The drive to have the very best body can cause people to unwittingly sabotage their own efforts. Plenty of physical mistakes are brought about through enthusiasm for bodybuilding. Working out for hours every day, for example, may seem like a dedicated drive towards muscle improvement – but it can in fact have a seriously detrimental effect. Mistakes and supposed short cuts can be devastating for a regime, so it is important to recognize and avoid common pitfalls.
A common problem for dedicated iron-pumpers is overtraining. The impulse to overtrain is understandable – after all, why waste time which could be used to work on your body? However, it can do far more harm than good. Not taking rest days can not only cause depression, irritability, and chronic exhaustion – it can also actively harm your efforts to improve your body. Your body needs rest days. It is while resting that muscles process the changes you have worked on them. When you give it a day’s rest, the body has time to build and repair tissue. If you persistently and obsessively train, your body will struggle to keep up, and continue to break down muscles as you work out without getting a chance to replenish and increase the store. This severely impacts upon performance, exposes you to a greater risk of injury, and means that, frustratingly, you won’t see any significant muscle growth or fat loss for your hard efforts. Take a day or two off a week to ensure that your body has time to repair micro tears and pile on new layers of muscle.
Some people under eat before a workout in the hope that the body will use fat rather than food as fuel, resulting in higher muscle definition. This is a very bad idea. Rather than burning fat, this will simply mess up your metabolism and can encourage the body to burn muscle stores in the place of food energy.