So you have decided to begin working out, congratulations! Weight training is a wonderful way to increase your functionality, self-confidence, and overall quality of life.
You most likely have your own personal reason for beginning this journey; whether you are looking to improve your physical appearance, become stronger and more able to perform everyday tasks or maybe improve your performance in a sport or hobby.
Whatever your “why” may be, it is important that you start by building a solid foundation not only in your actual workouts, but in your recovery and nutrition habits outside of the gym.
In this article, we will discuss a few key points that will hopefully provide a simple, yet effective way for you to avoid some of the pitfalls experienced by individuals beginning a weight training regimen.
1. Leave Your Ego At The Door
One of the most detrimental ways to begin weight training is to modify your own training to compete with the people around you in the gym. Keep in mind that every individual you encounter when working out is at a different place in their fitness journey.
As a beginner, the last thing you need to do is attempt exercises that require a high degree of technique or, even worse, lift way more weight than you are capable of safely managing. Ego is one of the biggest enemies of progress in any new endeavor and weight training is certainly no exception. Everyone has been a beginner in the gym at some point.
2. Focus On The Compound Lifts
As a new gym goer, it is so easy to become disoriented by all the complex, shiny gym equipment, leaving you wandering around the gym without any real sense of direction. Keep things simple.
Every one of your workouts should be centered around what are known as compound lifts. These include movements like the bench press, squat, deadlift and overhead press. Compound lifts are by far the most bang for your buck. Working out should be anything but complicated.
Make your first priority to perfect your form on these lifts, SLOWLY increasing the weight only at the rate you can still perform the movement safely.
3. Only Compare Your Progress To Your Former Self
Fitness is a prime example of how comparing yourself to people and images portrayed around you can completely derail your motivation and drive to continue.
Whether it is the extremely sculpted individual lifting next to you or the magazine covers featuring Greek god-like physiques, never compare your journey to anyone else’s.
The ONLY person you should ever compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday, last week, 6 months ago. If you remain consistent and dedicated to your routine, the progress you see in the mirror will be such a fulfilling achievement.
4. Set Reasonable Training & Nutrition Goals
Often times when beginning a new hobby or routine, people have a tendency to rush in full-speed ahead. While this newfound motivation is great, it has the potential to leave you burnt out or even injured, especially pertaining to working out. To avoid this, set reasonable, attainable goals that you can actually stick to long-term. For example, set a goal to begin working out 3 days per week.
The same goes for your nutrition. Instead of eating nothing but brown rice and bland chicken breast 5 times per day, make an effort to cut out your favorite junk food all but once per week.
When it comes to working out, you absolutely must play the long game. If you are going to stick to this, your habits must be sustainable.