I Made These

Mistakes So

You Don't 

Have To...

Image by Sarah Kilian

We have all been beginners once.


And to be fair to me, i’ve made every mistake imaginable in my journey from 15-25 years of age.


So let’s get stuck into it…

1) Chest Mondays Bro….


The classic trap of every gym goer every. 


Listening to magazines and the bloke at the gym with the most muscle who says:


“ Bro, its chest on Mondays, back Tuesdays, shoulders on Wednesday, arms of Thursday and legs on a Friday”


Oh how many years were wasted doing this split. 


As a natural lad, or not natural for that matter, we want to be stimulating hypertrophy as much as possible with adequate recovery.


Science suggests that depending on volume and individual recovery capabilities, muscles are able ready to go again between 48-72 hours …


So on the classic bro split, we probably stimulate each muscle group once per week. Where as the literature suggests for large muscle groups we can work them at a minimum twice and smaller muscle groups 3-4 times.


So what can you do instead?


Upper/Lower splits, Push/Pull/Legs splits or variations of these.


2) You Need To Grind/Hustle Bro


If you have a mentality like I did, overtraining or the thought of it made me think of ‘lost gains’ or the fact that I ‘wasn’t working hard enough’. 


This is categorically the wrong mentality. 


Yes, your time in the gym should revolve around high levels of intensity AND progression.


But you equally need to have time to REST.


REST? I hear you say? What's this? 


That was my thought process for years.


But the minute I began to rest more, was the turning point in my ability to grow muscle and progress my strength beyond belief. 


For the past 8 months I ran a 2 days training, 1 day rest split.


From this phase I developed my deadlift from 180kg x 6 to 230kg x 4… 


3) Supplements Might Be The Answer


This is probably the one I find very frustrating.


I got fully sucked in by supplement marketing, branding and all of that bullshit.


The bloke working in GNC was almost my hero. Terrible decision.


But what did I learn from it?


It's all still full of sh*t. Nothing has changed, it’s just adapted to fit new regulations. 


So be careful. Save your money.Buy food.

Supplements I would recommend are whey protein isolate which is probably classed as food. 


Creatine, supported by loads of research. 


A form of caffeine, as it is shown to improve your performance.


There are more elaborate fancy supplements that have some benefits such as beta alanine, L-arginine etc etc. But don’t reach for these until ALL of your other boxes are ticked. 


For health, make sure you are getting a high quality fish oil with high levels of DHA, a vitamin D3 supplement and potentially a multivitamin.




What came first? The man or the bench press? Who knows… 


Again, I fell into the trap of thinking the “Big 3” were the only way to train.


YES. You will at some point probably need to learn the motor pattern of the squat or bench press. You do not however, if the movement brings you little to no internal connection or progression stick to it for years. 


Machines are built for a reason, and arguably most of them provide you a better environment to generate the mechanisms of hypertrophy. As in a squat for example, as it is multi joint movement involving pretty much the whole body… There are a lot of moving parts that could fail before the muscles you're probably trying to work.


So instead, alternatives such as a hack squat, pendulum or even a v squat take out most of these other moving parts, allowing you to target the quads in a more stable and isolated environment. 


5) Thinking I Knew Everything


Image if I could have got help, a personal trainer or a coach that could have saved me probably 3 years of lifting. 


Maybe 10 years ago it was a little harder to find a good coach, and online coaching was only just starting. However, there were opportunities where I know I should have asked for help. But my gym bro ego got in the way and subsequently, damaged my progress.


So that's my top 5… 


Does it sound like yours?


If it does, Project Sparkes is willing to help. Literally send me an email at projectsparkes@gmail.com or on social media and I will give you the best answer I have…


Likewise, if you want to have a chat about working with Project Sparkes in our 1-2-1 premium online coaching service follow the sign up link below to book at call!

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