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Beginner mistakes

Discussion in 'Introductions & Advice For Beginners' started by jtam, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. jtam

    jtam Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    As I was reading through this forum earlier today, I realized that I was mostly ignoring my back exercises -- I had underestimated their importance. I was under the false impression that they would automatically keep up with the rest of my weight training.

    Without actually reading that thread, I don't think I would have learned about my mistake for a while. I would have gone on not knowing that anything was wrong, so I wouldn't have asked about it.

    Are there any common beginner mistakes, or valuable pieces of information that you picked up as a beginner?

    Edit -- Thanks for all the excellent replies!
     
    #1 jtam, Apr 1, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2006
  2. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    Not the best person to answer this post but I've made mistakes over the last few years so I suppose it'll help...2 main mistakes I've made are:

    Not getting enough protein, *consistently* - I now try to stick to 2 shakes a day, and protein-full snacks in between meals (tuna sandwich/steak, lean chicken breasts etc.) Try and keep this diet going all through your weight training and you're bound to notice results with hard training and good form.

    Not getting in the habit of going to the gym over a long period of time. I've tended to be going hard 2 months, then off 2 months etc. over the last 3 years. Start your routine simple and you're more likely to stick to it, I reckon. Once you've got a few solid months behind you, start adding and playing about with things more then IMO.
     
  3. ToddB

    ToddB Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Buster. Proper diet would be #1 to me, and having the motivation and making no excuses to miss training would be #2. And #3 would be failing to properly warm-up.
     
  4. steven

    steven Well-Known Member

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    - proper diet
    - warm up sets
    - not working out legs
    - lifting heavy but with incorrect form
    - no clear lifting routine, just going to the gym and doing a mix of exercises
     
  5. M@

    M@ Monster Maker 2017

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    Oooh...good thread! Some of my screwups:

    - Don't freak out over scale weight. It can be stagnant for a week then bounce around like a jack russell terrier on speed the next.

    - Try to think in the long term and don't start making changes to your routine until whatever you're dissatisfied with has been going on for four weeks or so.

    - Mind-muscle connection should be cultivated as much as possible. Just jacking up as much weight as you can isn't going to give you nearly as much of a pump as doing your reps with perfect form.

    - Deadlifts are beyond incredible, at least try them.

    - Eat fats! 20% or more is a good number. Under 10% will make you an irritable knucklehead and give you obscene cravings.

    - If there's an exercise you hate doing or food you loathe eating but want to incorporate into your diet, start telling yourself that that thing is the greatest thing on the face of the planet. Make up a little song about how awesome it is if you have to and go over it in your head while you gut through it/choke it down. (e.g. "Squats are the greatest ever. I LOVE staggering out of the rack when I'm done with a set." or "Broccoli tastes like pure power. I can feel it making me stronger and better. I need to have this stuff more often.") It might sound ridiculous but it can really change your perspective on the subject.

    - Your BMR is not 3500!!! That number is your BMR with an activity multiplier! Your BMR is your BMR. The number you factor in when you do other things is not your BMR. :mad:

    M@
     
  6. Atkinson

    Atkinson Well-Known Member

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    If you are 6'3" male that weighs around 440 pounds then it is.
     
  7. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    Not if he is over 45 years old.:nod:
     
  8. Atkinson

    Atkinson Well-Known Member

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    Haha, I suppose I stand corrected.
     
  9. lordkovacs

    lordkovacs Well-Known Member

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    not getting enough sleep and rest to let muscles do their thing!
     
  10. bradh

    bradh Well-Known Member

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    -Concentrating on building the perfect routine, its doesn't exist. I recommend getting a sample program from a decent coach and learn has you go.

    - The importance of some energy systems work to stay lean while eating tons of protein and veggies/fruit.

    - Stopped static stretching! Stretch!

    - Don't overlook some light shoulder girdle and rotator cup work. Cuban press, DB external rotations etc

    - You only need to use a belt with near maximal lifts if at all. Unless you have an injury.

    - Have a longterm approach if you miss a workout don't beat yourself up over it. You have many years left, i hope. :)

    - Have some goals besides body composition.

    - Bodybuilding is still a form of STRENGTH TRAINING!!

