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Muscle-Building "Landmines": 3 Mistakes You Should NEVER Make!

By Jeff Anderson Contributor
Updated: August 07, 2008
With all the hard work and sweat you put into your exercise regimen at your local iron jungle, the last thing you want to do is short change your gains by making these 3 common mistakes...

1. Not setting short term, realistic goals

It's easy to get sucked into the supplement company ads promising gains of "20 lbs in the next 3 days!". while posing a steroid-using pro behind a bottle of "magic pills".

Unrealistic expectations only lead to frustration...which leads to NEVER making the gains you're after.

Although there are programs that will allow you to make above average gains, average bodybuilders should shoot for about 2 lbs of lean muscle mass per month.

This may not seem like much, but at the end of a have an extra 24 lbs. of LEAN MUSCLE on your body! Picture THAT in your bathroom mirror!

2. Not tracking your progress

Are those extra pounds on the scale coming from the muscle you've been working so hard at developing...or are they added FAT from your increased calories?!
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Sure you need to eat more in order to grow, but unless you know precisely the right balance of what to take in versus the sweat you're putting in at the gym, the "mass" you put on may be closer to your stomach than your chest.

Calculating your body fat readings and comparing your results with previous readings will tell you EXACTLY where your gains are coming from.

You can measure your own readings at home or check with your local fitness center on the services they provide.

3. Sacrificing form for ego

A quick question for you...

Which is more important...impressing the "no-necks" at the gym for 45 minutes a day with the amount of weight you can load up on the bar...or impressing your friends and coworkers the other 15 hours of the day with a body you can really show off?

If you chose the latter then make sure you're using a weight that's only enough to allow you to reach muscular failure at your target reps with the strictest of form.

Loading too much weight on the bar forces you to "cheat" by depending on other muscles to do the work your "target" muscles can't.

By using the exercise's full range of motion and focusing on the muscles designed for the movement, you're guaranteed to stimulate deep growth that will pay off well after you've left the gym floor.
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