Muscle Talk - By International Protein

Common Training Mistakes

May 05, 2021 International Protein Season 4 Episode 1
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
Common Training Mistakes
Chapters
Muscle Talk - By International Protein
Common Training Mistakes
May 05, 2021 Season 4 Episode 1
International Protein

In this episode we discuss common training mistakes and Christine's advice on not falling into the habits of not advancing, causing injury, and the best ways to progress.

  • Going too heavy too fast
  • Rest, eating, and protein intake 
  • Compound exercises 
  • Degree of safety 


If you want your own questions answered on our podcast, then join our private Facebook group and share your ideas,  https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/






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A Thinkroom production - www.thinkroom.com

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we discuss common training mistakes and Christine's advice on not falling into the habits of not advancing, causing injury, and the best ways to progress.

  • Going too heavy too fast
  • Rest, eating, and protein intake 
  • Compound exercises 
  • Degree of safety 


If you want your own questions answered on our podcast, then join our private Facebook group and share your ideas,  https://www.facebook.com/groups/muscletalk

If you'd like to learn more about International Protein, visit https://www.international-protein.com/






------------------------------------------------------
A Thinkroom production - www.thinkroom.com

Ash Horton:
Welcome to Muscle Talk where you'll get world champion advice about nutrition and stacking on muscle. Our host, Christine Envall, she's a three time world champion bodybuilder and IFDB professional, a food scientist, and a founding co-owner of our podcast sponsor International Protein. In this episode, we discuss common training mistakes and Christine's advice of not falling into the habits of not advancing, causing injury and the best ways to progress. So Christine, Google also has listed common training mistakes and mistake number one is not getting stronger. Do you want to give us some feedback on that?

Christine Envall:
Well, I was a little bit confused as to how that's a mistake. It's more, I guess, a state like you're not getting stronger, is it you're obviously making some kind of mistake to not get stronger so that's just a little bit of semantics around words. But a reason why you're not getting stronger can be many, many things. Obviously, it can be that you're not trying to get stronger. You're not incrementing your weights, not overloading your weights. And we've talked about that in other podcasts where the way that you increase your weights, if you try to go from say 10 ... say you're doing 10 kilos on something, it might be a dumbbell curl and you suddenly try to go 20 kilos, I can guarantee that if 10 was just okay, 20 is going to be impossible for you.

Christine Envall:
So if you tried 11, not that there's likely to be an 11 kilo dumbbell around, but let's say 12 kilos, because most gyms tend to go in those two kilo increments. If you tried 12, then you should be able to get at least some reps on 12. So you would be pushing up to 12 rather than 20. So if someone's not getting stronger, maybe they're looking to do too much weight. Maybe they're not using the right kind of increments, but if they are doing that and they just cannot do one rep on the next weight, up from there, then you would have to look at, are they resting enough? Are they eating enough? Are they eating enough protein? So that could be some of the key things that you would look at to understand, like if they are progressing properly in terms of how they're trying to increase their weight, then you would need to look at those other factors to understand if that is why they weren't getting stronger.

Ash Horton:
Okay. So if someone progresses through and then they just hit a plateau somewhere, then you've got to look at, are they getting enough protein, resting, sleeping, all those sorts of thing.

Christine Envall:
Yeah, yeah. Having said that though, too, depending on how long they've been training, sometimes plateaus might hit and can hit for a substantial amount of time. I guess we're talking about earlier days when you would expect the strength to come up. At some point in time, you'll hit a point where your strength doesn't really go up much at all after you've been training for a number of years. That doesn't mean to say you can't progress though. So my training weight stayed very much the same probably for the last 10 years I was competing, but my body changed quite dramatically because there's an intensity with which you can train, and even just going in and doing those same weights to your maximum, if they are at your maximum, you are still are going to get gains, believe it or not. If you're not getting stronger but you're training under your maximum for that rep range, then that's where the growth doesn't come.

Ash Horton:
Okay. So mistake number two is using weights that you can't manage properly.

Christine Envall:
Okay. So that's, I guess, the flip of number one. Obviously, that's a mistake where you can end up getting an injury. So your form is going to be compromised. You're likely to not be able to control it, if something goes a little bit wrong. So we've talked about how free weights, for example, you're using a lot of stabilizing muscles because the weight, bench press is a good example, can move not only in the direction that you want it to, but it can go up towards your head or down towards your stomach. It can move in that plane. And as you push up, it can come up unevenly, depending on if the strength on either arm, they're either chest side and also cause your triceps do come into play, if that's even. 