    Train Hard!!! :D
     
  11. johnyboy

    johnyboy Well-Known Member

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    Don't try and ignore injuries. Find out why you got them in the first place and so something to stop them coming back. Otherwise they could get worse.
     
  12. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Common beginner mistakes:-


    Overtraining.....take a look at who you are.If you're 24 and just starting, your regimen will differ from the person who is 44 and just starting.

    Idol Worship....pasting a picture of Lou Ferrigno to the fridge door may motivate you to weight train but just because he looks like Lou Ferrigno doesn't mean you will.

    Fussing over too much criteria......yes, there's realms of information and counter-arguments pervading the 'net on diet and weight-training. So to start, stick with the basics and "tweak it" as you go. You'll soon discover what is and isn't working for you.

    Not Knowing Your Objectives....Are you weight-training to build your body? Or are you training to enhance a sport your involved in? Do you want speed or brute strength? Are you in it just for weightloss? Are you re-habbing an illness or injury? Do you want bigger muscles or more endurance?

    Buying into the " You must consume several pounds of protein a day" myth..........protein is a supplement and your supplement should not take precedence over good nutrition. Get your proteins from food first.
    Supplements are not meals. They are supplements. The only time you really need a whey shake is PWO. Protein is definitely important. But nowadays it's done to death. Food first, supplements second.

    Split or Fullbody?.......the split routine became popular when 'roids first surfaced. Then there was Back day,Chest day Leg day (but no Toe or Finger Day). There's no pat answer. Depending on your genetics and other factors, fullbody will either work for you or it won't.

    Don't know How Many Reps Or Sets......What does it take to get a muscle to grow basically? Reps in the 8 to 12 range...and 2 sets of that range will produce growth....possibly even one set. Remember, you're a beginner...and muscle growth out-paces tendon and ligament growth initially. Save the 15x50 sets until your ready for them.

    Everybody Else At The Gym Does It, So I Should Too........Wrong. Forget the macho freaks at the gym and instead concentrate on good form and posture when lifting. The IFBB pro's can get away with banging off 10 reps in what seems to be poor form....but,grasshopper, you've got to learn to walk before you can run.

    How Many Days A Week Should I Train?......as Mike Mentzer put it "You prepare for growth in the gym.You're actual growth takes place outside the gym." The 48 hour rule for muscle rest and recovery is a good one.
    Some split routines use 2 days back to back for different muscle groups but training the same bodypart 2 days in a row should be avoided.

    " I Only Need To Work My Chest. The Rest Of Me Is O'K."......well it won't be if all you work is your chest. You'll create an imbalance. Half-assed input equals half-assed results. Pick a good basic routine that adresses all musculature. And if you have pre-existing injuries, take these into consideration. There are dozens of alternate ex's you can substitute.

    " I Want To Bench 250 By The End Of Next Week"......easy there big fella..Rome wasn't built in a day nor did they build The Great Wall Of China in 3 months. Muscle-building is about "adaptation". Your muscles have to adapt to the work-load. This means a systematic approach that will take time.
     
  13. Buster

    Buster Active Member

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    One more thing, don't overtrain - when you start you can be really keen, hitting even really small muscle groups with loads and loads of sets every day. Just lift 3 or 4 sets each exercise, do the big compound exercises, and lift heavy.
     
  14. Demon Knight

    Demon Knight Well-Known Member

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    Beginner mistake #1: "I want bigger arms, so I should do lots and lots of sets with forced reps and drop sets on my biceps and triceps".
    This is probably the worst beginner mistake. I've seen many people bashing for months on end getting nothing with the arms-every-day routine. You want a 16 inch arm? Get to 160 lbs of lean body mass. Obviously, I'm generalising about the LBM to arm size ratio here but the rule is simple: you need to get big ALL OVER in order to gain a bigger arm.
    Squats and deadlifts are the best way to do that. :tucool:

    Beginner mistake #2: "I need to hit my chest and triceps so I'll do lots of isolation exercises for each like dumbbell flyes and tricep extensions".
    Compound movements like the bench press are the way to go. You can use isolation for a little bit of an edge but that's about it.

    Beginner mistake #3: "I just eat whatever. I've got a protein powder to give me my protein so no need to worry about muscle loss"
    Correct to some degree. A calorie surplus will result in muscle growth with hard training, whether its from cheeseburgers and chips or tuna and brown rice. What you do outside the gym, nutrition and rest, is just as, if not more, important than what you do in there. And why do people think that protein powder is a big bodybuilding secret, it adds muscle unlike normal food and is bad for you like steroids? Its a supplement. That is ALL!

