10 Mistakes You’ll Want To Avoid If You’re A Gym Beginner.
When you start your health and fitness journey, you’ll find gym beginner tips and advice on what you need to do to reach your goals almost anywhere. But, what about what not to do?
I may be a #gymjunkie now but when I didn’t exactly fall right into that. I’ve been training for almost 4 years now and only in the last 2 years have I started taking it more seriously, and only in the past 8 months have I actually started seeing results. I thought I’d share my top 10 mistakes in the hope that you avoid them too and see results a lot faster than I have.
Mistake number 1: Comparing yourself to other people
It’s hard not to compare people who are where you want to be with yourself, but always remember that their journey is completely different from yours! You’ll reach your goals when you’re meant to and you’ll look back and be able to see clearly the hurdles you had to overcome before getting there.
Mistake number 2: Not paying attention to training all body parts evenly
It’s so important to balance your training between all your muscles. If you’re working chest, making sure you work back too. If you’re working quads, including hamstring and glutes. It can be in the same workout or just in the same week, but balancing your training will help you avoid postural issues and injury.
Mistake number 3: Not working hard enough
If you’re not struggling to get those last few reps out, sweating like crazy or out of breath at the end of your set, you’re likely not working hard enough. It’s going to feel uncomfortable and it’s going to be hard, like really hard, but that’s the point! I didn’t start seeing proper results until I started working harder and leaving every session knowing I gave it my very best.
Mistake number 4: Working too hard
This sounds strange but hear me out. If you’re only new to the gym or a particular exercise, don’t go all in straight away.
I was at the point where I could finally do 1 push up on my toes and then all of a sudden I was training chest 3 times a week, not focusing on muscle balance and doing the hardest exercises every single time. It lead to an injury. Not because training that frequently and that hard is bad for you but because I was a clueless gym beginner only new to lifting weights and I went from zero to 100 in a day. Every day. Until I got injured. If you’re a newbie, work hard but work your way up.
Mistake number 5: Thinking the more time spent in the gym, the better
The intensity of your session and how hard you’re working far outweighs the amount of time you’re there for. Increase the intensity of your session by upping the weights, super-setting, taking shorter breaks and replacing normal cardio with HIIT.
Mistake number 6: Giving up when an exercise is too hard
The gym is meant to be hard. It’s uncomfortable, it hurts and again, it’s hard AF, but you know what’s a good feeling? When you push through that hard exercise and all of a sudden you’re increasing the weight and getting so much stronger in an area that you never would have if you had given up.
Mistake number 7: Thinking it’s possible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time
It just isn’t possible. For a gym beginner, I know that isn’t what you’d like to hear but trust me. I’ve argued that it is and tried to prove myself right but it just isn’t going to happen. Building muscle that you can see requires a calorie surplus and heavy weights. Losing fat requires a calories deficit and getting your heart rate up. If you want both, pick what you want to achieve first and cycle through both.
I build muscle and then I strip down da fat.
Mistake number 8: Thinking everyone is staring at me in the gym
They’re not. This held me back for so long but you know what? Everyone is in there trying to work on themselves, grow muscles, lose fat, take selfies, the works. They don’t care about you. So don’t let the fear of judgement stop you! You get in there with your headphones on, block everyone out and do yo thing girl!
Trust me, if people in the gyms I go to don’t even stare at me when I’m filming myself or talking to a phone screen, they aren’t staring at you.
And if they really are, then let them stare at you while you smash your goals and then watch their face when you come back 6, 9, 12 months later looking like an absolute boss and they still look the same because they just stand around staring.
Mistake number 9: Buying ALLLLL the supplements
You don’t need to buy a whole lot of crap from the supplement store to reach your goals. This is probably the first thing that any gym beginner will look into when starting out. I know I did. If you want to use supplements, then awesome, go for it! But if you don’t want to spend the money or you don’t like them, then don’t use them. There are only a handful of supplements I believe in myself, based partly on personal experience but mostly on research. Plus, I’ve been able to achieve my goals using minimal supplements so I know you can too.
Mistake number 10: Thinking skinny means healthy
Being skinny or even just going to the gym doesn’t justify putting crappy food into your body. It’s crappy food regardless of whether you workout or not, and regardless of what you look like. If you want better results and if you actually want to feel good, start caring about what you put into your body.
You don’t have to eat kale chips, and celery all day every day, but food is fuel and fuelling your body with healthy food at least 80% of the time will make the biggest difference to how you feel.
These things are all mistakes but they’re not regrets. Without them, I would not have learnt the lessons I did along the way. In your journey, you’ll discover things that you did completely wrong and mistakes you made, but always remember that they’re a PART of your story.