Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Healthy Living
Stop Stress in Its Tracks With These 5 Easy Tips
Healthy Eating Tips
Golden Milk: The Antidepressant, Debloating Wonder Drink

Four Weight Lifting Mistakes to Avoid

Lifting weights at the gym is one of the best ways to a lean body. There are, however, a few common mistakes that many of us make when pumping iron and they could do more harm than good. Here are highlights of a list reported by Newsweek of the most common weight lifting mistakes:

  1. Eating Badly. If you aren't eating a proper diet, weightlifting may actually make you bulgy, not buff. Combining a fatty diet with squats and free weights, for example, can make your butt look bigger. Why? Because you are building glute muscles but keeping the fat layer the same size. So the muscles will push the fat forward and the butt will look bigger. But with a healthy, low-fat diet, you'll get lean muscles and burn the fat away.
  2. Underestimating Your Strength. A lot of people believe that using lighter weights and doing a lot of reps is the way to go, but that can just be a waste of your time. In order to build muscles you have to stimulate them, Joe DiAngelo, a New York City certified personal trainer, says.

There are a few more common mistakes so


  1. Trying to Be Macho. On the other hand, if you train with weights that are too heavy, you can strain or overtrain your muscles so they are not able to grow. It's also easier to injure yourself when you're working with heavy weights.
  2. Having Bad Form. If you're using the wrong form, you can lift weights for years and never see a positive difference. In fact, you can do more damage than good. If you're doing bicep curls incorrectly, for example, you may be using your back to swing. If that's the case, your biceps won't be stimulated, but you may put unnecessary strain on your back. Another common mistake? Not having a full range of motion.

Are you guilty of any of these? I often catch myself using too light of weight in order to avoid getting sore. I know I'm not doing anyone any favors with going lighter, but old habits can be hard to break.


