We all started somewhere, but when we start in the gym we can make mistakes without even knowing it. So to save you time and to get you the best results you can in the less time let us go through common mistakes made when starting in the gym.
Testing Your Strength
This is aimed at young bucks starting out in the gym. When you first head into the gym you head over to the bench press load up the bar and hope for the best. If you lift it, you load on more weight and repeat until you nearly kill yourself. Then that is that Bench press done.
This is not good, not good at all. You are in the gym to build strength, not test strength. Testing your strength is not very relevant for the majority of people. You need to do sets and reps for your goals.
When you are a complete beginner you want to do 3-4 sets of about 8-10 reps. This gets your body ready for the movement and a lot or practice with the movement. After about 4 weeks your body should be ready to start strength training which involves lower reps and thus heavier weights.
This is what will get you stronger over time all while being safe. Remember building strength, never testing strength.
Afraid of Weights
This may seem like the opposite point to the previous section but this is aimed at young women who start in the gym. While men burst in the gym and immediately go to test their strength women usually are nearly afraid to see how strong they truly are! Now if we could all meet in the middle it would be a wonderful world.
I understand the fear, it has permeated the culture that lifting weights will build muscle (it will) but not in the manner of Arnold Schwarzenegger. At least it is not as easy as lift heavy a few times and boom, million dollar movie deals.
Women just like men, need to build their strength up over time and this will mean increasing the weight used. Believe me the higher the weights go up the better results you will get out of your workouts.
Let me kill your dream, there is no perfect program. Not for you, not for me, not for anybody. A big problem young lifters have, especially in the age of the internet is seeing 50 different ideas a day and changing what they do on a weekly basis. This will get you nowhere.
Realistically you need to stick with a program for 12 weeks of consistent training. It is turning up to the gym and not missing training days that counts the most. After 12 weeks you can assess your program and the results you got. Feel you did not get stronger then you may need to adjust or maybe you want to focus on a specific area then you may need to adjust for that. you should, however, give yourself 12 weeks otherwise you will keep spinning your wheels and get nowhere.
Sweating The Small Stuff
When starting off a lot of people start worrying about little things. Now they might not seem little when you are starting but they are. Things like I want bigger arms so how many curls should I do and I want a toned stomach what are the best core exercises. These things have merit but are the sprinkles on top.
They are not the things that should get your main focus. You need to focus on what matters and that is the big compound movements that work the most muscle possible. Things like squats, deadlifts, pressing, rowing are the crucial part of most workout programs and should be treated as such.
If you out your effort into these movements the othe things will come easier over time.