Top 5 Mistakes When Trying To Get Strong

In this blog, I want to talk to you about my top 5 mistakes my clients make or used to make when trying to get strong.

I’m talking about the kind of strength you see online and you’re like “Oh DAYUM they STRONG!”

Getting strong is simple in theory, the reality of it is different.

Most people make it too complicated and can’t just stick to the basics.

I’ve spent the last 12 years on a journey of getting strong and creating strength for my clients in every way possible… let your mind wander there.

I was doing a check-in with one of my private clients and he asked me what he was doing wrong in regards to getting strong.

I thought to myself, without giving him a million things lets just condense this into a list of my top 5.

Mistake 1: Programming Hopping

Jumping around programs is like getting a new girlfriend every few weeks, feels so good for a bit and then you realise bitches be crazy and you’ve wasted a few weeks.


No real progression for anyone.

If you’ve committed to a 4, 6 or 8-week training cycle, make sure you finish the damn program because the full benefits of the program will only come by completing the whole thing.

Not a ¼, not ½ and not doing random sessions now and then.

Commit to a program for an extended period of time.

Commit to an amount of sessions per week.

Hit your damn numbers.

Mistake 2: Not Training Above 80% Of Your 1 Rep Max.

This means going heavy and not bitching out.

To train above 80% of your one-rep max you need to know what your one rep max  is or at least have an estimated number.


Because at this percentage you start recruiting type 2 muscle fibres, these are responsible for greater levels of strength & power.

Ever seen footage of those college weight room sessions and you see those swole as shit athletes throwing, jumping, lifting and running like crazy?

You can bet your ass they are type 2 fibre dominant.

Mistake 3: Training Too Much

I love an enthusiastic client, they’re the best.

They’re like “Yes Tim give me 7 programs, 4 diets and I’ll train 2x a day for 7-days week”.

Chill….the…fuck…out…. You can’t sustain that.

A lot of my clients think they’re Superman or David Goggins and they’re not, you can push at great intensities for a short duration but long-term it will catch up with you and it will hurt.

I would suggest a training frequency of 4-5 sessions per week if you’re an advanced trainee.

If you’re not an advanced trainee 3-4 per session a week is great, just make sure they’re not back to back or with the same body parts split on consecutive days.

Otherwise, there is no room for recovery which is the main factor in progression for the long-term.

Mistake 4: Poor Technique

Seen an ugly snatch?

Got you thinking there for a bit.

But seriously, I know you’ve seen someone squatting big and looking like they were going to fold in half.

If it looks like a car crash, it’s probably not great technique.

Great technique is one of the main underpinning factors in ensuring strength is increasing, the poor or inconsistent technique is like building a house on shitty foundations…. It just won’t last.

I always say to my clients make sure every rep is like a test, the test is performed with your best effort always.

If it feels like shit, it probably looks like shit and the technique is off.

Unsure? Why not film yourself. 

Mistake 5: Increasing Weights Too Quickly

I’ll use another relationship analogy for this one.

Imagine you meet a girl on tinder and on your very first interaction you ask what colour her underwear are….

You’re going to get a slap 9 times out of 10 (be sure to marry the 1 out of 10). 

You’re progressing way too fast son, you will get shot down faster than you can say ABC.

The same goes for training, slow progress is the best progress.

It’s maintainable.

One of my mentors Charles Poliquin would say you should get a 2- 4% increase week to week on a training program.

Once you cannot make a linear progression, it’s time to change the program.

Around 2- 4% is the key number for increases in weights week to week, I suggest these numbers for our Olympic lifting variations and powerlifting movements (squat, deadlift & bench-press).

For your accessory exercises, I like to just progress on the actual weights itself or adding in extra reps from week to week.

If you’re not getting stronger, it’s likely you’re messing something up.

Getting strong can be tricky if you’ve got  a weak coach, let me help you make it super simple. 

Slide into my DM’s for a chat. 

Thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts. 

Share on Social Media:

Related Posts