plus_2_kid plus_2_kid 9 years
there's something weird about the perspective in that photo: Her head looks enormous....
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
You will not get built by lifting heavy weights. We don't have enough of those hormones to get built.
Allytta Allytta 9 years
i'm very weak when it comes to strenght training, and all the trainers always try and give me at least 5pound dumbell... and they just don't belive me i can't handle it.
codi-isabella codi-isabella 9 years
healthy fats are good!!! and emlod10 peanut butter is a healthy fat as long as its all natural! you can even increase it to 2 tablespoons (which is a serving size) if you want. I think the article is saying a fatty diet is more a diet rich in unhealthy fats, such as butter. but really everything in moderation!! and as far as weights go you can get both a workout doing lighter weights with more reps or heavier weights with less reps! but focus on form the most, or else either way you wont get what you really should out of it.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I hate seeing people at the gym using bad form and wondering why they are hurting themselves and not working their muscles properly.
SaraJeanQueen SaraJeanQueen 9 years
When I use dumbells, I have this habit of using 12.5 lbs (for like the last 2 years...) on this set of five exercises, consecutively, no breaks. (Bicep curls, shoulder shrugs, hammer press above head, flies, hammer curls). I know I should probably go up to 15 lbs and do them seperately, but I don't WANNA. It hurts :) However on weight machines I tend to push myself. I bench press as heavy as I can and still do 10-12 reps, same thing with tricep presses and leg extensions, etc.
AMP AMP 9 years
I use light weights too. I just don't want to get bulky! And I know most girls wouldn't, but I have high testosterone, so I would. I also sometimes swing with the momentum instead of lifting with the muscle b/c when we're going faster in class it just naturally happens. I try to slow down to do them right when I really think about it but usually I'm just trying to keep up with the count.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I think so many people hear different things as far as weight training. Some say lighter weights but more reps and then I hear heavier weights less reps. Then here's always doing the reps slower vs faster is more effective. Heck I think I've even seen several of opposing posts regarding the above in the last yr of being on here. I think all in all it comes down to whatever works for you, if you're seeing results do what works for you.
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
I also find that slowing down really engages my muscles.
latent latent 9 years
You're really not likely to change your frame using heavier weights, unless you train for it. It's simply not a part of feminine genetics to bulk up without serious devotion and training. As Renees3 said, toned (though I hate that word) does not equal bulky!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
If your form is off on the 3rd set then that's not the right weight for you. If it's a difference between doing 12 lbs weights and 1o, it's not a big deal. I think they're referring to the people that use the 5lbs for everything Always. I've been at my gym for 8 months and I see the same people using these Teeny weight and not getting results. They're scared to use the bigger weights so are basically wasteing their time. I just don't understand why people still think that lifting weights will make them big and bulky. Toned is not Bulky! But really different things work for different people so if you're doing something and it's working, That's ok in my book.
LesleyP825 LesleyP825 9 years
Number 1 totally makes sense to me! I used to belong to a gym that was next to a liquor store and across from McDonald's, Burger King and Taco Bell. I would see the same people all the time working out and I would think to myself, "How come they are not in better shape if they are working out like that?" Then I would see them coming out of the liquor store, butt hanging out of their mouth with a 6 pack under their arm. Then they would get in their car and drive over to one of the fast food places. Too funny!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
latent it's not HARD for me to do by any means, I mean I'm in decent shape and weigh 115lbs. I just refuse to be the girl lifting 30 lbs dumb bells and getting "built." I have a small and slender frame and would like to keep it that way. I just don't do 12s because I like to do multiple sets, not just 3 and find with 12's I don't get through them with the proper form as well as I do with a wee bit lighter weight. To me I'd rather do an extra set with a tad bit lighter weight with proper form than cut back my sets from 5 to 3 and find my form a little "off."
lana7128 lana7128 9 years
i noticed last summer when i was eating poorly that the more weights i did the bigger i got! I wanted the weights to tone me not make me bigger! that makes a whole lot of sense!
latent latent 9 years
aimeeb, you should be able to lift 12lb weights with no issue. That's not anything particularly heavy. :)
HipMom HipMom 9 years
Good article! I think if weight loss is the goal, even healthy fats and healthy starches should be a bit lower than a maintenance/muscle gain plan. I find that combining a diet that is very high in fibrous veggies and lean protein but lower in starches, sugars and fats works best when I'm concentrating on preserving lean body mass and shedding fat. I do think that it becomes twice as important to take Omega 3 supplements in that case though, so the body still has a good supply of healthy fats.
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Fats are needed in your diet. Healthy fats are super important. When they say a FATTY diet, I don't think they're referring to some PB before a workout or olive oil. They're talking burgers and fries!! Also as for weights, I believe a LOT of women use too light. You should be Pushing to get through that last set. And if you've been using the same weight for months you need to bump it up. Personally I've been adding more weight lately just to give myself that extra push. I do my lunges with hand weights, squats with a bar and am trying to move from pushups on my knees to regular push ups. It's all about Challenging yourself, not just sticking with what you can do. You have to push and get those microscopic tears so your muscles can build!
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Yesterday I lifted more weight than usual. Today I can really feel it in my butt, I am loving it!!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Hahaha, oh the visual I just got. ;) I use 10 lbs and after my first set or two feel resistance. It's not like I'm using something uber light like a 4 lb weight and not feeling anything you know? I'm afraid if I went up to 12 lbs I'd just end up straining myself instead of being able to give it 100%.
emlod10 emlod10 9 years
question - i like like a tablespoon of peanut butter on an english muffin before i work out. peanut butter sure isnt low fat should i resort to something else if i'm lifing weights and doing squats?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
yea same here aimeeb. Like if you didn't want to be a buff muffin haha.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I always thought lighter weights more reps was a good thing. I don't mean SUPER light weights, just maybe lightER you know?
sundaygreen sundaygreen 9 years
What about healthy fats (olive oil, fatty fish, nuts etc)? Good tips!
GRACEDBYGRIT Athletic Apparel Honors Chelsea Hill
Everybody Dance Nonprofit Dance Studio
Ax Throwing
Tips to Gain Weight
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds