Starting the gym can be a daunting experience for many, and they often contemplate quitting within the first month. The truth is everyone is beginning the gym from the same point, and people learn how to settle and feel comfortable in the gym over time. People make mistakes, especially when they’re starting the gym, knowing very little about it; hence, we decided to create this blog so that gym beginners would understand what it may be like and how to observe and tackle five of the most common mistakes.
Not Having a Proper Training Structure when starting the gym.
Picking up weights or running on the treadmill is a step towards your goal, but to achieve that aesthetic chiseled body, you need to have an appropriate training structure that defines your workouts throughout the week, month and year when starting the gym. Otherwise, you will either tire yourself out, injure yourself, or not make any progress.
Solution: First, you need to clear out all ambiguities about what you want to train for; some people prepare for endurance, others train for strength, some train for explosiveness/agility, whereas others train to build big muscles. Each goal has a different training structure and multiple variations that help athletes achieve their goals.
Once it is clear what you are training for, the next step is to create your workout plan for the week, the month, and the next six months according to your desired goal. The workout plan includes your training routine, rest days, and dietary needs.
You have to research the correct training routine and nutritional requirements for your goals otherwise, it will be futile to put so much effort in the wrong direction. Once all that is done, the last step is to stick to your plan through thick and thin; complete your workouts and fulfill your dietary needs, which also brings us to our next mistake.
Not Fixing Your Diet When Starting the Gym.
Plenty of gym goers think that working out is more important than controlling their diet, which is precisely why they suffer when they burn themselves out daily on cardio machines and weighted exercises but avail no results at the end of the month. The truth is losing and gaining weight has everything to do with muscle recovery and diet.
Solution: For your muscles to grow, you need to work them till they have micro tears in the muscle fibers, which are then repaired and strengthened; for that to happen, your diet needs to be optimal, and you need to ingest enough protein for your muscles to repair quickly.
Furthermore, to lose weight, you must ensure that you eat in a caloric deficit. You will be shocked to know that no cardio is necessary for fat loss; a simple and consistent caloric deficit is more than enough for losing fat.
So first, you will track your maintenance level calories (the daily intake of calories which keeps your weight constant), and by eating fewer calories below that level, you lose fat and vice versa, Calories, however, are not everything; macros (Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats) matter just as much as your calorie intake but primarily, to reduce or increase fat/weight, calories are the main ingredient. In short, control your diet, eat clean and stay consistent.
Skipping Leg Days when Starting the Gym.
Often gym goers are noticed to have humongous upper bodies but fall short of adding mass to their legs due to undertraining, which is why they end up looking like chickens. Leg workouts are a big necessity to a training structure that is often forgotten.
Training legs have countless benefits: they introduce symmetry between the lower and upper body, and researchers to spike testosterone levels have observed training legs. Training legs also increases a person’s endurance levels, overall balance, and strength. Many pushes and pull exercises drive their power from the legs, so it is imperative to incorporate them into your training structure.
Solution: Train legs 1-2 times every week with a particular focus on different kinds of squats and lunges. Do not forget to incorporate multiple calf raise variations to add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the legs.
Copying Other People’s Workouts When Starting the Gym.
We get it; you are inspired by that one Instagram bodybuilder workout video you love to watch and recreate. Nothing’s wrong with that; factually speaking, watching workout videos will help you increase your knowledge of workout variations, which will later help your gym progress.
However, the truth is that everybody’s muscle anatomy is different and unique. Hence some exercises work better for some than others.
Solution: you need to stick to the exercises that help you feel your muscles most, not the ones your favorite bodybuilder recommends. What they suggest works best for them; you need to experience and realize what works best for you and then incorporate most of those exercises in your workout plan.
Not Focusing on Compound Lifts When Starting the Gym.
Many beginners focus on training individual muscles and chasing the pump, which is why their bodies grow asymmetrical and weaker in strength; this also results in them following a workout split that makes them train only one muscle a day; that is not enough. The key to growth is training a force 2-3 times per week.
Solution: Compound lifts are those exercises that utilize different muscle groups of the body, such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, military presses, etc. These exercises help an athlete train one muscle multiple times per week hence a beginner should incorporate compound lifts in their training structure, and the daily workout plan should be 80% compound and 20% isolation exercises based on their target muscle groups.
Starting the gym can be a daunting experience, and we did our best to guide you; the rest is up to you. Best of luck on your workout journey!