So you’ve decided you’re going to start working out – first off I’d like to congratulate you… making the decision to workout is a huge one and I promise you’re not going to regret it. One of my clients says that one of his favourite quotes to keep him motivated is “you’re never going to regret working out if you do, but you’re always going to regret it if you don’t”. So true.

Now that you’re going to begin working out on a regular basis, there’s a couple things that I want to explain to you in order to have you better understand what you’re doing in the gym (and help you get better results, and prevent injury/burnout in the process).

Let’s get started.

What Are The 5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Beginning A Gym Routine?

Mistake 1 – They Try To Go Too Often In Hopes That “More Is Better”:

While this concept may look enticing on paper, it’s rarely the case. If you’ve been sedentary the past couple months/years/decades, and you’ve now decided you’re going to get in shape – your body isn’t used to the stress of working out. That is why it’s important to ease into it. If you don’t you’re going to go through 1 of 2 different situations.

  • The first situation is you’ll be too sore to continue, and lose motivation to continue with your regular routine.

  • The second situation is you’ll suffer burnout. This occurs when we are both mentally, as well as physically fatigued, this occurs all too often. It occurs when, we try to do too much, too soon, and this results in poor motivation, and poor results in the gym.

Realistically, if you’re efficient in the gym – for 3/4 of the population a workout should only take around an hour or hour and a half – max.

So what do I do?
When beginning a gym routine, I commonly recommend people start out the first 3-4 weeks with 2 sessions per week with a day or two of rest between each session. After this, depending how their body is responding to working out (are they overly sore? how are they feeling mentally?) we may increase it to 3x/week

Mistake 2 – They Start With A Split Routine:

Although there is a time and a place for experienced lifters to do routines that use different days to work out different muscle groups – when starting to work out for the first time in a while, full body workouts are commonly the best and most effective way to start. The reason for this is that the muscle groups haven’t been trained in so long that they need a very small amount of stimuli (stress from exercises) to see progress. On the contrast, If we try to destroy our muscles through doing 5 different chest exercises in a single workout for example, we’re going to put ourselves in the position of doing too much too quickly (tying back to mistake 1).

What can I do instead?
A common philosophy that is a great to do when working out for the first time in a while, is to try and do 2-3 workouts as mentioned above, but ensure they are full body workouts. This is enough to workout each muscle group and expose them to the stimuli needed for positive exercise adaptations.

Mistake 3 – They Load Up Too Much Weight:

Another common mistake when people are starting out in the gym (especially for men), is they try to workout with too much weight. This is a common problem I see even in some of my clients (which we correct) and sometimes you just need to step back and think “If I’m not moving this weight properly, I’m not going to get proper results”.

Some of the signs that may mean you’re using too much weight are:

  • In order to move the weight, you need to ‘rock it’… See gif.

  • You can’t maintain proper form throughout all your reps

  • You go red in the face just thinking about trying to lift it

Step back, and focus on each rep, with proper form and speed.

Mistake 4 – Their Goal Is To Lose Weight, But They Don’t Change Their Diet:

This is another one that is all too common. People want to lose weight, but they expect all their results to occur in the gym. This is simply not the case. Diet is what fuels the body, if you’re fueling your body with too much food, or with the wrong kind of food, it’s going to be super challenging to get the results you want. Believe it or not, healthy food can also be delicious – you just need to find a consistent, great resource of finding healthy recipes.

What To Do?

Learn a little bit about nutrition. Follow nutrition accounts online for recipes using the hashtags #healthymeals #healthy recipes, and others similar to that. Let me know what you find!

Mistake 5 – They Expect Drastic Results Overnight:

What’s the old saying? “Rome wasn’t built in day”?… much like rome, one day of working hard, isn’t going to get you any crazy results. Your results are going to come from being consistent, being patient, and making good decisions when nobody is watching. If you do all three of these, you’re going to succeed, but all too often people think that small ‘cheats’ are okay, and they are.. but not if you’re looking to achieve a certain result by a certain time frame.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post!

Written by Your Future Fitness Owner, and Fitness Blogger – Andrew Blakey