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7 Common Training Mistakes

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  1. #1
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    Post 7 Common Training Mistakes

    Here is an article I had about common training mistakes.I though it would be of great interest to some of you.The author is a fairly well known strength coach who works with alot of high-caliber athletes.In order to get through some unusable dialogue and to save you some reading time, I'll just include the relative info.


    The Top Seven Ways To F*** Up In The Gym!
    by Ian King


    1.)OVERTRAINING

    *Do only 10-20 work sets per workout.For most people,most of the time,I recommend a range of sets per workout(not per muscle group) of 10-20 sets.That's all.You say you can do more?Great.What is this,a competition to see how many sets you can do,or an attempt to determine the optimal number for your progress?In fact,5-15 sets may be an even better range.
    **Never train continously for longer than 12 weeks.I feel that 12 weeks of continuous training is as far as you should take it.Then you should take a full recovery week and avoid strength training.You can,however,participate in other activities-as long as you don't turn the week into some kind of boot camp.Twelve weeks is the uppermost limit of the range,though.For most,I'd recommend shorter training periods of 3,4,6,8, and 9 weeks.
    ***Avoid assuming that all exercises or muscle groups require equal attention in volume.Have you ever seen a program that gave equal attention,such as the number of sets,to each exercise?I call this program a "standard sets" approach-multiple sets,usually at the same load.(You're probably doing one at the moment.

    2.)IGNORING THE WEAKNESS
    *The quickest way to improve in virtually any endeavor is to work the weakest link.if you're pursuing an increase in size and strength,find the most neglected muscle group(no matter how small it is!)and work it.Most know and understand this concept,but what most fail to do is put it first in the workout and first in the week.

    3.)FAILING TO VARY TRAINING PRIORITIES
    *From what I have told you above,the muscle groups that recieve attention first in the training week and first on the training day are the ones that will probably show the most improvement.Consequently,I recommend that you work weak muscle groups first,but equally important is to never use the same muscle group sequence endlessly.Doing so will do two things:reinforce inevitable muscle imbalances that result from any given sequence,and contribute to the stagnation of the neglected muscle groups.

    4.)CREATING INJURY POTENTIAL
    *There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of this happening(injuries)to you.Most of these preventative measures come from the areas of muscle balance and joint stability.Now,I wouldn't expect you to become an expert overnight,but I'll give some insights into avoiding one of the most common strength-training injuries-shoulder joint pain.
    This example will be based on the simple concept that posterior shoulder strength(such as the ability to pull back in a horizontal plane perpendicular to the body,like you might do in rowing movements)should be similar to the anterior shoulder strength(such as the ability to push away in a horizontal plane perpendicular to the long axis of the trunk,like you might do in a bench press).I call this horizontal pulling and pushing, and every exercise in this plane of movement,be it a single- or double-joint movement,is placed in one of these two categories.
    Now count how many exercises and sets you do for pulling and pushing in each training week or microcycle.Are the numbers equal?If not,which dominates?If you're doing more pushing than pulling movements,you're headed toward trouble.Secondly,consider the sequence of these exercises-does the pushing or pulling appear earlier in the training week or training day?If pushing movements recieve equal prioritization,however,chalk up another item on the list of things you're doing right.

    5.)MISINTERPRETING "TRAINING HARD"
    *Strength training for size and strength should be used as an anaerobic activityo a work set,rest;do a work set,rest.At the end of the workout,you should only feel smashed some of the time,not all the time!Strength training,if used correctly,is one of the few sporting activities with significant anabolic potential.Used otherwise,it can be as catabolic as any other type of training.
    The key to this is the well-known but rarely understood relationship between volume and intensity.If the total work time exceeds a certain critical point, the anabolic potential follows the intensity potential....downward.

    6.)LACKING INTENSITY
    *I just finished telling you to back off.Now I am going to tell you that most strength training is conducted with inadequate intensity.Contradictory?No.Mistake number 5 referred primarily to excessive volume.Now I'm talking about inadequate intensity.What I recommend is a low number of sets and a short time in the gym, but with a high level of focus.I believe that,in strength training,intensity is more important than volume.

