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Get Fit: 5 Progress-Producing Training Solutions

Correct these common training mistakes and you’ll get bigger, stronger, and leaner much quicker.
James + Therese

Training “smart” means more than just knowing how to use the machines in your gym correctly. You have to think critically about your workouts, and make sure everything you do has a specific purpose and will get you closer to your goals. Here are five common mistakes guys make when training and how to fix them.

1. Not Using the Right Reps

You have to vary reps based on the exercise and what muscles you’re training. Upper-body pressing moves train fast-twitch muscle fibers, so they should mainly be done with lower reps (sets of six to eight). Your leg muscles are designed for endurance, so sets of 12 or more reps are appropriate.

Trainer Q&A: What Rep Range Should I Be Using >>>

2. Setting Up to Bench-Press Improperly

Benching with your back flat and elbows flared 90 degrees can hurt your shoulders and limit the weight you can lift. Pull your shoulder blades together and down and arch your back. tuck your elbows near your sides as you lower the bar, and drive your feet into the floor as you press.

Injury Free: Correct Posture and Exercise Form >>>

3. Doing the Wrong Supersets

Pullups and deadlifts are great back builders, but pairing them up will weaken your grip, hurting your performance on subsequent sets. Avoid pairing ab work with heavy compound lifts like squats or pressing—it will fatigue your core and make you more prone to injury.

Supersize Your Workouts With Supersets >>>

4. Stretching the Wrong Muscle at the Wrong Time

Stretching the muscles you’re training between sets can temporarily weaken them. A better idea is to stretch the muscles that oppose the ones you’re training, such as stretching your pecs in a door frame between sets of seated rows. That makes for stronger back training.

7 Rules to Improving Flexibility >>>

5. Not Lifting for Your Body Type

Taller lifters have a disadvantage when moving big weights because their levers (limbs) are so long. If you’re 6' or taller, try shortening your range of motion on the squat, bench press, and pullup to keep the tension on the target muscles and prevent you from going into the range where you’re at your weakest.

Lift For Your Body Type >>>

BONUS: Train Through The Pain

3 Tips to Dealing with Injuries and Continuing Your Progress >>>

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