    Thought I'd share some pretty stupid claims and advice that I've heard from various gym people:
    "Yeah, I added like 20lbs of pure muscle over the summer without gaining fat."
    "You should do cardio for at least 50 minutes. You don't burn any calories until you get beyond that"
    "Squats and deadlifts are bad for your back and knees"
    "You eat 6 times a day? You'll never lose weight that way. Get a protein powder and eat very little. You won't lose any muscle"
    "Do lots of crunches. Your abs will never show without them"
    "I lost 10lbs of fat this week by eating just veg and fruit"
     
  15. jefe

    jefe Well-Known Member

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    One of the biggest things I've seen and been guilty of is over-studying, and never really getting started, or once I get started, realize I wasn't doing something well and then quit because I got frustrated with myself.

    My advice is to drink 1 gal water a day, cut out junk food, 45 minutes LISS cardio 3-4 times a week, and lots of reading. Then as you understand more, add more. If it takes a day, it takes a day, if it takes a week to get it, it takes a week. Just get started and add them as you understand them. Before long you'll have a good eating/cardio/lifting routine and won't feel overwhelmed.
     
  16. TheLemonSong

    TheLemonSong Well-Known Member

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    Scale weight is def. the worst of all rookie mistakes in my opinion..nothing discourages people more than expecting to see some random number and seeing a different random number instead!

    One I would like to add to this list is the overestimation of the importance of ab work. I almost never work my abs because they get worked in most of my other exercises...my abs are SOOOOO sore right now and it's from my *back* workout (I use the pully-system thing and set it on the highest height and then rip the cord downward and across my body, then set it on the lowest rung and rip upwards...great workout!)!
     
  17. Zilla

    Zilla Well-Known Member

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    Working your legs is just as important as your arms, chest, shoulders, ect... unless you want to look like a "lollipop". Big on top with little chicken legs below. I personally find that really sexy... :lol: :rolleyes:

    Don't believe everything you read! You will literally make yourself crazy! Everybody seems to think it's "Their Way or the Highway!" Do what works for you.

    Work hard, but be smart about it.

    Don't be afraid to think outside the box. There is a tendency to get so wrapped up in numbers (reps, macros, calories in/ out, ect...) that you may ask yourself if all of this is really worth it. Just because my BMR says one thing does not neccessarily mean my caloric intake has to be X amount in order to effectively burn fat, build muscle, ect.. Everything looks peachy on paper, but humans are not made out of paper! Nor are we a bunch of lab rats, although in some cases I have to wonder...

    Eating junkfood is not a major sin, however , don't blame the pizza guy for delivering food to your door when you gain weight from eating too much of it.

    Question things you don't understand. You will get sarcastic remarks that make you look like an ass (or so the person thinks anyway...) then you have those that will take the time to explain things in a civil fashion. The ones that get all bent out of shape because you dared to question their "authority" on any given issue are fun to watch. Run around hit all their trip wires then sit back and watch them go.

    Oh yeah-- remember to have fun. Fitness doesn't have to be serious all the time. If you can't laugh at yourself once in a while, there is something bigger going on besides trying to shed a few pounds and eat better.
     
  18. oohchild

    oohchild Well-Known Member

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    Proper form in the exercise is important, don't try to increase weights until you can do the exercise in proper form. Remember to warm up and stretch to reduce chances of injury. I took it for granted and learn it the hard way.

    For cutting routine, mistake commonly made is trying to lose weight too quickly, slashing calories by way too much hence losing much of the lean body mass as well. Especially when you are highly active, you need to revise your calories intake as well.

    Drink lots of water, this is common sense.
     
  19. BigDog

    BigDog Well-Known Member

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    This falls under the heading of advice, rather than errors. I've made the mistakes, but just prefer to phrase them as positives.

    1. Know what your workout tomorrow is before working out today.
    2. When you screw up, get over it. It happens to everyone. Don't let your mistakes take you away from your plan and dedication.
     
  20. BigBoned

    BigBoned Active Member

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    Great Thread for newbies like me!!! Thanks All!!! :nod:
     

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