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Beginner Training Mistakes (Part 2)

September 7, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Training consistently, sticking to a program, and setting goals is only half the picture when it comes to achieving success both inside and out of the gym. Often the mistakes made by beginners are completely unrelated to their ability to train with intensity, but have more to do with their mindset and preparation outside of the gym.

The following are some of the most common, yet most commonly overlooked, fitness and training related habits that will save any beginner from embarrassing situations in the gym and save precious time when seeking fast and effective results.

Related Article: Beginner Training Mistakes Part 1

Related Article: How You Should Train

 "TMJ

Ignoring Nutrition And Recovery

Just as consistency with training and tracking the progress of your workouts are the most important fundamentals when it comes to gaining muscle, building strength and losing body-fat, the same rules apply to nutrition and recovery. For optimal performance and recovery from training your body needs high quality nutrients to fuel performance, rebuild muscle tissue and continue to increase strength over time. 

It is simply not adequate to settle for a ‘see-food’ diet when looking to gain size, or on the flip side, consuming nothing but chicken and broccoli when the goal is body-fat loss. A structured nutrition plan is essential for great results. You should aim to provide your body with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats from a variety of high quality foods and keep track of your daily caloric intake goals by use of apps such as MyFitness Pal.

If you are unsure where to start and would like a comprehensive nutrition plan to help you reach your goals, be sure to check out The MassiveJoes FREE Nutrition Plan! 

On a similar note, sleep is the body’s best mechanism for recovery and achieving optimal performance in the gym. If you are burning the candle at both ends by partying every weekend, this will have a seriously negative impact on your physique and you will forever be trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep. Get yourself to bed earlier and develop a ritual that allows you to shut off from social media and the stressors of the day – be it reading a book, listening to some music or methodically preparing yourself for the next day. The difference you will experience in recovery and overall health is unparalleled.

Sabotaging Your Own Results

For beginners the gym can be an intimidating place! It is very easy to walk in, grab whatever piece of equipment is available (even if you didn’t plan on performing that particular exercise), and go hide in the corner to complete your workout. Remember, you are there to workout and train hard just like everyone else, so don’t short-change your results by being timid or feeling inferior to others around you.

If the piece of equipment you want is being used, wait until the person has finished their set and ask how long they have left. If it less than 2 sets wait it out and let them finish. If it is more than 2 sets ask nicely if you can work in with them. Most people won’t have a problem with this and you may even find yourself learning a thing or two from a more experienced trainer.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

Respect goes a long way in this world and at the gym it is all about creating good habits that won’t have you stepping on anyone’s toes or receiving a nasty added fee to your monthly membership. Don’t be the person making loud mating calls before your heavy squat set or the person storming around the gym following your 1RM bodyweight bench press record. Make sure to treat all equipment with care by using weights that you can manage or having a spotter assist you at each lift.

During the warmer months be sure to exercise some personal hygiene, use a spray of deodorant, add some fresh threads to your collection and, for heaven’s sake, use a towel and wipe down your equipment after use! Mirrors are great for checking your form whilst training, but don’t get in the habit of positioning yourself inside a power cage for a set of dumbbell curls just because it has the best lighting in the gym.

While these small acts may not seem like a big deal, trust us, everyone notices those people who are too self absorbed to think about anyone else using the gym. Training and exercising is a privilege, don’t abuse it and do your part to keep your gym in respectable condition.

Riding Solo 

By nature humans are social animals; we thrive in environments that allow us to communicate and interact with those whom have common goals and aspirations. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in bodybuilding, cardio, crossfit, bootcamp training or just general working out, having a training partner or training group that is reliable and on the path to similar goals will help amplify your results. Even the most experienced gym rats or intrinsically motivated individuals will turn to a trusted partner or core group when motivation is low or progress stalls.

Don’t be stubborn and think you can do it all on your own. Gym partners make training more fun, help keep you accountable, and provide support when things just aren’t progressing. But don’t forget you are the sum of those you surround yourself with, so choose your training partners wisely! 

Failing To Manage Distractions

Checking your news feed, pondering over your 11am meeting, frequently chatting between sets or glancing at the cute Personal Trainer are all distractions that waste your time and effort. For most of us time is a priority and at best a 60 minute workout per day is all we can spare. If you want to take control of your training productivity and perform your best it’s vital to know how to minimise distractions and manage interruptions. 

Below are some guidelines and rules to ensure you maximise your training productivity:

  • Clear your thoughts of any daily stressors or future engagements 
  • Turn off social media alerts and chats before entering the gym
  • Be well prepared with your training plan and everything you need in your gym bag
  • Be mindful of your start time and use a watch/clock to keep track of your rest periods
  • Limit yourself to a polite ‘hello’ to other members – you can always chat later
  • Use headphones & music to focus your attention on your workout

 

Whilst not talking to anyone is not enjoyable for most, treating the gym like Friday night drinks and pestering everyone isn’t the right way to go about business either. A quick hello to the staff and some familiar faces is fine, so too is the occasional 1 minute chat between sets. But when your conversations start blowing out to 5 or 10 minutes you’ve overdone it and there is no way your training intensity is as high as it could be.

As mentioned above, headphones can be a time saver in the gym especially if you love a chat. Strap on the headphones, turn up your favourite beats and get after it! Not only will you stay focused and improve your workout intensity, you’ll get your workout done in half the time.

Related Article: Beginner Training Mistakes Part 1

Related Article: How You Should Train

 "TMJ

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