The Five Biggest Gym Mistakes Beginners Make (and How to Avoid Them)

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If you’re a beginner in the gym, you may be making some common mistakes that are preventing you from seeing results. In this article, we will discuss the five biggest mistakes beginners make and how to avoid them. Dr. Mike Israetel, a cofounder of Renaissance Periodization and expert in Nutrition for Public Health, Advanced Sports Nutrition and Exercise, and Nutrition and Behavior, recently outlined these mistakes in an online lecture. By knowing what they are, you can make sure to avoid them and see better results in your fitness journey!

1. Doing Too Much Too Soon in the Gym

Working out is vital for maintaining good physical and mental health, but it’s important to do it the right way. Going too hard too soon at the gym is a common mistake, especially for novice weight lifters. Dr. Mike Israetel recommends starting slow and adding additional sessions over time.

The Consequences of Pushing Yourself Too Hard

One of the most common mistakes people make when they start working out is doing too much too soon. They think they need to spend hours at the gym every day lifting heavy weights in order to see results. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, going too hard at the gym can actually have negative consequences.

One of the dangers of doing too much too soon is that you’re more likely to get injured. If you’re not used to lifting weights or working out on a regular basis, your body isn’t prepared for the sudden increase in activity. This puts you at risk for strains, sprains, and other injuries.

Another downside of doing too much too soon is that you might get discouraged and give up altogether. If you try to do too much at the beginning and find that you can’t keep up with the pace, you’re likely to become discouraged and give up on your fitness goals entirely. It’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your activity level over time so that you don’t get overwhelmed or burnt out.

Finally, if you try to do too much too soon, you might not see the results you want as quickly as you’d like. Losing weight and getting in shape takes time and cannot be done overnight. If you try to do too much all at once, you might get frustrated when you don’t see immediate results and give up before you even come close to reaching your goals.

Starting slowly and gradually increasing your activity level is the best way to approach working out. Pushing yourself too hard at the gym can lead to injuries, discouragement, and ultimately giving up on your fitness goals entirely. So take it easy at first, and pretty soon you’ll be reaping all the benefits that come with regular exercise!

2. Consistency at the Gym

When starting a workout regimen, it is essential to be consistent with both the days you hit the gym as well as which muscle groups you target. Dr. Mike Israetel, a coauthor of How Much Should I Train, says that beginners often make the mistake of being inconsistent with their workouts. “Skipping workout sessions or muscle groups for a week to two is not something anyone can get away with,” he says. “It may not seem like much, but missing just a few workouts can really set you back.”

So how can you make sure you’re being consistent at the gym? Here are a few tips:

  • Set realistic goals: If you’re just starting out, don’t try to do too much too soon. It’s important to set achievable goals that you can actually stick to. Otherwise, you’re likely to get frustrated and give up altogether.
  • Create a schedule: One of the best ways to ensure consistency is to create a schedule and stick to it. Whether it’s working out three times a week or going for a run every other day, find a routine that works for you and stick to it.
  • Find a workout buddy: Having someone to keep you accountable can be a huge motivator. Find a friend or family member who also wants to get healthy and work out together. You’ll be more likely to stay on track if you have someone relying on you to show up.

If you’re looking to get fit, remember that consistency is key. Skipping just a few workouts can really set you back, so it’s important to find a routine that works for you and stick with it. by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals this year!

3. Not Focusing on Compound Movements

Dr. Mike Israetel is a bodybuilding and strength training expert who has been lifting weights for over 20 years. In his lecture, Israetel stated that beginners should focus on using free weights, specifically compound movements like deadlifts, squats, bench presses, and overhead presses. He believes that these exercises provide the most benefit for novice lifters because they work multiple muscle groups at once and help build overall strength.

One of the main reasons compound exercises are so important is because they help you build functional strength. Functional strength is the kind of strength that allows you to perform everyday tasks easily, such as carrying groceries or playing with your kids. In contrast, isolation exercises don’t really have a lot of practical applications outside the gym. For example, how often do you find yourself needing to curl 50 pounds for 10 reps? Probably not very often! However, there are plenty of opportunities to put your functional strength to use in your everyday life.

In addition to helping you build functional strength, compound exercises also help you build lean muscle mass and burn fat more effectively than isolation exercises. This is because compound exercises require your body to use more energy (in the form of calories) to complete them. As a result, you’ll end up burning more calories both during and after your workout. And since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue—even when you’re at rest—the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn all day long!

Doing the hard stuff may not be easy at first, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to see results from your weightlifting efforts. Compound exercises may require more effort than isolation exercises, but they’re much better for building functional strength and lean muscle mass while burning fat effectively. So next time you’re planning your workout routine, make sure to include plenty of compound movements! Your body (and your results) will thank you for it.

4. Advancing Relative Effort Before Mastering Technique

Many beginners make the mistake of adding too much weight and going too close to muscle failure before mastering the exercise. Dr. Mike Israetel stated you must earn adding weight to the bar. What does this mean? You want to be sure you have nailed down the technique with lighter weights first.

Dr. Mike Israetel explains why this is a problem: “The first reason is that you simply won’t be able to do enough reps with good form at a higher intensity (with more weight) to get any significant training stimulus…” In other words, if your form is not perfect, you are not only less likely to see results, but you are also more likely to injure yourself. The second reason this is a problem is that “…going to muscle failure all the time actually desensitizes your nervous system to the fatigue signals it’s receiving…” which can lead to overtraining. So how do you avoid making this mistake?

The answer is simple: master the technique first, and then add weight. This may mean staying at a lower weight for a longer period of time than you would like, but in the long run, it will pay off. Take the time to learn proper form and master each exercise before increasing the intensity. Your body (and your results) will thank you for it!

Avoid making the common gym mistake of advancing your relative effort (adding weight to the bar) before you have mastered the exercise. Mastering technique first will lead to better results in the long run and help you avoid injury. Stay patient, focused, and dedicated to perfecting your technique, and those gains will come in time!

5. Trying Advanced Programming

Dr. Mike Israetel also states that beginners get no real benefit from workings designed for advanced lifters. He believes that people should only try these more complicated programs once they have seen success with the basic concepts of weightlifting.

The main reason why Israetel thinks this is because newcomers don’t understand enough about how their own bodies work to make the most out of the more complicated programs. When you’re just starting out, you should be concentrating on getting the form and technique of each exercise right. Once you’ve got that nailed down, you can start thinking about adding weight, reps and sets.

When you’re first starting out in the gym, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do too much too soon. You see all these advanced lifters around you doing things that look impossible and you want to be able to do them too. However, as Dr. Mike Israetel points out, beginners will get no real benefit from trying to emulate these more experienced lifters.

It’s important to focus on perfecting your form and technique before anything else. Once you’ve got that down, you can start thinking about adding weight, reps and sets. Only once you’ve been lifting for a while and have a good understanding of how your body responds to different types of training should you start to experiment with more complicated programs. Otherwise, you’ll just be spinning your wheels without making any real progress.

Avoid Making Rookie Mistakes at the Gym

If you’re just starting out at the gym, avoid making these five common mistakes. Not only will they hinder your progress and keep you from reaching your fitness goals, but they could also lead to injuries. And nobody wants that. Instead, focus on mastering the basics before moving on to more advanced exercises and programming. Sign up for our free newsletter so you can get regular updates from MyChesCo, and be sure to share this post with your friends who are just starting their own fitness journeys.

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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.