How to Avoid These Common Strength Training Mistakes
Strength training isn’t only for those who want to break out the big guns, but also for those who just want to improve their daily movements for a better quality of life. Building lean muscle and improving your body’s capability has a ton of benefits, including injury prevention as you age, but when you’re working on increasing your strength, there are a lot of mistakes you can make early on. Luckily, your trusty 9Round Exercise Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC, is here to share some tips on how to avoid or correct your strength training mistakes.
Mistake #1: Busting Out the Weights Too Early
When you think about building strength, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You guessed it, heavy weights! Often, people will throw 15 or 20-pound weights into their exercises before they’ve mastered the proper form. This not only puts you at risk for an injury, but also prevents you from getting the most out of each exercise, as you may not be targeting the correct muscles if your form is off. It’s good to increase the amount of weight you’re using to keep things challenging at times, but ultimately, this does you no good in the long run if you don’t understand functional movements.
There are a few things to focus on as you begin every exercise: keeping your spine neutral, your feet locked to the ground, and your core engaged for proper balance. Once you’ve totally nailed the movements without weights, then you can start adding in dumbbells or medicine balls to your workout routine for greater resistance. But always make sure you can maintain proper form with the amount of weight you’re using. If it’s so heavy that you have to sacrifice your form, it is better to downgrade your weights and focus on slower and more controlled movements.
Mistake #2: Neglecting Form Corrections
A lot of people just want to push through their workouts to get finished as quickly as possible without paying attention to getting the movements just right, which can be both unsafe and unproductive. When you’re going through your exercises, you should make sure you’re not just going through the motions. Instead, it’s much better to slow down and focus on correcting your form, the amount of weight you’re using, or the type of modification you’re doing in order to get the most out of your workout.
You should always aim for quality over quantity when it comes to your workouts, even if that means taking a step back and modifying the exercise. Doing your reps correctly at a pace at which you can maintain good form will help you target the right muscle groups, so they can strengthen over time. Eventually, you can work your way up to more challenging moves as your body becomes stronger.
Mistake #3: Not Challenging Yourself Enough
Once you’ve been working out for a while, it’s easy to feel comfortable and complacent with your strength training routine. Over time, this can lead you to stop challenging your body to grow stronger, which leads to a lack of results. If you find yourself stuck in a place of little to no improvement, then fear not. There are some simple things you can start doing now to begin advancing in your fitness journey again.
Our bodies need to be challenged in order to grow stronger, so if you’ve hit a plateau, it’s probably a sign to step up your game. For more strength and muscle definition, you probably need to use heavier weights for your exercises, especially if you’re doing 10-20 reps with ease using your current weights. Of course, you can always talk with your 9Round trainer for some advice on what weights to use at your next KILLER workout!
Pro Tip: Your last few reps with your weight should be very challenging. If you can do 8-12 reps with proper form at the weight you’re using, and you would only be able to complete 1-2 more reps, then it’s a good sign you’re using the right weight for your fitness level. Over time, you’ll continue to build strength, and eventually, those weights will probably become too easy for you and it’ll be time to go up a few pounds again.
Our 9Round Champion Trainers help guide you throughout every workout, so you always know when it’s time to add in some weights or focus on your form. See how we can help you reach your goals with our KILLER kickboxing workouts by signing up for your free introductory workout below!
This is not medical advice. Please speak with your doctor regarding any health concerns and before starting a new workout routine. This article was written in conjunction with our certified 9Round Exercise and Nutrition Specialist, MacKenzie Rowand, CSCS, NASM-CNC.