Gym Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid. The average beginner, whether he trains on his own or under someone else’s strict guidance, has at his disposal an unbalanced body that does not know how to recover regularly and on time, and does not know how to recruit the maximum number of motor units and is not able to economically spend and store energy efficiently.
His digestive system is not working well enough, protein is poorly absorbed, and the insulin machine is fuming like a kerosene heater of the war years. That’s why when I see a typical beginner’s “do-it-yourself” workout, I cry. Since I cry not just like that, but for several specific reasons, then, allow me, I will state them all – let’s cry together!
Any beginner, regardless of age and initial genetic data, is sorely lacking:
- Endurance – to lose weight
- Strength – to build muscle.
- Flexibility – to use the most difficult exercises and the most effective training methods.
- Patience – so as not to hope for quick results in vain.
- Fortresses of the central nervous system – to show strength.
- Discipline – to eat right and rest.
- Humility and wisdom – to ask for help from the coach.
- And much, much more.
Mistakes of youth
For some reason, many beginners do not at all think about the fact that the beginning of the training path is the BEGINNING of the path. Not the middle, not the end, not even one-third. This is the beginning! Even though most of us have had to move from the very first step to relative perfection several times – in a profession, sports, or interpersonal relationships, we very rarely dare to do the same in the gym.
Remember how you were in school? Graduation was the most memorable, especially when the biology teacher was taken out of there in her arms?! Stormy childhood… Well, that’s not what I’m talking about: remember the first and second grades – no one asked you to build graphs, calculate functions or mix chemical reagents, right? The learning process was gradual and obeyed the elementary principle – from simple to complex. Actually, in non-observance of this dominant, in my opinion, the principle of pedagogy, all the following mistakes of the initial training consist.
5 Gym Mistakes That Beginners Should Avoid
Mistake #1 – SIMPLIFY A LOT
In beginner programs, it is customary to layout complex movements – bench presses, squats, etc. – into simpler ones. So, for example, instead of simple push-ups, mainly loading the pectoral muscles, deltoids, and triceps, a beginner will be forced to do:
- Information of hands in the simulator 1 * 15 (chest)
- Wiring with dumbbells standing 1 * 15 (deltoid)
- Extension with a dumbbell sitting 1 * 15 (triceps)
The same applies to other complex exercises. With a certain degree of probability, this is justified – the coach reduces the load, simplifying the exercises. However, he forgets that adhering to this principle, a beginner from the first day will have to shovel an unbearable amount of work for him.
Considering that it is customary for beginners to train according to general schemes – the whole body at once – a program written according to this principle will look like this:
- Leg extension in the simulator sitting 1 * 15
- Leg curls in the lying machine 1*15
- Bringing the hip in the simulator 1 * 15 Hip extension in the simulator / Hip abduction in the simulator 1*15
- Sitting/standing calf raises 1*15
- Information of hands in the simulator 1 * 15
- Vertical draft on the block 1*15
- Traction of the block to the stomach while sitting / Frontal thrust 1 * 15
- Shoulder abduction with dumbbells standing 1*15
- Curls for biceps in the simulator 1 * 15
- Triceps extension in the simulator or with a dumbbell
- Lying twists 1*15
- Twister on block 1*15
This program was not invented by me here and now, but is a very real methodological guide in one of the educational fitness institutions. As you can see, it turns out as many as thirteen exercises! Even if you do them for just one set, you end up with a very long and voluminous workout and too hard for a beginner. And how would you order to increase the load further? If 13 sets per session are still tolerable, what will happen to the duration of the workout when you want to increase the number of sets to 2-3?!
I’ll tell you what will happen – a fitness nightmare in reality! Moreover, busting with physical activity is not so bad, you can imagine the amount of new information that you will have to take in the first couple of weeks! And do not forget that the implementation of such local movements will be useful only for completely weakened people, whose athletic performance has long frozen at zero.
As Comrade Stuart McRobert very aptly put it: “Physical form is not a Rubik’s cube. You can’t add something more serious from separate simple exercises!” I agree – no one has canceled the principle of specificity yet. And will not cancel.
Mistake #2 – TRYING TOO MUCH
In most programs for beginners, I constantly see the same very serious, in my opinion, mistake. Every second specialist, even an American, for some reason incomprehensible to me, considers it necessary to prescribe a beginner either a large number of repetitions – in the region of 15-20, or circular training. Yes, I understand (I once said this to beginners) that a large number of repetitions allows:
- Work out the correct technique of new exercises to automatism (3 sets of 15 repetitions equals 45 repetitions of the same exercise per session)
- Strengthen the connective tissue components of muscles and joints. Theoretically, but so be it.
- Limit working weights, which minimizes possible injuries.
However, despite all this, I dare say that by giving a beginner 15 repetitions of even some nonsense, like calf extensions in the simulator, you cause him excessive training stress, because, as I said above, he still lacks the endurance, including muscle.
