Listen To Arnold: Avoid These 5 Muscle Building Mistakes

Arnold Schwarzenegger posing on the beach
"For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer."

Arnold Schwarzenegger will tell you to make sure that you’re not making the following 5 mistakes.

If you are making any of the mistakes below then you are guaranteed to limit your muscle building progress.

1. NOT FOCUSING ON MULTI-JOINT COMPOUND LIFTS

Arnold was a big believer in basic multi-joint free weight movements. Till this day they are best exercises to build muscle.

There are no exercises that can beat the muscle building power of multi-joint compound movements such as the squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, barbell bent over row, pull up, parallel bar dips etc.

These exercises provide greatest muscle stimulation and greatest testosterone and growth hormone response to pack on slabs of muscle on your frame. If you’re not prioritizing these exercises, then you can’t expect to make very much muscle building progress.

2. NOT TRAINING YOUR WEAK POINTS

It’s fun and easy to train the muscles that you enjoy working out. It’s safe to say those muscles are not your weak points. What separates impressive physiques from the rest of the pack is that the guys with impressive physiques have the willpower to train the muscles that need to be trained; the muscles that are more difficult and draining to train.

For most people, the back and leg muscles are their weak points. These two muscle groups together account for 70% of your total musculature. So you can see how much now training them hard holds you back in getting big. Address your weak points and you will set yourself up for impressive muscle building progress.

3. NOT TRAINING WITH INTENSITY

Arnold trained with insane levels of intensity. Two of the most important aspects of weight training are progressive overload (putting more stress on the muscles by lifting heavier weights) and time under tension (making the muscles do more work by increasing training volume). If you’re slacking on either of these then you’re stalling progress.

When you’re at the gym, make sure to train with a high level of focus and intensity, always pushing for progress. Lift heavy in a moderate 6-10 rep range and stimulate your muscles with high volume of sets and exercises. Doing so will also spike your muscle building testosterone and growth hormone.

4. NOT CHANGING UP THE VARIABLES

Weight training is all about pushing for continuous progress. You can’t stay in your comfort zone. You have to continuously challenge your muscles to get stronger and bigger by lifting heavier, resting for a shorter period of time, increasing the number of sets performed, taking on more difficult exercises and so on to constantly challenge your muscles to grow. Changing up the variables is key to making progress in weight training.

5. NOT RECOVERING FULLY

As you might have previously heard, you don’t build muscle when you’re at the gym. You build muscle in the period in between your training sessions, especially when you’re asleep. After you have trained hard at the gym, you have to let your muscles fully rest, replenish and recover. This involves eating quality muscle building meals, keeping stress low and getting quality 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

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