2. Starting too Heavy
Egos, how you ruin the gainz of so many. Put weight aside when you start a new program and use weight that will get a result while maintaining good safe form. You only need a challenging amount of stress/weight to create the response you want/need. In short, every set should not be a max effort set. If you are doing sets of 5 for instance, you should still have 2 reps “in the tank” on your first set then you would use the same weight for the subsequent sets, with each of the next sets “feeling” a bit harder.
3. Adding in too many accessory movements
This point is a continuation of point number one. More is not always better! Better is better. Your goal is to achieve results doing the least amount possible at this time. Most trainees are still in the novice to advance novice progression so it takes very little (relative) stress to produce results from training session to training session. You do not “want” to be in the advanced level progression because you will be training for multiple hours a day to induce the proper amount of stress. Enjoy the fact that you are not as close to your genetic potential as an advanced trainee. You can and will get gainz from simple programming. Save the advanced workouts and accessory movements for when you actually need them. They are called “accessory” for a reason, just remember that.
4. Improper Form
This could piggy back off of point 2, starting too heavy. Take the time to really learn and master the movements in a program (especially if they are new to you) before you start loading the hell out of them. Start videotaping your sets so you can critique yourself and your efforts. Learn and improve from each “bad” rep or set. Lastly please don’t rely on some yahoo from YouTube to teach you perfect form. Please learn it from a legit source, preferably in person.
5. Not understanding the program
If you can’t grasp why a program wants you to eat so much, rest so much, only workout 3 times a week, then you need to fully evaluate the science behind it and fully accept it. A good program will address nutrition and will likely have you change your macronutrient intake or even increase your calories. Obey intra workout rest times, 3-5 minutes of rest between a heavy set is critical for recovery and you’re ability to perform imminent sets. Correspondingly you do not need to train every day! Take your prescribed rest days, recover, and repeat.
6. Giving up too easy
This could be taken on many different levels. Giving up on the program, giving up under the bar, giving up outside your training, are all places you could fail physically and mentally. Your mental game has to be strong to follow a program. Knowing that each and every training session is going to be harder or more stressful than the last is a tough pill to swallow for some. Keep on your program till it stops working. (IE: Weight on the bar can’t be added or reps can’t be added.) Then and only then will you need a change. DO NOT EVER think that you can’t get this rep/set because your mind will sabotage your efforts. Stay strong on your nutrition, rest, hydration, and stress. All these factors can carry a mental and physical burden on you daily.
Hopefully any program you follow calls for weight to be added on the bar with each subsequent training session or at least week over week. This will be hard and will test your mental toughness. If you want something to be easy and results to be short lived then just go exercise.