    7.)LIFTING TO IMPRESS
    *I would say that most load selection in strength training is based upon what impact it will have on those watching,not what impact it will have on the body.Think about it-30 seconds of glory.It's too bad that,while walking on the beach and seeing someone they want to impress,these same muttonheads can't pull the same weights out of their pockets and impress in the same way.These are the same guys who wear t-shirts that say "Yesterday I benched xxx pounds."Ever wonder why so many want to tell you how much they lifted?Because you could never tell by just looking at them!
    Lifting heavy is great-if it makes a difference!The key is to learn how to make a difference to the body with a slow and controlled movement, and then progressivly add resistance! -Ian King

    -Like I said, that's just the meat and potatoes of it.The entire article can be found at T-Mag.



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    Some good guidelines.

    (btw, I added some "bolding" to make it easier to read.)


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    I normally don't like Ian's stuff, but that was pretty good.

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    Looks a lot better,Prince.
    Supreme-I don't like the way he sets up his routines,but he has a lot of good info on recovery and overtraining.

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  5. #5

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    What I don't get it in Number 1 regarding that overtraining part is they meaning no more than 20 sets per workout, not muscle group. Doesn't that mean if I work out my entire back and bicep on the same day, I can't exceed 20 sets for all 3 departments? (Upper Back, lower back, Biceps)

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    What he is referring to is the total number of WORK sets per workout.This doesn't include warm-up sets.

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    "I figure,f*ck it.While I'm at it why not just shoot my buddy,take his job,give it to his sworn enemy,hike up gas prices,bomb a village,club a baby seal,hit the hash pipe and join the national guard....I could be elected president."

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    thought this was a good read, bring it back to life.
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    Sorry to bring up old news but in my workouts i normally do 24 to 27 sets is this to many?? I would do 102 sets per week, is this too many and am i overtraining. And how long would it take you guys to do 24-27 sets???
    Last edited by Aussie_Dude; 10-05-2004 at 08:31 PM. Reason: wanted to add some more

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    24-27 sets of just about anything sounds like high volume for a single workout. It depends though on the intensity, and number of bodyparts you are covering somewhat. If you are training balls to the wall hard, IMO its overtraining.

    How long it would take to finish, also depends on what you are doing (legs versus biceps), and number of reps, as well as the very obvious how long are your rest periods.

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    5-15 sets?! I don't understand how anyone would grow doing so little sets.. atleast the 5..
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    Explain to me why someone wouldn't grow doing "so little" .. ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duncans Donuts
    Explain to me why someone wouldn't grow doing "so little" .. ?
    I have no idea, I just dont feel my body wouldn't react to that at all and thats all I am basing my opinion on. Clearly it has worked for you, and I am completely wrong in coming out with that judgement, but again, I just don't see me gaining from that routine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by soxmuscle
    I have no idea, I just dont feel my body wouldn't react to that at all and thats all I am basing my opinion on. Clearly it has worked for you, and I am completely wrong in coming out with that judgement, but again, I just don't see me gaining from that routine.
    You should give it a try. I know that mentally this is hard to accept. However, this level of volume works for many people.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by soxmuscle
    5-15 sets?! I don't understand how anyone would grow doing so little sets.. atleast the 5..
    i did 5 sets of close grip bench presses on the smith yesterday to failure and nothing else.....worked for me.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudge
    24-27 sets of just about anything sounds like high volume for a single workout. It depends though on the intensity, and number of bodyparts you are covering somewhat. If you are training balls to the wall hard, IMO its overtraining.

    How long it would take to finish, also depends on what you are doing (legs versus biceps), and number of reps, as well as the very obvious how long are your rest periods.

    I would noramlly do 3 body parts (2 heavily and one light), it noramlly takes me about 70 mins to do sets of 12??? Hows does that sound Mudge, cause i have no idea.

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    I started doing 5 sets 4-6 reps with shoulders and chest. Which are my weak points, (spine issues). Starting with the weight I thought I could max out at, then with a spotterr I increased the weight by 10lbs and found I could do that and more. I have done this for 2 weeks now and see a huge difference in my w/o overall.

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    Good article I especially hate the "lifting to impress people" and the "how mutch you bench?" .... does it matter?

    I especially get a chuckle sometimes when I see people throw all the weight on they can just to do it one time.... every time I see them in the weight room.
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    Great article. Guys in particular are guilty of "Lifting to impress" and women in particular are guilty of number six, training with a total lack of intensity.

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    I see.

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    Nice article. It's basically a "Cliff's Notes" of Mike mentzer's work.

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