The first day at the gym. Your first encounter with the weights and the first time you actually felt a pump running through you. Pretty amazing day wasn’t it? But beginners make mistakes regularly that can sidetrack your gains for months and even years. Read the most common mistakes to avoid in the gym.
1. Going too heavy
This is at number one because everyone thinks the heavier the weights the quicker the gains. While this may be technically sound, you’ve just started to experience what resistance training feels like so even moderate weight will do the trick here. Go heavier only when you can easily do 15 reps of a said exercise.
2. Not using proper form
This is the second point but it is the MOST important one. I see numerous seasoned people staying the same year after year but when they bench press or squat, they rarely perform the proper movements. Repeat after me; a full range of motion is necessary to experience true muscle building. Not only that, your joints will also be under tension if you jerk the weights. Always use proper form. That’s the true road to make everlasting gains!
You go to the gym to lift. Not to talk. Simple as that. I’ve so many men chatting upto women and vice versa in the gym. Some are even using two hours to talk! If you wanted some place to talk to strangers, use the internet! Do not think you’re going to achieve your physique by talking to that fit girl on the treadmill! Headphones in, world off, beastmode on. That’s the rule to go by!
4. Relying too much on supplements
What are supplements? Supplements by definition supplement, or add on, to your diet. Just like there are no shortcuts, there are no magical pills that will help you achieve your fat loss and muscle building goals! However supplements will surely give you the edge on to workout harder, faster and recover better. Relying on something is however just foolish.
5. Not keeping cardio and weight training in a balance
Interestingly, here the guys and girls differ. Girls immedietly end up doing a lot of cardio because they fear that weight training will make them bulky, which is utter nonsense, and guys are guys so they only want to be big. Listen up. You will never be ripped until you do proper cardio. Balance the two and your results will surely astound everyone!
6. Not tracking your workouts
You can force yourself to grow, through the concept of progressive overload. What is progressive overload? It is slowly increasing the weights for each exercise and in order to do this you must track how much you lift on a particular exercise. Do remember that these increases are incremental, meaning we are looking at a 0.5kg increase every week or two weeks. For eg: if I squat 80kg and three months later I’m still squatting 80kg, I have made zero improvement. Tracking your workout will get those numbers up, which in essence will make your muscle mass go through the roof!
7. Missing workouts/ Overtraining
Although these are differing concepts the underlying idea is the same. Too much or too little of anything is surely going to hurt you. There are people who miss workouts regularly. Don’t be that guy/girl. Because your body doesn’t realize if it’s Saturday, or it’s your birthday or it’s a festival. It just knows resistance and being sedantry. DO NOT miss workouts. Likewise don’t do too much because your body isn’t used to too many sets and reps. Beginners should use a full body routine and not go up of 5 sets in any exercise.
8. Using a professional bodybuilder or celebrities workout
For the love of god! Do not use a professional bodybuilder’s or celebrities workout. Most likely they have been training for decades more than you! This means their recovery rates, training knowledge and muscle mass exceed you in massive quantities. Yes, there are idols that everyone must admire and goals that one can tend towards but 26 sets of curls for a beginner will harm rather than benefit.
9. Not training legs
This is by far the most irritating aspect of beginners. They want a big chest, broad shoulders, a big back and solid abs but no legs. Muscle proportion and aesthetics are very important and trust me guys, no woman fancies a top-heavy, chicken legged man! Legs are especially important for beginners because exercises like squats build and circulate the most amount of natural testosterone. You can’t spell LEGENDARY without LEG DAY!
10. Forgetting about nutrition
Last but surely not least and dear to my heart is that mostly everyone in the gym forgets about their nutrition. Trust me, I’m guilty as well! But the simple facts are the gym is only 30% of the whole picture. 70% is diet and for beginners it’s vital that your body receives proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates AND fats. All these macronutrients are vital for your body and without them you can kiss your gains goodbye.