Christine Envall:
And if your own coordination is even, now, if you're using a weight that's far too heavy and something slightly goes out of alignment, you're not able to control that weight and that's where things will suddenly, like you'll find your arm being taken off the line and basically ripping because you're ... even if you just bruise the muscle, you don't have control and you're ending up with it sliding to one side or something. It's not on here but one of the biggest mistakes I see is people not putting collars on weights.

Ash Horton:
Right. Yeah. 

Christine Envall:
Yeah. So assuming that they are going to be perfectly balanced and they're never going to accidentally push stronger with one arm and then all of a sudden I see everything topple.

Ash Horton:
Some gyms don't even have collars.

Christine Envall:
Oh good god. That-

Ash Horton:
The gym I currently go to, which I won't name does, not have a collar.

Christine Envall:
Wow, you better go buy some Ash and put them in your bag, because I don't like training without collars. And it doesn't matter how many years I've trained, I just don't trust that something isn't going to slip or go wrong and then I'm going to be in worse trouble. It's like a seatbelt.

Ash Horton:
Okay, the next one is adding weights too quickly.

Christine Envall:
Yeah. So again, that ties into using weights that you can't handle. If you add poundage too quickly, then you're going to end up in a situation where you're using weight that you can't really handle. Now, having said that, again, if you have a spotter that you trust and you're very confident in their ability and you are still working within a range that you're comfortable with, then sometimes you do need to force up the weight and go a little bit beyond where you're comfortable in terms of the how much you can handle for the normal rep range. You might be working in a range where you can barely manage it for six. You're normally supposed to be going eight to 10, but your spotter is going to get you through to that six to eight, and again, it's a great place to grow. Recommend it probably more for younger people, because again, you do recover quick, but sometimes you do need to do that. You do also need time for that to settle in. 

Christine Envall:
So once you're hitting a point where you're hitting your top weight comfortably at a certain rep range, I normally give it two or three more workouts then make sure I consistently hit that weight before going up from there. So I don't hit at once and okay, next week, I'm going up again. I'm going up again. That's where they're adding poundage too quickly because I believe you need to consolidate that strength, make sure you do actually have that strength. It wasn't just a freak day when you had one of those really, really strong days, but you consistently for two or three workouts are doing that new or that heaviest weight to your maximum reps, then you should be comfortable that that's when you're ready to move up in weight.

Ash Horton:
Okay. Yeah. Mistake number four is not taking all measures to avoid injury.

Christine Envall:
It's a very interesting one because like I just said in the last one, there is a degree of risk, I guess, that does come in pushing it to that nth degree where you're not sure if you can absolutely handle it, but you need to have trust in the person who's spotting you. Or maybe you're using a Smith machine where you don't need a spotter, but you've got that degree of safety that if something does go wrong, you can get yourself out of it. Which I guess is it's not taking ... it isn't a way taking a measure, I guess, to avoid injury, but it's like anything, when you look at a person doing some kind of amazing stunt and you think, what was it like the first time they tried to do that? There was a degree of risk that they could have totally failed on that and smashed their whole body. Weight training's a lot safer than that. But I think-

Ash Horton:
Motocross comes to mind.

Christine Envall:
I was thinking aerial skiing. You're thinking motocross, but yeah, I think that gives people the picture of what we're talking about, where the first time that person rides a bike off a ramp and flips that weight, they had to have some confidence that they could execute that. And they probably did. And they didn't necessarily crash to the ground on their first try. So to some degree, you do need to take that little bit of a risk that you can handle it, that your body will push, that you will do it, but yes, you do need to set it up so that you've got either safety bars on a Smith machine, a good spotter, things that allow you to not end up in big trouble. But if you took the absolute side of precaution and didn't even try, then you're not-

Ash Horton:
You never advance.

Christine Envall:
You never advanced. Exactly. But then you can also knee wraps, belts, gloves, straps, wraps, all those kinds of things, which help you to either grip a bar better, protect your knees, protect your back. That's probably one thing where having a good weights belt when you're doing a squat is super important because things can just go a little bit wrong. You slip a disc out. You're not ... Again, you just move ever so slightly the wrong way with a lot of weight up on your shoulders and it can tweak your back. And those are the kind of things that you want to be making sure that you are using whatever tools are available to you to avoid those kinds of things. So that's something equipment we haven't really talked a lot about probably, and maybe something we can talk about on a podcast, but a good weights belt, knee wraps, straps for holding to make sure you don't slip, the right shoes so that you don't have uneven foot positioning when you're squatting. 

Christine Envall:
A lot of the other things is not ... So footwear isn't as important other than to not drop a weight on your toe. As far as what you're wearing when you're doing a bench press isn't critical when you're squatting. It's a totally different story. And again, if you have existing injuries, then doing what you can to avoid those by strapping or wrapping properly. Warming up is another thing where we've talked a little bit about. Warming up in the motion of what it is that you're about to do, not in an unrelated thing, but making sure that the actual joint and muscle of what's about to get worked has some degree of work done through it via much lighter weights.

