Icon-close Created with Sketch.

Select Your Free Samples

Samples you haven’t yet selected are marked in red. Feel free to skip this step and let us choose samples for you!

5 Strength Training Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Get Stronger

Strength training is an excellent way to boost your metabolism, build strength, improve bone density, and enhance fat loss.

However, there are some common mistakes that many individuals (both beginner and experienced gym rats) make during their strength training routines. These mistakes can slow down progress and even lead to injuries. To help you get the best results possible from your workouts, here are 5 common strength training mistakes to avoid:


#1 Not Warming Up


Resistance training done properly is stressful (in a good way) to your central nervous system and skeletal muscle tissue. In order to perform safely and push your mind and body to the limits, you need to prepare it properly.


For example, attempting to lift your 8-10 rep max as soon as you step into the gym likely won’t end well, especially if you have a decent level of strength. Your nervous system is firing maximally yet, which will limit your strength and power output, and your muscles, joints and connective tissues aren’t primed for the forces applied by the weights and the movement of the exercise, which can lead to discomfort and potential injury.


Now, let’s discuss what a proper warm up entails. It DOES NOT need to be some big, elaborate process where you walk/jog on the treadmill for 10 minutes, then foam roll for 10 minutes, and then do some dynamic stretches and corrective exercises for another 10 minutes. If you have the time to do all of that and still get in a hard training session, GREAT! Do what works for you.


But, the average working adult doesn’t have that much free time in their schedule.


If you’ve been sitting for most of the day, do 3-5 minutes of walking, jogging, or bodyweight circuits to increase core temperature, warm up your muscles, and enhance circulation. You may also want to have a serving of pre workout, such as 1UP Pre or Stim-Free Pre Workout, on your way to the gym.


Then, go to your first exercise and perform a warm-up set for 10-15 repetitions. Rest a minute or two, add a little bit of weight then perform another warm up set for 8-10 reps.


Depending on your working weight, you may be ready to begin your first working set. If you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter, then you may need another warm up set or two, depending on your working weight.


Remember, your warm up is to prepare your CNS and target muscle groups for the day for the intense work ahead. There’s no need to complicate or bloat your workout. You’re just wasting time and energy that could be devoted to your work, studies, or recovery (more on this in a moment).


#2 Changing Your Workouts Too Frequently


Muscle confusion was a HUGE trend beginning around 2004, thanks in large part to home workout programs that capitalized on the term. It was marketed as the key to preventing plateaus and continuous results. The idea was that if you keep doing the same exercises and workout all the time, your muscles will eventually adapt to the loads and progress will stall. This part is true.


However, to “confuse” your muscles, you don’t need to change your workout every week or even every 4 weeks, nor do you need to perform 6 different versions of a push up in a single workout to work your chest.


Simply increasing the weight you lift, performing more repetitions, or shortening your rest periods between sets are all ways to increase the challenge on your muscles (aka muscle confusion).


Keep in mind that some exercise variation is good. It helps prevent overuse injuries and can reinvigorate a stale training attitude. But, changing your workouts every week or two doesn’t really allow you to adapt to the exercise and improve on it. Your CNS spends more time trying to figure out how to do the exercise properly. Then, just when you have it and can really start overloading the exercise, you swap it for something else, and the cycle starts all over again!


A good rule of thumb is to stick with the same workout plan for 4-6 weeks, take a deload week, and replace a few exercises with ones you want to try. There’s no need to completely swap every exercise in your training program, especially if certain variations are working really well for you.


#3 Having Too Little Variety


Just as having too much variation in your workouts can be detrimental, so too can having too little variation. While minimalist training has gained popularity, the truth is that some variation is good, especially if you train the same body parts more than once per week.


Exercise variation serves a few purposes, including training the muscle from different angles and resistance profiles, enjoyment, and reducing the risk of overuse injuries.


As we mentioned above, you need to strike a balance of variety and consistency in your training so that you stay healthy and excited for your workouts while also maximizing your potential results.


There’s a sweet spot between doing only one exercise for a muscle group and 12. In a given training block, you’ll generally have between 3-5 “bread and butter” exercises that you perform for a specific muscle group. Using back as an example, you would perform chin ups, cable rows, lat pulldowns and inverted rows or reverse flys. This lets you hit the various back muscles from a variety of angles while being able to track progress from week to week, keeps your workout engaging and helps combat overuse injuries.


If you’re new to training or would like some help finding a training program suited to your goals and preferences, download the 1UP Fitness App where we offer FREE customized training programs (and nutrition).


#4 Skipping Rest Days


We live in a “more is better” society -- more money, more possessions, etc. This extends to fitness culture as well where many of us think that more training must equal more results. But, here’s the catch, there is a point where doing more will actually deliver less. As with everything in life, it’s about balance.


Do too little in the gym or too much in the gym and you won’t get the results you want. There’s a “Goldielocks” zone where you do the right amount, and then you don’t do anymore -- you rest & recover.


When we train hard, we deplete energy stores, burn calories, and break down muscle fibers. In other words, you’re not actually growing when you strength train. You’re breaking muscle fibers down so that your body can build them back stronger (and bigger).


This only happens in the presence of two things -- proper nutrition and rest.


Skipping rest (or eating poorly) absolutely will prevent you from getting the best results possible.


As such, make sure you include rest days in your routine (schedule them just like you do your workouts) and make sure you get enough quality sleep each night. Sleep is when the body does the brunt of the recovery, repair, and growth.


#5 Not Eating After Your Workout


Building off of the previous point, adequate rest and proper nutrition is essential to fueling the body’s recovery and growth processes. For those of us looking to get the best results possible, eating after a hard workout is critical.


Now, does this mean the instant you set the weights down you slam a protein shake? Not necessarily.


How quickly you should eat after your workout depends somewhat on when you at your pre workout meal and how big it was. Basically, the more calorically dense your pre workout meal was and the closer you ate it to your workout affects how soon you should eat after your workout.


Generally speaking, if it’s been 3-4 hours since you’ve eaten, then you want to eat your post workout meal as soon as you possibly can. This stops muscle breakdown and fuels muscle recovery.


If you struggle with low appetite after a hard workout (something many of us struggle with), then have a light snack, such as a whey protein shake or clear whey protein shake. Whey protein is easy on the digestive system, yet contains all of the essential amino acids (EAAs) the body needs to halt catabolism and fuel muscle protein synthesis. For added recovery, you may also want to consider mixing a post-workout supplement, such as 1UP Pure Rebuild, into your post workout shake. Pure Rebuild contains all nine EAAs the body needs to fuel protein synthesis alongside electrolytes and other proven ergogenic, including a full research-backed dose of creatine monohydrate and L-Glutamine.




Strength training is essential to a healthy, fit lifestyle. Use the tips outlined here to avoid these common strength training mistakes, so that you can make your workouts more effective, reduce the risk of injury, and get stronger while enjoying your fitness journey!


View full product info