Wednesday, May 29, 2013

7 Common Noobie Bodybuilding Mistakes To Avoid.

Basically this will be a quick review of all the other “Bodybuilding 101” posts I’ve done thus far.

As I had said before, bodybuilding at any level is a tough cookie. If it wasn’t, we’d have many more muscular people walking around. I think that it’s only tough when we don’t really have enough information to help us avoid the pitfalls that make 90% of noob weightlifters quit. If we know what we’re doing—and more importantly what we shouldn’t do—bodybuilding is easier than you can imagine.

So here you are, looking to get bigger, and here I am trying to show you the stuff I’ve learned during my own yet unfinished journey. In yours, you’re surely going to face at least seven evils, so let me try to prepare you for all of them (is this badass motivating enough? Feeling like a fantasy hero yet?).

In order of how they’re probably going to come, here they are.

1. Impatience.

Shit. You’ve been working out really hard during these last few weeks, and what does that asshole sitting on your bathroom floor tell you about your weight gain? Only four goddamn pounds! Fuck that thing. Fuck all of this. It’s not worth it.

Don't let this asshole control your life.
Well, isn’t it? You have to think it through. You had to know you weren’t going to immediately hulk out (though again if you do things right you’ll feel you have), but it's too much effort for such measly gains. The only thing left to do is evaluate your routine and be completely sure that you are doing things right and then be patient. Do it right, and your muscles will grow.


2. Losing motivation.

There are a million things that can make you lose motivation. You're not seeing enough gains. Your stupid friend says you look like a douchebag. You don't feel like yourself anymore. Whatever it is, you need to make sure if all this hard work for a larger body is really worth it. Generally, it is. Trust me.

You're most likely to lose motivation because you're not as big as you wanted to be when you first imagined yourself hitting the gym. Like I said in another post, this is my absolute golden rule:

Don’t look forward to the moment you’ll be monstrous; look forward to the moment you’ll be bigger than you are now. It’s not far away at all.

It’s as easy as that. Every few pounds will be 100% noticeable and not only to you but to everyone else. All you need to do is to keep working until that moment when you notice you’re really changing (clothes not fitting, constant comments from others, etc.). If you do things right, you’ll be seeing those changes much sooner than you think.

Another thought. A lot of people frown upon semi-muscular guys wearing XXS t-shirts just to look bigger. Does it sound douchy? Yeah. Is it douchy? Maybe. But honestly, if making yourself look bigger through placebos will keep you motivated, go ahead and buy the smallest goddamn shirt you see. When you're bigger, your muscles will speak for themselves under an XXL.

3. Shitty diet.

You might have started eating more than you ate before, and that is great, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating enough to grow. Always remember the nutrition post and review what you’re doing with your diet to be completely sure you’re eating enough, because here’s the thing: if you are eating enough, there is absolutely no reason why you wouldn’t gain weight. So here’s the pro tip:

If you’re not gaining any weight, the first thing you should review is your diet. If you’re 100% certain you’re eating enough go right ahead and fucking eat more.

4. Overtraining.

This is very common for people who begin enjoying exercise and see their muscles grow. It’s easy to assume that more exercise would logically equal more muscle, but this isn’t the case, as I said in this post, your muscles grow when you’re asleep, not at the gym. Your muscles need rest to grow, so if you keep assaulting them, you won’t give them a chance to recover and your gains will stop.

So the advice to give here is to hold your fucking horses and let your body rest. If you try to accelerate growth by spending 10 hours at the gym, that guy who’s intelligently lifting less than you will soon be bigger.

5. Too many supplements.

I like to blame/credit the cartoons we saw as kids for the ideal of a supplement, and the jokes we hear as adults for their bad reputation. We used to see cartoon characters take some pills andinstantly become hulks. I know we consciously know this isn’t in any way possible, but there is a part of us who’d like to believe it is, if only in some capacity.

I know this is true because supplement companies like to hang onto that fantasy. If you read the labels of things like Muscle Asylum Project products, you’ll see blurbs like this gem:

“For individuals devoted to building 21-inch guns, growing a 50-inch chest, benching 4-plates, forcing yourself into an XXXL shirt, and living the life of a bodybuilding freakshow.* [Actual Quote]

Yeah, you fucking wish it was this easy.
*statements not reviewed by the FDA.

Doesn't that sound fucking great? Of course it does but with bodybuilding supplements, "Too good to be true" is a mantra you have to repeat to yourself. These guys are catering to our little fantasy of almost immediately transforming into a muscular freak from drinking some magic serum. It’s important that you don’t buy into that because taking too many supplements is not only very expensive but also dangerous.

While there are supplements that will definitely help you safely (we’ll discuss them soon), it’s important you don’t just take every pill you see the GNC rep recommending. This leads me right into problem number 6:

 6. Not enough supplements.

Here’s the truth: supplements are extremely useful, as supplementation. This means as an non-imperative addition to a solid diet and exercise regimen. There is nothing—not even the very dangerous steroids that do create Kai Greenes and Ronnie Colemans—that will instantly make your muscles grow.

But that doesn’t mean you should steer away from all supplements. I generally like to recommend that you start your bodybuilding experience (to say, the first 8 or so weeks of training) without supplements because 1, you don’t need them at your current size; 2, you’re better off learning how to diet properly for now.

However, once you’re past that initial phase of your training and you’ve put on a few pounds, it’s definitely recommended that you do begin exploring and experimenting with safe supplements like whey protein, creatine (which I personally have never used, but has many proven anabolic benefits), multivitamins, et al.

If your gains have stopped, and you’re currently staying away from supplements altogether, it’s a good idea to begin looking into them. They’ll definitely help. My favorite site for reviews is this. Bookmark it.

It’s extremely important that you research and read reviews for everything you decide to put in your body.

I had a very bad experience with a supplement once, and I’d hate to see it happen to you.

 7. Not enough rest.

You think it's a coincidence lions are big? No sir!
Not an extension of overtraining, because even if you are only training the 60-90 minute workout that’s recommended, it won’t help much if you don’t get enough rest. By rest I don’t mean every passing moment when you don’t have a dumbbell in your hands; I mean sleep.

8 hours of sleep, even if they have to be aggregated through naps, are necessary for your body to grow. Do your very best to get enough sleep.

And that is it. Remember all these tips because they’re pretty much the only real mistakes you could be making that will stop your gains at this point. Remember this:

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with your body. If you’re not growing, you’re doing something wrong.

See you for the topic-specific posts starting now!


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