’ve found your magic number. Lifting heavy weights will ensure you’re working within your correct limit.
3. Not getting help
You need a spotter!
Bad technique = bad injuries. If you’re not executing the move correctly, you’re putting yourself at risk of sprains and tears.
That’s why we recommend that if you’re a complete newbie (i.e. ‘what’s a squat?’), starting a strength training regimen with proper advice from a professional is a MUST. Either being along an experienced friend to the gym with you or book in for a strength training session with a personal trainer who can tailor a program to your individual needs.
4. Not doing compound exercises
See the squat above? It engages the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the calves, the glutes, the lower back and the core in one swift up and down motion.
This is an example of a compound exercise. Moves that use multiple major muscle groups all at the same time, along with smaller stabilising muscles and joints. This means you work more of your body in a shorter amount of time.
Our advice? Ditch isolated muscle exercises like hamstring and bicep curls, and save time by opting for compound exercises that work multiple muscles groups at once. E.g. push-ups, chin-ups, chest pss and the mother-of-all exercises: the deadlift.
5. Not eating enough protein
When we lift weights, we create tiny tears in our muscle fibres. Our body responds by creating new muscle fibres to repair – in turn creating more lean muscle mass. This means if we’re trying to build muscle, but we don’t consume enough protein to get the amino acids our bodies need to repair, we won’t see the results we’ve been working so hard for.
The other benefit consuming adequate amounts of protein has is keeping your appetite in check, meaning you won’t be reaching for extra snacks between meals, keeping your kilojoules and waist-line in check.