Here’s a nice resource from our friends at ASD Performance titled, 4 Biggest Strength Training Mistakes. It’s a good overview for athletes, active individuals, and Strength & Conditioning professionals.
Mistake 1: Focusing too heavily on assistance exercises
Focus on the the core (main) lifts – the ones that activate your largest muscle groups – like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses (there are lots of others). These exercises are functional (they will improve the way you feel, function, and perform) and yield a high return on your exercise “investment.” Think of assistance exercises – like biceps curls – as supplemental exercises. It’s okay to incorporate them into your workout as long as they’re not the primary focus.
Mistake 2: Not addressing weak points
Everyone has strengths and areas for improvement. It’s easy to avoid exercises you don’t like or exercises that focus on your weak areas. Not addressing your weak points can lead to functional strength imbalances and an increased risk of injury. Recognize your weak(er) areas and incorporate exercises that will help turn them into strengths or, at the very least, decrease the disparity between your strengths and weaknesses.
Mistake 3: Skipping the deload phase
Like our friends at ASD Performance, we also refer to deloading/unloading as “active recovery.” There are lots of different – evidence-based and effective – theories and strategies for the active recovery phase. The basic concept is this: You shouldn’t train with heavy weight, high intensity, high frequency, and high volume, all the time. Your recovery phase is crucial to maximize short- and long-term gains, as well as overall physical well-being. Every so often – and at regular intervals – you should decrease your training intensity, frequency, and volume for some finite period of time (e.g., the last week of each three-month cycle).
Mistake 4: Light weight with too many reps
This strategy may work well for your short-term, active recovery phase but, if you want to get stronger and more powerful, you’ve got to train heavy with low repetitions. This means working with loads of about 80%-90% of your one-rep max (1 RM) at a rep range of about 3-6 reps per set, while maintaining proper technique.
Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!