I’ve been in the gym since I was 15 and I’ve seen my fair share of new people come and go. A lot have always made the same mistakes starting out; I get it, we’ve all done it (me especially).
I’ve made PLENTY of mistakes, in fact, that’s how I learn best, and the reason I SEEM like I don’t have a case of the dumbs is that I’ve made so many mistakes, eventually I learned 😉
Below are some of COMMON newbie mistakes that I’ve seen made in the gym and quite a few I’m guilty of as well.
ONE. Thinking I could out train a bad diet – See video below
TWO. Spending hours a week running to get lean
Kid you not, I did 8-9 hours a week for over a month running on a treadmill and I just got weaker and smaller. I ended up losing more muscle than anything AND I still didn’t have abs.
THREE. Ego lifting
So I can leg press 700lbs pretty well, so being an idiot kid that I was, I thought that 800lbs looked cooler… I just couldn’t do a full rep but, screw it. Well, I ended up with achier joints than muscles.
FOUR. Continuing to train an injured joint
When I was in my early 20’s I tore my rotator cuff and tried to do handstand pushups the next day… not my brightest moment.
FIVE. Too many supplements
I was that guy with all the latest supplement stacks, had them labeled, timed, premixed constantly with a shaker cup and I’m sure I looked like some wannabe drug dealer with all my plastic baggies of pills and powders. Let’s just say that one month I’m sure I spent enough to make the payment of the supplement store owner’s Mercedes.
SIX. Not eating enough
Not just with gaining weight but losing weight, it takes energy to build muscle but it also takes energy to lose body fat.
SEVEN. Waiting too long to get help
Getting a trainer to push me and teach me better technique was one of the best things I ever did, made me realize how hard I could go and how much better the results were.
EIGHT. Not having a spotter
Ever been stuck under a bench press and had to have a gym mom help get it off you… em(fucking)barrassing.
NINE. Trying to compete with the guy next to me
Yo, you don’t know their story; they have their plan you have yours, leave it at that.
TEN. Trying to impress the girl close by
Yes, I admit it, I did that. Girls apparently are not impressed with you dropping 25 lbs. dumbbells after your epic curl set, but honestly guys, she is not even paying attention.
ELEVEN. Acting like I knew it all
I read ALL the magazines and thought I had all the answers to everyone’s lifting problem, honestly, I should have been punched.
TWELVE. Talking to the steroid guy between sets
Dude doesn’t want to give you supplement and workout advice between his squat sets, trust me he’ll mistake you for a protein bar.
THIRTEEN. Not having a plan
I’ve winged plenty of workouts and walked out feeling like I wasted my time. Have a plan and I PROMISE you’ll have a much better workout.
FOURTEEN. Getting a crappy workout partner
He’s there to get you better and you’re there to get him better; if they are not as serious as you, then ditch them.
FIFTEEN. Relying too much on machines
I use to do this chest press machine when I was younger and could handle, what I thought, was a lot of weight on it, then I tried that same weight on the bench press. Well, that was the day gym mom saved me, ’nuff said. Seriously that machine wasn’t made for you; you’ll get MUCH better results with free weights.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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