Moreover, it often happens (this is especially true in cases with training beginner women) that too much, the so-called “safe” number of repetitions, limits the beginner’s working weight to almost zero. Please explain to me why the hell to force a novice girl to do a bench press with a body bar that weighs 5-7 kilograms
Because it LIKE strength training? Yes, the effort that your “victim” makes does not resemble training in the slightest! When she paints her nails, it takes a lot more effort! Wouldn’t it be better to ask the same girl to do regular push-ups on her knees? Yes, I know that she definitely won’t do 15-20 repetitions, but who told you that such several repetitions are necessary for principle ?!
In my opinion, the task of the first stage of training is to go from a small number of repetitions (6-8) to the required fifteen, so that only then, by slightly increasing the level of GPP, to get all the benefits of high-rep training.
Remember how you learned to pull up as a child. At first, you got it 1-2 times (if it worked at all), but you didn’t think with the help of friends to do 3-4 sets of 15 lightweight pull-ups, right? No, you consistently and gradually increased the number of repetitions in one set to 3, then crawled to 4, 6, 8, and so on up to the cherished twenty times, which more than once forced your classmates to imbue this kind of sports hero with nascent sexual awe.
So why is such an important stage excluded in the modern training of beginners?! As for the use of circuit training, this is utter nonsense, in my opinion. First of all, any circuit training consists of too many exercises unknown to a beginner.
Imagine how he, suffocating from continuous approaches, has time not only to listen to the coach but also to correctly do everything they say! And then, is circuit training the simplest and easiest method, suitable for beginners without any problems?
The first time I’ve heard! Circuit training is a very intense and hard method, not every experienced lifter will survive it without dizziness and uncontrollable urges to cuddle with the toilet. The cardiovascular system of an average beginner, even ordinary sets, is not easy to withstand, frankly, and even twisting 6-8 exercises in a row is generally something from the field of unfounded theory.
Mistake #3 – WANT A LOT
All beginners, coming to the first lesson, say the same thing: I want to lose weight, strengthen my back, get healthier, gain weight and “can I remove it here, but add it here?”. Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, NO! Any beginner for a long time, at least six months, will not be able to pursue specific training goals like losing weight or gaining weight. There’s nothing you can do – you just do not have the necessary characteristics to achieve this! Losing weight without having enough muscle mass is almost impossible.
At least the result achieved will not be stable. Gaining weight is unrealistic if you do not know how to perform complex exercises and do not have such a necessary skill as the ability to “plow”. “Remove here and add there” is only for those who have been practicing for many years and, thanks to the acquired habits in healthy eating and training, can regulate the load for themselves.
You don’t have all of that, and you won’t for a very long time. This, of course, does not mean that you will not begin to lose weight or gain muscle by starting training. Start, be sure to start, only in your case this process will not be a goal, but a side effect of well-designed workouts. The purpose of the initial stage of training is not to correct body composition, not to increase strength or to figure out the buttocks, but to:
- Increase the level of GPP – from zero to tolerable
- Learn the technique of complex exercises – snatches, chest lifts, lunges, squats, deadlifts, and other things
- Acquisition of proper eating habits – frequent meals, healthy foods, plenty of pure non-carbonated water, vegetables, and so on.
Mistake #4 – DO NOT EXERCISE LITTLE
Ignoring the previous mistake, many beginners immediately rush into the arms of popular effective programs, forgetting that they are not effective at all for them. As a result, from the first week of training, they begin to behave like experienced lifters – train 2-3 times a week, rest a lot between sets and train individual muscle groups or exercises.
But such behavior does not at all correspond to the “technical characteristics” of their physical form, which I have already mentioned. Beginners do not need to rest as much – the volume and intensity of their training often allow them to train almost daily. Specially extended rest pauses between sets are used by experienced lifters to better restore creatine phosphate and the nervous system – this allows you to master more weight.
For all beginners, the heaviest weight can easily be overcome by a young Justin Timberlake, who is in a state of severe drug hangover. I don’t even want to talk about training individual muscle groups or exercises – bench press or squats.
Do you think that all the leading security forces or bodybuilders started their journey with the programs they train now?! Think again. In short, a beginner can and should afford to visit the gym a little more often than all his experienced colleagues. Since his training volume will still be small for quite some time, the optimal frequency of training is 4 short sessions per week.
Mistake #5 – BE AFRAID LITTLE
As one of my acquaintances said: “You bastard, Smirnov, you are not afraid of hell!” I mean, no, of course, I’m sorry – much more often than this, he said: “The gym is a very dangerous place!” When you walk around it in the wrong sports shoes, neglect the warm-up, and do not prioritize the development of perfect technique, you are putting yourself at risk.
Every former newcomer has a rich history of unpleasant, but memorable nonsense in his bosom: discs that fell on his fingers; dumbbells that suddenly hit the teeth; rods that turned over because you removed all the disks on one side only; bad-smelling tracksuits that don’t change unless you’re directly told to.
I’m sure there are a couple of similar cases in your life. Remember and never forget again – your body can endure and forgive all the mistakes made for a very long time. Sometimes even the most dangerous exercises, often done in a creepy manner and with inadequate weights, won’t hurt you.
However, sooner or later, on that same mountain, that same cancer will whistle. And then… I warned you. So take your time, study more, listen more and read more. Only, if possible, do not forget to analyze everything that you hear or read, and pass through yourself. Trusting the advice you receive just because it sounds decent is not very wise. Learn to live with your head!