I want results immediately

In practice, each of us tends to set overly ambitious goals. Very often, we hope for great results without giving ourselves the means to reach the goals we have set (such as I want to gain muscle mass and I only train once a week; it isn't enough).


Generally speaking:

  • 1 weekly session = maintaining the level.

  • 3 weekly sessions = progression.


I follow advanced or high-level programmes

Many people train in an unreasonable way; we really progress during the rest phases. It is nevertheless possible to train every day; this requires organised training (managing the number of sessions, type of exercises, work intensity).

Unless they ask themselves the right questions, some people set out to follow the training programmes of champions, hundreds of which can be found on-line. Many think that it is enough to do the same exercises to achieve the same results: it isn't.

Performance is achieved by a whole range of factors (training, physical qualities, mental qualities, techniques, luck, environment etc.). So training alone is not enough to produce results. Each individual has their own characteristics. Conclusion: each person has their own way of training.


I use too great a weight

The mistake you must avoid is to want to use heavy weights too quickly.

In all cases, focus on the technical aspect of the exercise. Good technique ensures safe training and reduces the risk of injury.


I don't know the movement

Unless you know the right movement to copy and know what it is useful for, your training won't be worth much. The mistake to avoid is to want to copy systematically what the others are doing. It is important to ask for advice from the coaches and the professionals (with state diplomas) who will be able to direct you towards the correct exercises and correct your movements.

An exercise executed wrongly can lead to less effective muscle work, or result in a different feeling. E.g.: a squat while leaning forward increases the work on the muscles of the spine, and reduces the work on the thighs.


I never do any stretching

Doing some stretches is often left out, but plays an important role in your training. They have considerable advantages (impact on your strength and muscle mass, boost recovery). Contrary to what many might think, high-level bodybuilders are actually very supple. Don't forget to do some gentle stretching after each workout.

To increase your suppleness, it is better to do specific stretching workouts as well as your weight training sessions.

In all cases, do not maintain the stretching position for more than 30 seconds.


I cut without knowing my limits

In order to achieve muscular cutting which enables you to enhance your muscle definition, you need to follow a very specific training programme, which is completely different from the training phase where you seek to gain mass. So it is not only your diet which plays a key role, but also the relationship between training and diet.

The training you need to focus on should be organised in the following way: warm-up / weight training / cardio training / stretching.
The most serious mistakes committed while cutting take place during the cardio phase: just as with weight training where you work on a percentage of a training weight, for cardio, you work at a specific heart rate intensity. The best intensity for burning fat is the lipolytic zone which is located between 70 and 80% of the Maximum heart rate (MaxHR = 226 – age).


Very often, cardio training is practised at a rate that is too high, with the result that you lose body fat but also a lot of muscle mass.

To avoid muscle wasting, ensure a continuous cardio effort of between 70 and 80% of the MaxHR, and increase your protein intake slightly.


I have a poor diet

Be careful with your diet and especially any dietary supplements! Your diet must provide all the elements necessary for a proper balance.

Dietary supplements must be used appropriately. Why take proteins if your nutrition already provides enough. The risk is to overload the body and in particular the urinary system. Everything found in excess in your body is either eliminated or transformed.

So it is better to consult a dietician beforehand and avoid a ham-fisted approach. 

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    In 6 basic exercises, this practical guide will help you build muscle easily using a piece of must-have equipment: the weights bench.