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5 Workout & Nutrition Mistakes Sabotaging Your Gains!

Slow Or Zero Growth!

Posted by Scott_Herman - June 8th, 2018

By far the most frequent comment I get, is “How Do I Stay Motivated To Work Out?” And I’ve got to be honest, the answer is usually ALWAYS the same. RESULTS are my only motivator, and it should be yours too. Well…wearing all my Just Saiyan gear kind of helps as well, not going to lie! It makes me think that if I keep pushing myself as hard as I can, maybe I’ll turn super Saiyan…A guy can dream right?!  But seriously, think about this for a second…

If what you’re doing yields RESULTS, and if you can clearly see those results, isn’t that all the motivation you need? If, on the other hand, what you’re doing provides NO results, it doesn’t matter what it is, you’re still going to be demotivated to keep on doing it, even if it is something you like. Now there are some problems I can’t fix, but a problem I CAN FIX is to make sure that you are MAKING CONTINUOUS GAINS by avoiding these 5 mistakes!

Mistake #1: Your Pre-Workout Nutrition Is BAD!

Believe it or not, meal timing can impact how hard you train. Take me for example, if I eat WAY too much too close to my workout my body feels like it weights a million pounds. I am super sluggish and sleepy, and it makes sense because your body is literally trying to allocate energy to digest all the food you just ate AND lift heavy weights! It’s like you’re cutting your energy expenditure in half. However, if I eat, say, 4 hours before my workout, by the time I go to train I’m hungry again, and my energy levels are OK, but not optimal. The perfect time for me is about 90 minutes to 2 hours before I train. Everyone is different, and it may take some experimenting to figure out what works best for you.

But WHAT should you be eating? Ideally, you want to be having a meal that combines protein AND complex carbs and a good example of that would be something like chicken and roasted potatoes, or rice and beans.

However, if you DON’T have the time to prepare or even consume a meal like this (probably because you’re at work), in that case, you can choose to have a meal that’s mainly comprised of simple carbohydrates 20 – 30 minutes before you workout.  Your body will be able to break down the simple carbs much faster, and you won’t get that sluggish feeling when you go to train. It’s not your BEST option, but it’s still superior to lifting on an empty stomach, in my opinion. A good example would be 2 bananas or apples right before you workoutm or a high calorie protein bar would work as well. In fact, as you know I train super early in the morning now. If I wake up late, I grab a BSN CRISP BAR and an apple and just run out the door chomping away as I drive to the gym. So there is always a solution!

Mistake #2: You’re Training Too Long

Training for 2 or 3 hours at a time is WAY too long.Granted, there are some exceptions, if for example you’re doing Push, Pull, Legs or powerlifting program where the rest periods are much longer. But even still, you should always be evaluating your workouts to ensure you’re maximizing your time. If you’re bro-split (e.g. a chest and triceps workout), then 3 hours is just too long. You could easily hit chest and triceps in 60 – 90 minutes max.

As a NATURAL lifter, your body can only handle so much at once, and it will get to a point where you’re just beating a dead horse. You can only train so long before your muscles are done getting beaten up. In fact, I bet if the majority of you cut down your total workout time right now, you would see more results.

So stop checking your phone, stop talking to your gym buddies between every single set, and maybe even reduce your rest periods to 60 – 90 seconds max in-between every single set. Also, remember this as we have talked about it before, and I will continue to say it. You only need 2 – 3 exercises per body part MAX.  So, if you are training your chest with 7 different movements, stick to 5 – 6 sets of the THREE that offer the most bang for your buck. That means MORE COMPOUND movements and less ISOLATION movements.

Mistake #3: Program Hopping

This might be the 3rd mistake, but it’s usually the number one thing holding back those of you who have been stuck in a muscle building plateau for a long period of time. It’s also the reason why beginners drop out of the gymafter 6 or 8 months of training. To see results you need to measure PROGRESS, and you can’t measure progress if you’re constantly changing your program. The only time you should change your program is when you STOP seeing results. That could be 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or 3 – 4 months. It depends on your level of fitness, and how long you have been training.

So instead of WINGING it every time you step into the gym, plan ahead, create a program, and stick to it for at least 2 or 3 months or until you stop seeing results from it.  I suggest that if you’re a program hopper and still considered a beginner or intermediate lifter, start with my PUSH, PULL, LEGS program. It will help you build a solid foundation that will get you ready for anything.  If you’re a bit more of an advanced lifter, I suggest you start with my CHEAT & RECOVER program.  There is nothing like it anywhere, and it will absolutely destroy your body and rebuild it to be bigger and better!

Mistake #4: Using Momentum The Wrong Way

This might seem weird, but there are two kinds of momentum. There’s the momentum that people use in the gym that eventually gets them seriously injured. Then there’s momentum smart lifters use to overload their muscles and spark faster strength gains, like you see in my Cheat & Recover program.

Let’s take pull-ups for an example, which by the way is an AMAZING exercise for your overall back and biceps development. If you’re using momentum for KIPPING REPS, you’re not sparking muscle growth. You’re just getting really, really good at swinging your body around. The CORRECT way to use momentum would be to swing and thrust your body up and over the bar, and then CONTROL THE NEGATIVE.  Remember that you are not only STRONGER, but break down the most muscle tissue for regrowth in the negative. So a motion like KIPPING will never yield the kind of results in terms of muscle growth that you’re looking for.

PROPER Momentum is not only acceptable, but it’s ENCOURAGED in many exercises, including the Barbells Biceps Curl, T-Bar Row and even a Shoulder Press. But only as an ADVANCED tool for ADVANCED lifters who have hit a plateau, or used as a smart tactic for INTERMEDIATE lifters who are in pursuit of faster muscle and strength gains. This is kind of the foundation as to which my Cheat & Recover program was built around.

Mistake #5: Listening To The Wrong Advice

I feel like this mistake never really used to exist until the explosion of social media.  In the past, if a trainer sucked or a magazine gave bad advice, it wouldn’t last long, or the trainer wouldn’t have many clients. But with social media your “knowledge” is based on first how you LOOK, then how many people FOLLOW YOU, and then the actual FACTS behind the advice you’re giving.  Most people usually don’t make it past the first one, which is how you look. That’s why YouTubers like V-SHRED still have an army defending him, even though he clearly has no idea what he‘s talking about, and he ripped off all of Jeff’s content. Also, a lot of you have asked me if I like Jeff, and I do.  He’s really smart and down to Earth, he gets it, he has great information. But that doesn’t mean that we have to agree on EVERYTHING. If every trainer agreed on everything, there would just be one book of training.  

Difference of opinion is what helps us all grow as trainers, and it should be encouraged. But YOU need to hold yourselves accountable before you decide to blindly follow the advice of someone online, including me. Take a few hours and fact check the things that these people are saying. At least this way you’ll know if the advice you’re getting is good or not. Any idiot can take low dosages of testosterone, get jacked and ripped, call it summer shredding, and then try to sell you a cookie cutter workout program and meal plan. I have seen it over and over again since I started making videos in 2009.


The last thing I want is you quitting fitness, because the advice you were receiving was terrible, and you didn’t get any results. So whether you use my programs or someone else’s, I am happy as long as you are getting RESULTS!

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hey Scott I'm trying to find an article for my health homework and I would like to get this one for my homework. Do i put your name for the author of this article?

Now you all know what to avoid to maximize your gains!!!!!