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11 Common Muscle Building Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

common muscle building mistakes

Research has shown that men build 35 to 45 pounds of muscle on average over their lifetime. Women build 20 to 25 pounds of muscle over their lifetime.

Many people have the goal of building muscle and exercising more. This is an especially common goal for men who want to become more muscular and strong.

There are many common muscle building mistakes that you can make. These are mistakes that hinder your progress that you may not even realize you are doing.

Keep reading to find out more about common muscle building mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Not Eating Enough Calories

One of the most common muscle building mistakes that people make is not eating enough. Your muscle building strategy needs to include a higher intake of calories per day.

This is something that many people instinctually avoid when they are trying to get healthier. You may think that more is going to turn into fat, which is the opposite of what you want.

This is a very narrow way of thinking that can be difficult to get out of. The reality is that you need to consume more calories if you want to gain muscle.

Those who do muscle building exercises also need those calories to keep them going. When you are working out more, you burn more calories and require more food.

These calories are not going to turn into fat because you are staying active. Excessive calories only start to contribute to weight gain if you are not active enough to burn off the calories.

This is why people who weight train and build muscle can often eat whatever they want. They are going to burn off those calories anyway and don’t need to worry about them turning into fat.

2. Not Getting Enough Protein

Not only do you need to consume more calories, but you also need to eat more protein. Many people forget about the importance of consuming protein when working out.

Everyone needs a certain amount of protein for a healthy diet. This is a main component in many body functions, and you cannot run properly without protein.

Protein is also a vital part of building muscle, and you cannot build muscle if you aren’t getting enough protein. A high-protein diet can help to increase your muscle mass and muscle gain.

You want to consume more calories, but those calories should include plenty of protein. This is why there are many muscle building recipes that are protein heavy.

A large portion of your diet should consist of protein sources, whether those be animal proteins or plant proteins. You will want to include multiple sources of protein every day.

3. Too Little Sleep and Recovery

Diet and exercise are very important parts of building muscle. But one aspect that people forget about is the importance of sleep.

Everyone requires a certain amount of sleep depending on their age and health. Sleep is important in how our body and our mind function.

A big part of sleep is that it encourages your body to repair itself and recover. If you work out often, this is going to be the time when your body is mending itself from this exertion.

If you are not getting enough sleep, your body is going to go into sleep deprivation. With more activity, your body is going to need that time to rest and recover before the next day.

You may struggle to hit your muscle building goals if you are not getting enough sleep each night. This will not allow your body to recover properly, and it can slow down your progress.

4. Lifting Weights That Are Too Light 

If building muscle is your goal, this is one of the most common muscle building mistakes you could make. Some people may not challenge themselves by lifting heavy enough weights.

You may be stuck in a rut and not changing up your exercise routine. This could result in you lifting weights that are not as heavy as they could be.

Some people like to take this slow but end up slowing down their progress significantly. You want to warm yourself up to heavy weights and not risk injuring yourself.

But you also do not want to continue to lift weights that are too light. You should be gradually lifting heavier weights as you build up your muscle mass.

If you do not do this, you are not going to see the results you are after. Lifting weights can help to maintain your muscle, but you aren’t going to grow more muscle unless you challenge yourself.

You can only start to really build up a large amount of muscle by increasing how much weight you lift. This is why you need to have a muscle building strategy to keep you in check.

5. Overtraining

It is also important to remember that you do not want to overtrain when building muscle. You want to push yourself, but you also need to have a limit.

Most people have a good schedule of working out and lifting weights 4 to 6 days a week. This is realistic and allows you to have a few days of rest for better recovery.

You may think that you can build muscle faster by hitting the gym every day. You may even try to exercise hours every single day to build muscle faster.

Unfortunately, this is not going to give you the results that you are after. Overtraining puts you at risk of injuring yourself as you are pushing your body too hard.

Overtraining also prevents your body from being able to properly recover. Recovery is vital in building muscle and your progress will be stunted if your body isn’t given this time.

