T Nation

Share Your Biggest Mistakes

…so others can learn

I’d like the more experienced bodybuilders here to share some of their biggest mistakes with everyone so beginners and novices like myself can learn from them. Thanks!

#1 Not finishing my first or second cut all the way to 10% or under
#2 High calorie bulking or dirty bulking too long
#4 Not monitoring my stats during bulking or in denial my stats

Those are the main mistakes i have made. Another one is probably under estimating the amount of time it takes me to gain some strength and muscle. Its finally starting to sink in that it is a slow process. I always try to gain too fast. Then i go into denial on how much fat i have gained because i want to justify eating all the time.

Fixing the first one now. I am cutting no matter how emancipated or weak i feel. Usually i give up when my body starts to become unrecognizable to my brain. I am pushing it to the limit this spring though.

Then when I bulk again i am going to continue to eat clean and just add in the cals slowly and actually track my BF%/weight and be realistic.

hope this helps

I’m not experienced in the grand scheme of things but I’ve been training long enough to know I’ve made mistakes.

  1. Buying Cheap Protein Powder. GNC, “American Whey,” and other brands the guy behind the counter recommends are worthless and taste bad.

  2. Doing too much Front Deltoid work. Two years ago I would do some sort of press 4 times a week. I didn’t injure myself but I could have progressed more quickly if I just pressed less.

  3. Not doing rear-deltoid work sooner. Face-Pulls, Light Dumbbell Power Cleans, and Rear Delt Flys will stop most shoulder problems from ever occuring.

  4. Choosing the Leg Press over Lunges. Both exercises focus on the legs more than the hips. If you can leg press 1,000 pounds on a 45’ leg press you won’t have much to show for it. If you can do Lunges with 225 you’ll be really fast and have some thick quads.

When I first started, I thought a single scoop protein shake was all I needed. Man, I’m glad that phase lasted all of two weeks.

I realized a long time ago that nutrition is king.

Reading this thread

[quote]jp_dubya wrote:
Reading this thread[/quote]

lol! Hilarious in a mean way.

I posted my biggest mistake in another thread here: basically not training legs from the beginning.

Seriously, hard squatting and stiff legged deadlifts will actually help you tremendously in the upper body development also. It was night and day for me at least.

The other mistake worth noting was also captured in that thread: not training for muscular strength balance around major joints. A sure recipe for injuries later.

[quote]beaul wrote:
#1 Not finishing my first or second cut all the way to 10% or under
#2 High calorie bulking or dirty bulking too long
#4 Not monitoring my stats during bulking or in denial my stats

I am cutting no matter how emancipated or weak i feel.

[/quote]

Where is #3?

And you probably mean emaciated.

[quote]catone wrote:
beaul wrote:
#1 Not finishing my first or second cut all the way to 10% or under
#2 High calorie bulking or dirty bulking too long
#4 Not monitoring my stats during bulking or in denial my stats

I am cutting no matter how emancipated or weak i feel.

Where is #3?

And you probably mean emaciated.[/quote]

LOL… i can’t count or spell…

Mistake 4, not graduating second grade :frowning:

poor diet leading to me wasting too much time not gaining weight

Using a smith machine to squat. The pain still haunts me.

[quote]2lb Monkey wrote:
Using a smith machine to squat. The pain still haunts me.[/quote]

A smith is my only option since my gym has no power rack. I’m mostly doing front squats on it.

Are certain types of squats more “okay” on a smith than others?

[quote]Digity wrote:
2lb Monkey wrote:
Using a smith machine to squat. The pain still haunts me.

A smith is my only option since my gym has no power rack. I’m mostly doing front squats on it.

Are certain types of squats more “okay” on a smith than others?[/quote]

you need a new gym

My work pays for my gym membership. I’d rather stay there.

dedicating half a day to biceps

Doing 21 sets of 10 for triceps.

Too much push not enough pull.

I think wih most people the mistakes run the gamut:

  1. Improper nutrition, not understanding what it takes to allow the muscles to grow.

  2. Bad technique/bad exercise selection. When I was young I barely trained legs, did lots of chest and arms, and constantly wondered why I wasn’t getting bigger. DUH!

  3. (Most importantly) Not putting as much time into research on training and nutrition as I put in the gym. I’ve been lifting for more than 10 years now and even with all the knowledge I’ve gained I try to do an hour or so of relevant reading (articles, forums, books, etc) every day. I can’t stress enough how much the research means. Without it you a) don’t know what the hell you’re doing in the gym and in the kitchen, and b) don’t know WHY you should be doing things a certain way.

I wouldn’t trade my early years for anything, though…as someone said in an article on here (some time in the last year) I had to have those years of mistakes and trial and error to get to where I am now, someone who has the knowledge of both the training and the nutrition to put it to the best use I can.

It’s almost impossible to convince a young kid that they HAVE to train legs, that they HAVE to down a ton of protein, in order to see the results they’re hoping for.

Not training arms directly for about 1yr

I subscribed to the whole “compound only - no direct training” philosophy.

I wish I hadn’t. I’m only now finally correcting the lack of progress in my arms and shoulders

Not following Arnold’s advice.

Is 1 g per lb of body weight enough protein to get results?