Hail to the Dinosaurs!
Strength training works -- and if you do it
the right way, it should produce rapid gains
in strength and muscle mass.
But far too many trainees make serious
mistakes in their training -- and end up
with little or no gains to show for their
Here are seven of the most common strength
training mistakes that even experienced trainees
1. Wanting to Do It All.
This is the trainee who wants to be a powerlifter,
an Olympic weightlifter, a gymnast, a martial
artist, a grip gorilla, a master of high rep
calisthenics, a strongman, and one of those
super-flexible rubber-men who can do a full
splits between two chairs with a smile on his
He also wants to be great at kettlebells, club-bells,
maces, battle-axes, cannon-ball juggling, bull
roping, the Inman Mile, hand-balancing, and
So he tries to "do it all" -- and he ends up doing
too much and over-training.
It's much better to pick the one or two things that
you really want to do, and work them more or
2. Changing Routines Too Often.
This is related to no. 1, because too many guys
see or read about something, and immediately
change their workout around -- even though what
they were doing was working fine!
Routines are recipes for building strength and
muscle. You need to follow the recipe -- and you
need to let things cook for the right amount of
It takes a period of time to get real results from
a training program. If you jump ship before you've
given yourself time to get some results, then you're
missing most or all of the benefit.
3. Training Too Light.
Many trainees sell themselves short by going too
light in their workouts. This usually happens when
they're advanced enough to be outlifting more than
most of the other guys at the gym. At that point,
they lose "the Eye of the Tiger." They get satisfied
with where they are and what they're lifting. So
they stay there. They stagnate.
You can't do that if you want to build super strength.
You need to keep on pushing to add more and more
weight to the bar.
4. Training Too Heavy.
The flip side of the problem is training too heavy --
and having to cut the range of motion or cheat to
get your reps.
This is a huge problem -- and a very common one.
Remember, you need to work up to heavy weights
in your training -- BUT, you also need to use perfect
form on every rep you do.
It's not one or the other. It's both.
This is why exercises such as bottom position bench
presses or pause style squats or front squats are so
good. They force you to use perfect form, even when
you train heavy.
5. Too Much Assistance Work.
Most trainees do way too many assistance exercises
to try to improve their primary movements -- and end
up turning a basic strength and mass workout into
something that looks like a typical high volume
Assistance exercises have their place -- but you need
to give the lion's share of your time and effort to the
Remember the Schemansky story.
Someone once asked Norb Schemansky what to do to
improve his press.
Schemansky stared at him in surprise.
"Press!" he shouted.
6. Too Much Cardio.
Cardio training is good for you if you don't over-do it,
and if you do cardio that doesn't hammer your joints
into the ground.
But too many trainees over-do their cardio training --
and end up over-training -- and all of a sudden, the
bar seems twice as heavy as before when they do
squats and deadlifts.
This is another example of the "gotta do it all"
Remember, if you are training hard and heavy on
the basic strength and mass movements, you
don't have very much energy for anything else --
and that includes cardio.
7. Forgetting the Non-Training Side of Things.
Lots of trainees do all the right things in the
gym -- and all the wrong things when they're
out of the gym.
That's always a mistake. Training is only part
of the puzzle. You need to train -- the right way --
but that's not all you need to do.
You also need to pay careful attention to your
diet. You need to eat for optimal nutrition --
and you need to eat foods that support your
strength training workouts, rather than hurt them.
See Knife, Fork, Muscle for details on how to eat
to build strength and muscle.
You also need to follow the other rules of good
health. You need to get enough sleep -- every night --
and you need to stay as calm and relaxed as possible
throughout the day. Save your nervous energy for
So there you are -- seven mistakes that far too
many trainees make - mistakes that sabotage
their training and make good gains all but
impossible. Make sure you avoid them!
As always, thanks for reading and have a great
day. If you train today, make it a good one.
Yours in strength,
P.S. Here are three great resources for real
world training -- and great gains in strength
and muscle mass!
a. Strength, Muscle and Power
b. Chalk and Sweat
c. Dinosaur Training Secrets, Vol. 1, Exercises,
Workouts and Training Programs
See the links to our PDF books and courses at
the Dinosaur Products page:
P.S. 2. Thought for the Day: "Doing it and doing
it right are two different things." -- Brooks Kubik