6 Mistakes to Avoid When Building Muscle

Lazar Angelov
Lazar Angelov
Fitness Model
muscle building mistakes

Maybe you’re putting in a lot of energy and time towards building muscle. But after all your efforts, you’re still not seeing any significant results. It might look like all your efforts are going down the drain. However, don’t give up just yet.

The first step to build muscles is to do the right exercises. But this is not all that it takes. The things that you do before, during and after your workout matter a lot too. They can be the determining factor as to whether you will build muscle or not.

We have identified six muscle building mistakes that prevent people from achieving results.

Skipping Basics

A lot of people who body build think that exercising specific parts of their body only will help them gain muscle in those areas. However, this is not true. Doing exercises like bench presses and squats is ideal because they help you work out multiple muscles at the same time.

According to Allen Hedrick, C.S.C.S., who works at the Air Force Academy as the head strength and conditioning coach, when your body gets all stressed out during your workouts, your pituitary glands produce more of the growth hormone in order to compensate for all the energy used up.

This doesn’t mean that isolation exercises are not good, but you should not skip doing basic moves and go straight into doing isolation exercises.

Analyze your workout routine and try to ensure that at least more than half of your exercises consist of compound moves and not just isolation exercises.


Your body needs time to recover from intense exercises. This should be about 48 hours. If you exercise too much, you will end up using most of your extra calories for physical activities. This leaves very little fuel for your body to rebuild itself and recover.

To fix this, you need to have balance. Reduce the days you work out to only three times a week and also reduce your cardiovascular exercises to just 20 minutes for each session. Observe how your body responds to this new routine. If cardio is indeed using up too many of your calories, when you cut back you might start seeing yourself develop more muscles. You might also start lifting much heavier weights.

Smoking and Drinking

By smoking, you sabotage your own strength training program. Smoking causes a buildup of carbon monoxide in your body. This inhibits proper circulation of oxygen in your body, more so your muscles. When this happens, your muscles won’t be able to contract, therefore; they won’t be able to work out efficiently.

Drinking alcohol on a regular basis could lead to your muscles being covered with lard. It could also make it difficult for growth hormones to work. Moreover, regular alcohol consumption can lead to low testosterone levels, which can hamper muscle growth.

The solution to this would be for you to quit smoking. Focusing your attention on exercise instead will redirect your energy and can help you overcome the psychological effects of quitting smoking. You can also limit your alcohol intake to one or two glasses a day. You don’t have to stop taking alcohol completely.


You need to eat after you have just completed your workout. At this moment, your body needs to convert glucose to glycogen. If you don’t eat, then your body will break down amino acids and convert them into glucose.

The solution to this is to avoid starving yourself after a workout. Plan to eat a high carbohydrate meal with proteins.

Lack of Sleep

You need to get ample sleep in order to give your muscles time to recover. If you exercise without getting enough sleep, you will only manage to exercise at a low intensity, but you will feel as if you are working your muscles at a high intensity, which is not true. This means that your muscles wouldn’t get enough stress to make them grow.


Taking too much sugar will make you feel full and prevent you from eating nutrient-rich foods. Therefore, your body won’t have enough fuel to use during workout sessions. If you want to learn more about the best foods for building muscle, make sure to check out my article 6 Best Foods For Building Lean Muscle. See you there!


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