1 – You Aren’t Drinking Enough Water
We’re going to start with this tip because it’s the easiest to correct.
Look guys, unless you live in the middle of the desert you probably have plenty of clean water available to you.
There’s no reason that you shouldn’t be fully hydrated at all times.
If you are like most guys, you wake up in the morning and drink a cup of coffee and no water.
That means you are already at -1 cups for the day since caffeine actually dehydrates your body.
If your body isn’t well hydrated, you won’t perform as well at the gym and protein synthesis will be a lot slower.
What’s worse, most people sweat while working out and don’t replace the water.
From now on, carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and drink all of it several times.
While it might be inconvenient to have to make more frequent trips to the washroom it’s definitely better than the alternative – slower gains.
2 – You’re Ignoring Your Testosterone Levels
If you put a lot of time into crafting the perfect workout program yet don’t give a thought to your testosterone levels, you are making a huge mistake.
While the lifts you do in the gym will have an influence over how fast your progress, whether you do barbell curls or dumbbell curls isn’t as important as your testosterone production.
In fact, if your testosterone levels are low you will have a near-impossible time transforming your body.
Testosterone is what gives us our male characteristics – such as strength, muscle mass, confidence, aggressiveness and energy levels.
Obviously, these are all desirable traits, so start looking at your lifestyle and see if you are doing things that cause testosterone production to decrease.
These include drinking too much, having a stressful life, eating a poor diet and not getting enough sleep.
There are definitely things you can do now to improve your testosterone levels.
First, figure out what is causing you so much stress and try to reduce or eliminate that.
While some sources of stress are impossible to get rid of, there are ways to reduce the effect it has on you such as doing yoga and meditation.
Second, improve your diet – eat less junk food and stop drinking alcohol several nights per week.
Finally, get plenty of sleep.
You should give yourself at least 8 hours per night of shut-eye as this is when your body produces the most testosterone.
If you are regularly getting 6 hours or less of sleep then your testosterone levels are probably quite low.
You can actually raise your natural testosterone production by taking in a testosterone boosting supplement.
Some of them contain scientifically proven ingredients and work very well.
3 – You’re Not Staying Focused at the Gym
Take a look around the gym next time you are there.
Most people are probably on their phones between sets (or sometimes during sets) or talking to someone nearby.
While some people live busy lives, and need to multitask, as Arnold said if you are texting while working out you probably aren’t working hard enough.
Now we know some people use their phones to play music while in the gym and that’s fine – just don’t start making plans for the weekend or call your friends during the workout.
Sometimes this will even lead to spending too much time in the gym as you are distracted from your usual routine.
Instead, stay focused for the duration of your 30-50-minute workout and then check your messages after you leave.
As for the people in the gym, you can definitely say hi but don’t start getting into extended conversations – leave that for when you are done lifting.
4 – You’re Not Helping the Body Recover
When you are done your workout do you go home and feed your body the nutrients it needs to rebuild?
Or do you eat junk food or worse – go drinking? Despite what most people think your body doesn’t actually grow when you are in the gym.
That pumped up feeling you get is simply blood rushing into the muscles making them feel larger.
However, that feeling is temporary.
The actual growth happens outside of the gym when your body rebuilds muscle tissue using the nutrients you feed it – this is why post-workout nutrition is so important.
After your workout make sure you are feeding your body a fast absorbing protein followed up with some complex carbs which it can use as building blocks.
Additionally, you should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
This is when your body is able to dedicate the most resources to recovery so don’t sell yourself short!
5 – You Haven’t Changed Your Routine
While you definitely don’t want to be changing your routine every week, you can’t expect to get great results if you are doing the same routine for years.
Over time your body gets used to certain exercises and they become less effective.
This is why it’s important to throw some new exercises and training techniques at your body.
For example, adding drop sets, super sets, mixing up your split or changing grips.
If you keep doing the same routine, you might be building up muscle imbalances and weaknesses that you don’t even know about.
Fortunately for you guys, there are tons of workouts online that you can try!
6 – You Don’t Have a Routine
Even worse than not changing up your routine is not having one to begin with!
It amazes us how many guys think they can just show up at the gym and do whatever exercises they feel like and still make progress.
Look, EVERY successful bodybuilder out there will tell you it’s crucial to have a routine in place.
First of all, it ensures that you work every muscle group equally.
Second, it allows you to track your progress and identify lagging muscle groups.
Finally, it gives you structure so you are less likely to skip out on the gym.
If for example you know that Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday are gym days and you know exactly which exercises you need to do you will be far less likely to skip your workout.
Often, we get overwhelmed with the prospect of going to the gym, figuring out what to do, etc.
Instead, when your routine is already planned out for you all you need to do is show up!
As you know, the only way to get bigger with bodybuilding is to progressively overload the muscles.
This is why a program is so important – it allows you to track just how effectively you’ve done that. If you aren’t able to tell how long you have been doing a given routine and how much progress you’ve made with it, you have no way of knowing if it’s time to switch things up.
7 – You Don’t Warm Up
Every professional athlete, regardless of their chosen sport, warms-up before going 100%.
You need to get your body used to the movements in order to avoid injury and lift heavy.
If you are the type who shows up at the gym and goes right to their working sets not only are you setting yourself up for an injury – you won’t make gains nearly as quickly.
Instead, spend the first set or two working at a lighter weight so your body can get used to the movement.
Next, start increasing the weight and challenging yourself.
While it might take a bit longer it will ultimately keep you healthy and progressing faster.
8 – You Only Do Half the Rep
Did you know that there are two portions of every rep – the positive and the negative?
A lot of guys think all of the gains are made on the positive portion or the lifting portion.
For example, curling the weight up on the bicep curl.
However, your body actually benefits a lot from the negative portion.
By curling the weight (or doing any exercise for that matter) slower on the negative portion you will get a far better workout.
This is a huge benefit as it really doesn’t make your workout take much longer yet it improves your results drastically.
Stop letting those weights drop so easily and start benefiting from both phases of the rep!
9 – You Aren’t Mentally Present
Putting on muscle is tough when you are doing everything right.
When you aren’t doing things properly it gets even more difficult.
You need to be fully present when working out – that means focusing on each rep of each exercise.
Don’t go through the motions while you think about what you are going to do later that day – put all other things aside and focus exclusively on your workout.
It doesn’t take any extra time, yet it makes your workout far more effective.
10 – You Don’t Give Yourself a Break
While this problem isn’t nearly as common as skipping workouts, it still does happen.
If you haven’t taken a week off from the gym in several months, you need to give your body that break.
After many weeks of weight training the body needs some time to rebuild muscle tissue, ligaments and recover from minor injuries.
Another thing you need to watch out for is pain.
We all know the difference between the right kind of pain and the wrong kind.
If you are doing an exercise and something feels wrong, you should stop doing it.
No workout is worth ending up with a serious injury – that will just keep you out of the gym for longer and cause you to lose your gains.
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