Eventually, you will not be able to continue at the pace you are going at. Training too hard is unrealistic and is only going to lead to injury or burnout.

6. Smoking and Drinking

One of these common muscle building mistakes is maintaining unhealthy habits. When you want to build muscle and get healthier, your lifestyle needs to change.

Not only do you need to start hitting the gym and eating better, but you also need to have better habits. Things like smoking and drinking are going to impact your progress.

Smoking has the potential to prevent your muscles from growing the way that you want them to. Smoking and drinking are both unhealthy and are going to limit your abilities in the gym.

It is also hard to maintain your healthy lifestyle if you are hung over. There are side effects to these unhealthy habits that can get in the way of what you are trying to achieve.

A few drinks here and there may not cause any issues, but it can get out of control fast. Even a few small bad habits can start to negatively impact your fitness goals.

7. Not Having a Routine

If you want to build muscle, you have to have a routine in place. A weekly workout schedule is vital and keeps you on track with your goals.

You are not going to achieve the results you want if you are only working out when you feel like it. Many people make the mistake of hitting the gym when they feel up to it and only then.

Going to the gym here and there is not going to help you out much. You have to have a weekly workout schedule to reach the potential that is right at your fingertips.

Consistency is the key to achieving that physique that you are after. You have to be consistent, otherwise, your results are going to be delayed or very different from what you are wanting.

8. Lack of Hydration

When you are working out more, you also need to be drinking more. This is something that people forget about, much like how they forget about consuming more calories.

The human body is made up of two-thirds of water and a lot of that goes to your muscle. Muscle cells require water to grow and recover the way that they need to.

You are also going to be sweating more when you workout each day. Sweating can dehydrate your body, and you will need to make up for that.

The average recommendation for people is 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. If you are trying to build muscle, however, you should be drinking about 9 cups of water a day.

9. Poor Form

Lifting weights with the correct form is very important if you want to gain muscle. The right form helps you to keep your body safe and capable of lifting these amounts of weight.

With the right form, you can lift very heavy weights that you may not have thought you could lift. If your form is sloppy, you may not be able to reach the goals you are after.

You may have the physical ability to lift certain weights, but your form just isn’t right. The correct form helps you to lift heavier weights while maintaining control and not putting yourself at risk of injury.

10. Working on Limited Areas

One of the most common muscle building mistakes is only working on certain areas. Everyone has heard the joke about someone skipping leg day at the gym.

As funny as this is, it can be a reality for a lot of people trying to build muscle. It is easy to become narrow-sighted and only see certain areas that you want to improve on.

You may become obsessed with gaining muscle in your arms and shoulders. This could lead to you forgetting about other areas of your body that also need to be worked on.

You are going to build muscle all over your body when you are working out. But you can target specific areas to build more exaggerated muscle over time.

You need to make sure you are working on every area of your body in the gym. Otherwise, you are going to start to look unbalanced if certain areas are more muscular than others.

11. Lifting Too Fast

Like lifting weights that are too light, lifting too quickly is also not a good thing. You may be excited to start your weightlifting journey, but you need to take it slow.

If you are starting from the ground up, this is going to take time. Your muscle building strategy needs to allow you time to build up muscle and recover properly.

If you try to gain muscle too quickly, you are very likely to injure yourself in the process. You are also not going to build my soul faster than your body is capable of.

The body can only build muscle so quickly, and hitting the gym too much isn’t going to fix that. When you were first starting out, you need to pace yourself at a realistic pace.

Over time, as you are able to build muscle, you will be able to work out more. But you need to plan on starting at a slower pace than you may have wanted.

In general, you should start adding very light weights and only move up to have your weights every few weeks. This is going to guarantee that you get to the goal that you are trying to attain.

Common Muscle Building Mistakes to Avoid

If you want to build muscle, there are plenty of common muscle building mistakes to avoid. It is easy to become too excited and get ahead of yourself when it comes to hitting the gym.

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