We all begin as beginners. As we get comfortable with working out, we eventually learn the basics: how to use the gym machines and how to observe gym etiquette. But even after you got rid of the training wheels, you could still make beginner mistakes – mistakes that sabotage your progress and make you frustrated and exhausted. Even if you exercised for years, it could still happen.

To take your fitness to the next level and build an awesome body, you must avoid these 9 beginner mistakes. Learn how they occur and how you can avoid them.

1. Overwhelming Yourself

Beginners say:

“I want to workout 6 times per week and start running every morning at 6 a.m.”
“I want to gain 10 kg of muscle and begin eating healthier.”
“I want to lose 7 kg of fat and cut all carbs.”

Tackling a huge goal all at once results in failure: you will exhaust your limited amount of time, energy, and willpower. You will also frustrate yourself.

Instead, break that huge goal into smaller, easier steps:

“I am going to switch from machines to free weights in order to build more muscle and strength.”
“I am going to raise the weight on my squat by 2.5 kg each time.”
“I am going to eat 150 grams of protein each day.”

These are all simple habits you can use to build confidence and strength and get you closer to your overall goal.

2. Never Tracking Anything

tracking workouts

Beginners never take notes. But if you never measure anything, what can you improve?

Therefore, record everything in your workout. For example, what weight you used, what exercises you did, how many reps you did, and so on. Also, track your physique by taking pictures and measuring your weight, circumference, and body fat percentage regularly. This will highlight your ups and downs so you can adjust your workout program and diet to upgrade your results.

For instance, if you try a new diet, but your body stays constant, you need to change something. And if you try a new training and your body fat drops while your margin grows, you are doing great.

People who skip taking notes also make the next error…

3. Not Having a Plan

Without having a plan, beginners roam the gym endlessly, looking for something to do or to switch their routines.

You will never build an excellent body like that because there is no system or foresight; you will prevent yourself from mastering exercises, miss out on great results, and waste time.

There are a lot of great beginner programs available. So, pick one, get started, and follow it for at least 8 weeks.

4. Relying Too Much on Supplements

Beginners always take supplements and then, eat pizza. Supplements are useless against a bad diet. So, make sure you have a good diet of lean meats, whole grains, veggies, and a lot of water before you begin thinking about muscle gainers, amino acids, pre-workouts, and creatine. The food you eat impacts your body far more than an expensive powder.

5. Not Warming Up

stretching out

Beginners warm up – if at all – by just jogging for a couple of minutes on a treadmill or doing some stretches. This does nothing to prepare your joints, muscles, and nervous system to lift weights.

Instead, do a full warm up filled with movement preparation, dynamic stretches, and activation exercises to help your body feel great and lift plenty of weight.

6. Ignoring Your Legs

ignoring your legs

When someone says “I don’t need to work my legs because I play football,” all I hear is someone scratching their nails on a chalkboard.

Running, biking, football, or any other exercise will never build the size, strength, and endurance in your legs that barbell exercises will. Also, lifting weights strengthens your joints and bones and builds total-body balance.

Strong legs will result in more size gains, more growth hormone in the body, and even a stronger upper-body. So, if you want to build a huge and powerful body, you must work your legs.

7. Training to Failure Every Time

If you are still training to failure every workout, you are still a beginner. Your workouts should stimulate your muscles, not shatter them. If you coax them into strength and size gains, they will happily respond, and you will advance for years. But if you pulverize your muscles every time, they will get fatigued, obstructing growth and recovery.

A simple rule-of-thumb is to stop a couple of repetitions before failure to give the muscles a break. If you think 10 reps is the absolute maximum you can do in an exercise, stop at 8.

8. Missing Workouts

Beginners skip workouts if they are feeling sore, tired, or lazy. The often forget that the secret to building an excellent body is simple:

Consistency, that is.

Respect the commitments you make to yourself. So if you decide to workout on Tuesdays and Fridays, schedule it and get it done. If that’s too difficult, cut your routine down to just 1 day per week. But never skip it.

There is no better way to get awesome results than that.

9. Working Out Too Often

There are beginners who live in the gym – they workout six times per week and split their days between chest and tris, back and bis, shoulders, arms, legs, and abs.

Unless you’re a high-level bodybuilder or an elite athlete, avoid exercising too often. Working out too much, too soon will slow down your progress because of the constant fatigue and result in overtraining.

For most beginners, 3 times a week is perfect – you will give your muscles, tendons, and ligaments ample time between each training to recover, grow, and get stronger.

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