Ash Horton:
So the next mistake is focusing on the wrong exercises. What does that mean?

Christine Envall:
Well, obviously, if you're doing things which are totally say isolate or when you're trying to do some building and you need to have some type of compound exercise, which again, not in this particular podcast, but we have talked about in other podcasts, where you need to get some basics. So if someone's only doing isolatory work, potentially missing out on the overall better development of their body, also with isolatory exercises, it is quite hard to do enough weight to really stress the muscle to the way that you need it to. But when you do it at the back end of a workout after having done compound, you're pre fatigued so the amount of weight is obviously less that you can do, but it's less important than if you're just trying to get some really good foundational growth. So again, that could come back to missing out on compound exercises. Could also be doing the wrong exercises could totally mean-

Ash Horton:
Just on that. Should you do your compound exercises before or after?

Christine Envall:
Before. I always start with compound. 

Ash Horton:
Okay. 

Christine Envall:
Some people like to use certain more isolatory things to warm up on, but I don't count that in the workout. It's a warmup. So again, for example, leg extension to warm up the knee to then go and squat, but I wouldn't count those leg extensions necessarily. I would then do maybe a leg extension later on in the workout. I have always done the compound first. I'll do the bench pressing and the incline pressing, and then move on to flies or other type of more isolatory work with that. For example, having said that though on my biceps, I'd actually would do it different. So again, it's a thing where it can depend on the muscle group, but you want to maybe have your maximum strength at the start when you can go as heavy as possible. 

Ash Horton:
Okay. Mistake number six is not squatting, which I guess is that's a compound exercise, right?

Christine Envall:
Yeah. But again, now with legs, I've been many years when I've not squatted and many years when I've squatted. A lot of people have back issues. A lot of people have different knee issues and they don't squat. So squat is not the be all and end all of having a great set of legs. So with legs, it's a compound exercise, but fortunately, most leg equipment is compound. So 45 degree leg press hack squat, pendulum squat, vertical leg press. So many pieces of equipment are compound exercise working ... they work the legs in that way. It's really the leg extension, which is isolatory. So I would disagree that it's a mistake. I do like a good squat. I'm back on a squat cycle at the moment. But throughout my time, didn't squat every single workout. We talk about moving the compounds, keeping compounds in, but there's so many compound leg exercises that it's easy to keep something compound in without it having to be a squat.

Ash Horton:
Okay. So mistake number seven is not dead lifting.

Christine Envall:
Goes in the same category of squatting. I do not deadlift, at the moment. I have dead lifted. It's a powerlifting move. A lot of people now do things like rack deads or half deads. They don't do a full deadlift because of basically the impact of if you're putting that weight down between every set, there's a lot of jarring through the body. There's a lot of inefficient work for a bodybuilding move and what you're trying to develop in bodybuilding. I've used deadlifts for different things like building up an out of quad, not as well as back. I don't think it's essential to a great body in terms of bodybuilding. It has the risk that you actually thicken your waist. Lot of core work in there. So from a bodybuilding perspective, I don't think it's a mistake not to deadlift.

Ash Horton:
Okay. And the last mistake is insufficient effort.

Christine Envall:
100%.

Ash Horton:
Yeah.

Christine Envall:
100%. This is one where you can very easily tread water and a lot of the results that you don't get because you're going through the motions. You believe that you're training hard, you're probably training to a comfortably limit of your strength. So you feel like you're training hard. You feel like it's an effort to do that weight, but if you really pushed yourself, you actually would find that you could do more weight. I think that's probably where majority of the mistakes do fall into that where you just not really going to the nth degree. And I know myself, I feel like, oh, I'm training hard. But then when it comes to actually getting ready for a competition, it's a whole other level and mentally it's a whole other level. And to push up and stay at that point, it is hard. It is taxing. 

Christine Envall:
So I think that that would be my number one. And this includes why you're not burning enough calories for weight loss, because weight training is an incredibly powerful calorie burner, uses a lot of calories. Only if you're training up in that really, that extreme level of giving it pretty much everything that you've got, where your central nervous system feels fatigued as well as your muscle, as well as just the muscles fatiguing as well. So that one, 100%. I think if we really, really looked into ourselves and majority of the time, if we're not getting the gains that we want is because we're just sitting under that level of absolute effort and intensity. 

Ash Horton:
Awesome. Thank you very much, Christine. 

Christine Envall:
Thank you, Ash.

Ash Horton:
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