So you want to make some serious gains but haven’t got a clue where to start? A lot of people work out to build muscles, lose weight and just be healthy. The gym is a popular place to make fitness progress, but many of us are still aren’t quite sure how to train for the best results. There are a few big mistakes you can make in the gym, so to save you the embarrassment, we’ve listed a few to avoid.
Don’t Forget About Food
A popular saying that a lot of people in the fitness community use is “80% food, 20% gym”. This means your diet is the most important thing when losing weight or even trying to gain muscle. Beginners tend to overthink the food side of fitness. Eat whole foods, food that came out of the ground and less processed food.
Tracking your calorie intake is a great tool for beginners when trying to figure out weight loss or weight gain. Equally, it’s not all about the calories — you don’t want to keep eating the same bland chicken and vegetable dish, add variety to your meals for the ultimate nutrient pump.
Healthy food can taste good — don’t be scared to add seasoning, or try try some new foods altogether. Pick a lifestyle that you can stick to for the rest of your life (more or less). For example, taking on a juice-only diet isn’t exactly sustainable in the long run, it’s best to mix it up and eat a variety of foods. It’s about finding what works for you while still keeping it healthy — you can still have that cake, but not all day every day.
Stay Within Your Lifting Limits
We’ve all fallen victim to horrible form when lifting weights that are too heavy. The result is stiffness, pulled muscles and you might even injure yourself. Start out with weight that’s comfortable to lift without a spotter — unless you’re lucky enough to have one. Work your way up to the heavier weights gradually — 5-10lbs increments is a good measurement.
Looking at videos and reading up on form is a great way to ensure that you’re performing lifts correctly for the ultimate gains. Equally, you can ask someone in the gym who looks like they know their stuff.
Don’t Copy YouTubers — Everyone Is Different
YouTube is a great place to learn techniques such as form. The only problem is that the fans try to eat how YouTube stars eat, and that’s not necessarily the right diet for you. Everyone’s body is different — some people can take more carbs, some more fat, some people need more protein. You’re going to have to try slightly different diets to see how your body reacts. Don’t just eat 300g of carbs because a big fitness star is doing it. You won’t be squatting 300lbs if you just got your gym membership.
Take Home Message
Planning your gym trip in advance can give you the time to research exercises so that you know what you’re doing when you get there. Remember to take your time, start with lighter weights before you build it up and don’t be afraid to ask for a hand from a fellow gym-goer. Working out a solid gym routine is the best way to see results, so get set for serious progress.