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Avoiding The Common Mistakes Articles Database Articles by Writer Articles by Avoiding The Common Mistakes

Avoiding The Common Mistakes

Avoiding The Common Mistakes
by Dr. Robert Osgoodby

WARNING!! Always seek the advice of a Medical Doctor before starting, or making changes in your diet or exercise program.

On any given day, you can walk into any gym and find well-intentioned, but frustrated members. No matter what exercise program they try, they can't seem to achieve their goals. Some have gotten positive results for awhile, but have flatlined and just can't seem to get off a plateau. If you are serious enough to dedicate your valuable time to improve your health and appearance, then make it count and get the maximum return from the time you are investing. If you avoid the following common mistakes, you will have a much better chance of building the physique you desire.

  1. Too Much Time Between Sets - Most people socialize far too much in the gym. If you want to socialize at the gym, do it after you finish your workout. Make your lips the last muscle group you train. Unless you are a powerlifter, you should never let the muscle group fully recover between sets. A good rule of thumb for minor exercises (ex. bicep curls, calf raises, tricep extensions) is 60 seconds of rest between sets. For major exercises like squats, 90-120 seconds may be necessary.

  2. Trying To Reduce Fat In A Certain Area - I know men who do endless sit-ups to burn the fat in their abdominal area to get that six pack of abs and get rid of those love handles. I receive e-mail from women who want to get rid of unwanted fat in their legs, rear-end and arms, and think the solution is increased weight training for that particular body part. You can not spot reduce bodyfat. To get positive results, you need to reduce your bodyfat throughout your entire body. You can not pick and choose. To reach your goals you need a balanced program of weight training, proper diet and cardiovascular exercise. As you decrease your overall bodyfat percentage, your problem areas will improve.

  3. To Gain Size And Muscularity, You Must Stick With Free Weights - This is a common misconception. Barbells and dumbbells are a staple for increasing muscularity, but by all means complement them with machines. Machines and cable exercises allow you to specifically concentrate on certain areas of a muscle group, and significantly decrease your risk of injury.

  4. Rushing Through A Set - A classic example that comes to mind is the young novice trying to show off on the bench press. With no form, rhyme or reason, he bounces the weight off his chest fast and furiously. Other than increasing your chances of injury, this serves no purpose. By slowing down the pace and concentrating on muscle contraction and form, you will get the maximum return from your weight training and significantly decrease your chances of injury.

  5. Doing The Same Old Routine - One of the main reasons people plateau is they do not shake things up a little. By doing the same thing day after day, your muscles adapt to the routine and you will stop making gains. Mix things up by adding in new exercises, switching exercise order, and varying the amount of weight and the number of repetitions in a set. Changing your routine will shock your muscle groups and help prevent stagnation.

  6. More Is Better - For a large muscle group like your chest, you may do 12 sets to muscle failure. If you train your triceps after chest, they are already pre-fatigued from your chest exercises. All you really need is 6-9 sets to properly finish off your triceps. Two or three exercises, three sets each is plenty. Anything more is over training which increases your chances of injury and slows your progress.

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Dr. Osgoodby was a finalist in the "EAS Body for Life" Contest. Stop by his web page at to see his before and after pictures and subscribe to his monthly newsletter.

Take Care,

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