Written exclusively for Xyience.com (Manzen, LLC) by ChristinasFitness.com, 2012.
Let’s face the facts: we all have weaknesses when it comes to our physique. There's always that one muscle group that just doesn't grow as big as you'd like it to, no matter how much torture you put it through. Even that favorite bodybuilding idol of yours has weaknesses - and knows it.
Instead of getting frustrated, let’s go over the most common mistakes people make and how to correct them to build that stubborn muscle.
Mistake 1: Not getting proper rest
Some of us would assume that if you want to get bigger biceps, you would train them three or four times a week until they feel like they were going to pop off. Doing this is a big mistake, though. It could lead to tendonitis in your wrists and forearms and will probably leave you out of the gym for a few months - backfire! The breaking down of muscle tissue has to make them stronger and bigger, right? Absolutely, but just as importantly as you working all day - they need a break.
The solution: Every muscle group needs (at least) 48 hours before you should train them again, at minimum. Larger muscles may need a bit more time. By working out a muscle group once or twice a week maximum, you are ensuring you get proper rest, repair and growth in between each session without over-training.
Mistake 2: Lifting too heavy
You've seen them; those people in the gym who are obviously lifting too heavy and compromising their form. The only thing they're accomplishing by doing this is putting more stress on their joints and working secondary muscle groups that they shouldn't be - leading to a possible serious injury.
The solution: Building muscle is not about the amount of weight you can lift, especially compared to the next guy or gal over on the bench next to you. It's about switching up your routine every three weeks, working out with perfect form and keeping your reps in the 5-8 range if trying to build muscle. And diet of course, but you already knew that... right? :)
Mistake 3: Lifting too light
When was the last time you increased your weight? Have you been able to do two more reps lately while performing your favorite exercises? Time to grab another plate and step it up!
The solution: If your goal is to build muscle as opposed to just toning it, you're going to have to lift a little heavier. Keeping your reps in the 5-8 range will ensure that you're breaking them down and building them up. Your lagging muscle could be missing out on the chance to grow because you aren't putting it under the stress it needs to break those muscle fibers.
Mistake 4: Training your weakest muscle last
The beginning of your workout is when you have the most energy and strength, so why would you waste it all on working out a muscle that grows fast? You don't want to start off by doing leg extensions if your hamstrings are your weaker muscles. You're not giving them a fair chance.
The solution: Put your energy and strength to good use and give your lagging muscle a real pounding. You'll be pleasantly surprised to feel that muscle that you can never seem to get soar throbbing the next day.
Mistake 5: Lifting too fast
Working out isn't a race. Your muscles aren't going to grow faster or stronger just because you happen to finish your routine at the speed of light.
The solution: By placing more resistance on your muscle and joints and slowing the tempo down, your muscles are forced to respond. Because your muscles use less fiber and oxygen on the negative motion, they are under more strain and break apart more easily. As your muscles heal, they are creating more fibers, making your muscle(s) stronger -- and bigger.
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