1-ARGUING ONLINE WHEN YOU SHOULD BE IN THE GYM
Debating with forum know-it-allsor anyone for that matteris a revolving door that inevitably ends up confirming your own bias. Plus, last time I checked, the best way to "win" a debate online is either:
- post more links to (possibly ill-informed) PubMed studies faster than the other guy; or
- make the last post, which also usually happens to be the nastiest.
Notice how neither of those options means winner is actually correct. The person who has nothing better to do with his time always wins. Don't be that loser.
2-DIETING TOO EXTREMELY
What's an extreme diet? To me, it's anything drastic enough that your training quality suffers as a result. Low-carb can be extreme, as I just discussed, but so can low-fat. So can low-cal. Low-hydration and low-protein may seem like obvious no-no's, but more people than you might think are guilty of cutting boththe latter as part of an overall calorie drop
Once and for all: Training hard allows you to burn the fat off your body, not starve it off. One type of transformation has a decent chance of lasting; the other bounces back with a vengeance.
3-TOO MANY DIET FOODS
Egg whites, chicken breasts, plain rice, unseasoned broccoli, whey proteinoh my gawd, I'm getting sick just typing this out. Come on people. One of the best decisions I made was to hire a professional chef to teach me how to cook. After meeting her just a few times, I hired her again for 20 more lessons.
Dieting isn't hard if you know how to prepare delicious food. It's healthier and prevents you from losing all your friends because of your nasty gas.
4-HANG AROUND GUYS WHO TRAIN LIKE PANSIES
Have you heard of the law of five? Basically, you're the average of the top five guys you hang out with most. So if your top five friends are broke, your finances are probably a wreck, too. If your top five friends are divorced, Splitsville probably isn't too far over the horizon for you. If your top five friends are fat, then the only "visible abs" you see are on Bodybuilding.com .
5-THINKING YOU CAN GAIN SIZE WHILE KEEPING ALL SIX ABS POPPING
I talked about this a lot in "10 True Confessions of a Pro Fitness Model." The only guys who can stay shredded and grow at the same time are genetic freaks and, of course, those supposed "fake natty" lifters everyone loves to call out online. If you want to gain size, get comfortable with a four-pack while you provide your body with more fuel to train harder and grow. I gave up on the dream of having abs all year 'round a long time ago because frankly, I love pizza and wine too much. They're never too far away when I need them, though.
6-CHEAT MEALS YOU HAVEN'T EARNED
As I've said before, I believe that until you achieve 10 percent body fat for a man, or around 16 percent for a woman, your body has not earned a cheat meal. I admit, however, that scheduling one treat meal per week can be a great psychological tool for many clients I've worked with, so this one isn't black and white. But even then, you've got to earn that cheat meal with plenty of hard work during the week.
7-NOT GETTING BLOOD TESTS
It boggles my mind how fitness people have no problem spending thousands of dollars on supplements and gym memberships each year, but they won't spend a penny to see what's really going on in their bodies. It's actually simple to analyze things like hormone levels. These hormones are ultimately responsible for whether your efforts in the gym are productive, or you just bust your ass to no place fast.
Let me spell this out: If your chemistry is offmeaning your hormones are subparyou can have the perfect macros and training split, hire the most expensive trainer, and take the best supplements, and you'll still spin your wheels with nothing to show. Get your blood analyzed at least once or twice each year. You'll thank me.
8-WORRYING ABOUT THE COMPETITION
Other people aren't the reason you lose. If you don't win, it's because you're not ready to win, whatever the reason. Take your lumps, learn the lessons you still need to learn, and get back to work.
9- SKIPPING MEALS
Meal frequency doesn't matter blah blah blah. If we're talking about building an elite physique, the only guys who really believe this live in textbooks or are certified keyboard warriors. The rest of us know that skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do.
When you're living a hard-training lifestyle, waiting too long to eat forces your body to eat into muscle tissue for fuel. Your blood sugar drops and the temptation sets in to eat any food in sight. I've raided bulk sections at the grocery store at odd hours of the night after skipping meals. Plan your meals ahead and join the rest of us in the real world.
10-DEVELOPING A PHOBIA ABOUT CARBS
Carbohydrates are the fuel you need to kick ass in the gym, no matter how long you're there. But if you're there for a long (>45 min) workout, as many aspiring fitness models are, carbs are even more important, because they're muscle-sparingmeaning your body will use them rather than resort to breaking down amino acids for fuel.