8 Worst Things A Beginner Can Do in the Gym
While bodybuilding is not as complex as rocket science, the process of building muscle, gaining strength and losing fat still takes a remarkable amount of knowledge, as well as hard work. It is important that beginners have the right information from the start so that their journey with exercise provides maximum results, without injury, distress or too much time wasted. Although your program will evolve as time passes this will create a solid foundation that will serve you throughout all of your years in the gym.
Here are the “8 Worst Things A Beginner Can Do in the Gym”
1 – Following the routine of the pros
While there is nothing wrong with picking up your favourite bodybuilding magazine in order to learn how your role model trains, but it would be quite a mistake to try and copy what they do. First of all, you must remember that you are a beginner; second, most of the routines you see reflect what each pro does now, and not how they started out in the gym.
2 – Skipping the warm up
I understand that when you are young you feel like a superhero, however, while it is appealing to just jump right into your heavy working sets without a reasonable warm up (i.e. a 5 minute walk on the treadmill; callisthenic exercises; high repetition break in sets), this will come back to “bite you in the butt” in later years. Make it a habit to prepare your body for the intense exercise to come and as the years pass you will minimise the damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments.
3 – Avoiding the basics
Most commercial gyms these days carry a vast array of fancy machines that cover every muscle group from a variety of angles. While there is not necessarily anything “wrong” with these devices, the “mistake” manifests when a beginner relies on them for almost their entire program! Certainly, machines and cables have their place, but when starting out there is nothing more effective than the most basic, free-weight exercises.
4 – Going too heavy, too soon
I understand that as a beginner it can be a bit nerve-racking in the gym seeing all of these big dudes pushing/pulling these giant DB’s and 45 lb. plate-filled bars. I also understand the need to try and “fit in,” which often leads to beginners attempting to utilize weights that are far too heavy for them to lift with proper form. Not only is this a complete waste of time, but it can also lead to injury. And in fact, experienced lifters will be more impressed watching a beginner train with perfect technique and light weights than the other way around. Be smart and use proper exercise technique.
5 – Overtraining
There are people that think there is “no such thing as overtraining,” but they are simply incorrect. Overtraining is a real phenomenon and can hold you back from manifesting optimal progress from your efforts. Because of their unbridled enthusiasm and impatience, many beginners train far too much when they start out; however, we do not build muscle while we train; we do so while we rest and recover. Get that!
6 – Training what’s fun, ignoring what’s not
Almost every top bodybuilder when started out, they would train chest and arms just about every day they were in the gym, while neglecting muscle groups like thighs and back. Of course this is understandable, as the muscles that really stick out of a tight t-shirt or tank top are the pecs, bis and tris. When someone asks a muscular guy, “Hey, can I see your muscle,” they are certainly not asking him drop his pants or spread his lats! They want to see the guns! As a beginner, do not fall into this trap.
7 – Picking the wrong partner
As mentioned earlier, entering the gym as a complete novice can often be quite intimidating. This is why many beginners choose to work out with a friend so that each can support the other. However, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, make sure the person you pick is equally as serious as you are about hitting the weights.
8 – Being impatient
The first time I lifted a weight occurred because I wanted to be as big as The Incredible Hulk. I was a very skinny kid and I was tired of being picked on and made fun of when my shirt was off. I was hoping that if I ate enough food, got enough sleep, and hoisted enough weights I could quickly go from my pathetic 125 lb. to a monstrous 275 in no time at all. Of course, I was very wrong. If you decide to go into the gym because you want to transform your physique, make sure you understand that for most of us the process is a marathon and not a sprint. Do the work – be patient – have faith!