Bodybuilding's Top 4 Injury-Causing Mistakes

Every man with serious bodybuilding goals wants to go H.A.A.M. in the gym. But if you go too hard too fast, injuries will happen. Maybe you've already been through an injury or several in your quest for epic gains, and you want to make sure it doesn't happen anymore. Maybe you've recently seen a friend get hamstringed by an injury of his own, and you don't want it to happen to you. Either way, you've come to the right place. Below, we'll explain the most common mistakes bodybuilders make while training, and how these cause injury. We'll also provide you with some advice to incorporate into your pre-and post-workout ritual to further protect yourself from injury.

Mistake #1: Constantly Doing the Exact Same Workout

If you have specific goals in mind, then there's nothing wrong with pursuing them. But trying to hit your target muscle groups by performing the exact same workout(s) over and over again, day in and day out, raises your injury risk in two different ways. For starters, it places strain, wear, and tear on the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints that are actively engaged in your routine. Secondly, the tendons, muscles, ligaments, and joints that aren't actively engaged will become weaker and less stable. No matter which way you slice it, this leaves you prone to injury on multiple fronts.

  • What you should do instead: Keep your routine relatively fresh. Obviously, you're going to want to stick with what works for you, and that's fine. But every once in a while, cycle off your regular workout routine and do something new which works different parts of your body. Slipping in a Yoga or a Cardio week about once per month can significantly reduce your injury risk.

Mistake #2: Failing the Warm-Up

A cold, tight muscle (and connected tissues) suddenly being thrust into exercise is a recipe for disaster. Most bodybuilders either dismiss the idea of needing a warm-up, or don't do their warm-up correctly.

  • What you can do instead: warm up! Start with no more than 10 minutes at a light-to-moderate effort on your favorite cardio machine. You can also jog, walk briskly, or ride a bike. After, once your muscles are warm, is the perfect time to stretch. Stretching a cold muscle is just as dangerous as lifting heavy with cold muscles.

Mistake #3: Lifting Too Much Too Fast

We all know how tempting it is to slap on that extra plate when you've been progressing like a beast and you want to both push yourself. We also know how fun it is to show off in a crowded gym. But how often does your form end up compromised as a result? How often are you struggling to get those last few reps in (or not getting them at all) due to excessive weight? Do yourself a favor, and resist the urge to showboat. Your progress is about you, not other's approval.

  • What you can do instead: track your progress. And don't be lazy about it - write it down! To be safe, make sure you don't add more than 5-10 lbs. per week on simple exercises, and no more than 10-15 lbs. per week for compound ones. Any more weight than that, and you're spiking your likelihood of an injury.

Mistake #4: Safety Last

We get it. You lift large. You're a man. You don't need no help from nobody. But really, the true test of a man is knowing when to be safe rather than sorry. And preventing gym injuries is one situation in which it pays to be the former rather than the latter.

  • What you can do instead: eliminate the "human error" associated with human spotters and use safety rails. But if your equipment doesn't support safety rails or your exercise prohibits them, then make sure you find a spotter (or spotters) you can trust. Preferably someone you are familiar with, and bonus if they are big and strong enough to reliably help you if you get into a bad situation with your weight.

The Best Way to Prevent Injury

Start by fueling your body with what it really needs to protect itself from hardcore workouts: Growth Factor. This workout stack's world-famous amino acid blend isn't just great for building more muscle and powering through your heaviest lifting days. Your body uses amino acids, like the ones in Growth Factor, for everything from building muscle to fortifying your connective tissues. And, like we discussed above, your connective tissues are the most vulnerable to injury. So make sure you're giving your body what it needs to protect those essential tissues - and keep on lifting!