Common Mistakes Advanced Lifters Make — Hunt Fitness

#1: Living in a Calorie Deficit (Or Surplus)

When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, it’s all about energy balance. Energy balance is the relationship between calories consumed through food and drink (energy in) and calories used for all daily functions (energy out). When the goal is to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than your body requires to maintain weight. On the other hand, when the goal is fat loss, you need to eat fewer calories than your body requires to maintain body weight.

#2: Too Much Jumping Around Looking for the “Best” Program

Optimal training to build muscle and gain strength can get boring. The most effective training programs involve the same basic exercises repeated consistently and progressively over time. I understand the appeal to jump on new programs. I mean, when your favorite fitness influencer drops a new program, you have to show support, right?

Program Hopping

Program hopping is when you move from program to program, often without finishing them and never long enough to maximize progress. Sometimes it stems from a fear of missing out, but other times just plain boredom. For the advanced lifter, the desire to find the “best” program is a detriment to success.

Not Having Concrete Goals

To make progress as an advanced lifter, you have to move in one direction for a long time. To do that, you can’t frequently change goals.

You Are Not Bruce Lee

“Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.”

#3: Lack of Intensity and Form Discipline

Calling someone out on a lack of discipline is a touchy subject. In my opinion, many of us in the fitness world have above-average discipline. It’s not easy to go to the gym and eat well for years on end. With that being said, I do see areas where some advanced lifters lack discipline — with intensity and form.

#4: Not Training Specific Enough

Understanding how to leverage specificity may be one of the most underrated aspects of training for advanced lifters. Typically, when we talk specificity, it is in regards to strength. However, specificity is relevant for muscle building as well.

Bringing Up Weak Muscle Groups

When it comes to bringing up weak muscle groups, specificity training cycles are highly advantageous. Research shows 10–20 sets per muscle group per week is the sweet spot for hypertrophy. However, this is not a hard rule that needs to be followed at all times. Every muscle group does not always need between ten and twenty sets at all times. If you have less back work for a month or two, it will not waste away. In fact, you can maintain muscle on less volume than you think.

Specificity in Specificity in Volume and Intensity

One of the benefits of working with a coach vs. just following an online training program is getting a specific amount of volume and intensity you need. Even within the hypertrophy guidelines, there are individual differences. Some people will respond better to higher volume, while others can get away with less. Some people need frequent heavy singles to get stronger, while others respond best to rep work. There is an art to quality training programming. In general, we only want to train as hard as we need to for progress. Doing more just for the sake of it is a waste of energy.

#5: Neglecting Recovery

Last but not least, recovery. Recovery has become somewhat of a buzzword in the last few years. It’s not uncommon to see lifters using massage guns, ice baths, and chiro adjustments but never take a rest day or a deload week. Look, it’s ok to be obsessed with training. I am personally giving you permission. I’m obsessed too. I hardly ever want to take any time off from hard training. But, I’m not just obsessed with training; I’m obsessed with progress too.



Fitness and Nutrition Coach. Powerlifter. Owner of

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