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Knowing how to start your fitness journey can take a lot of work. A quick Google search will net you tons of information that can lead down many paths, most needing to be corrected.
We are here to help with ten common mistakes we see when getting started in fitness. If you are making these, don’t worry. There is still time to correct your course!
Most people have a high level of motivation when first starting. They are pumped about their new hobby and want to spend as much time as possible doing it. This motivation can be a double-edged sword that can hold back your desired progress. Your body does not grow in the gym; it grows AFTER the gym when it is recovering.
There is a delicate balancing act between too much and too little. Twenty minutes 3x a week is certainly better than zero, but if you aim to achieve a lean or muscular physique, you must put in the time. Generally, 3-5 hours a week in the gym will make sure you stay out of mistakes 1 and 2 here!
The body needs to be pushed to make changes. Evolution is working against the idea of you being a lean, mean, muscular machine because body fat is seen as essential and muscle as a liability. Power requires blood flow and nutrients to be sustained, so the body will get rid of that first, most times if push comes to shove in a survival situation. Intense weight training tells the body that muscle is essential and we must keep and grow more. Intensity is everything in the gym.
As discussed in the previous section, intensity is everything. Some folks, however, think that this means they need to lift as heavy as possible for as many reps as possible. This is not true and can lead to serious injury. You need to feel the muscle working with a load that is heavy enough to stimulate, not annihilate. We can thank the great Lee Haney for that gem. Progressing with weights will happen over time; focus on contracting the muscle with as much weight as possible while maintaining form and focus.
There are all sorts of workouts out there. There are tons of variations with bands, chains, and fancy add-ons. These certainly have their place in the bodybuilding world, but what is undeniable is the importance of basic compound movements. Ensure these are included with your workouts to build your foundation and be the cornerstone of your workouts to progress on the fancy stuff, too.
Muscle is roughly seventy-six percent water. If you are not adequately hydrated, your workouts will not be as effective as they should be. Water and electrolytes are not only essential to life, but they are essential to your pump as well. If you are not caught up on your daily fluids, don’t expect to knock it out of the park at the gym for that session. This one is easily fixable.
Salt is an essential mineral. It is one of the drivers of contraction for every muscle in your body. You cannot live without sodium, period. If you are not eating enough salt, the muscles cannot contract properly, and you can see where this may cause a problem while in the gym. Be sure to hit around 2,500 mg at a minimum during your day to ensure you are not short-changing yourself and your workouts.
The gym can be a place to meet awesome like-minded people. This is clearly a positive to your social life. But, if this is taken too far, it can interfere with the time spent doing what you are there to do. Keep the small talk to either before or after your lifting. A chatty gym partner can hinder your progress, and you could be leaving gains on the table.
Who doesn’t love the mid-workout pump selfie? I get it. You look fantastic; you want Instagram to see it. But doing this too much or too often can also take time away from your lifting and lessen the intensity of your workouts. Don’t worry about catching every angle of your sick pump; get a quick pic and carry on!
We’ve all had those days where we walk in and do whatever is available to get that workout in and out—punching our time card, so to speak. This is okay occasionally, but walking in with a set plan and workout is essential to tracking the progress of your lifts and not feeling lost mid-workout. Have each day laid out precisely what you will be doing and executing. You will notice a big difference in your progress and your mentality by doing so!
If you are making these mistakes, don’t worry. Everyone has at some point in their lifting career. Now that you’re aware, you can make better choices based on your new knowledge. Blackstone Labs offers several products that can also assist you on your fitness journey. If you’re going to commit to do everything right, you might as well cover all your bases. Contact us today in our live online chat or at [email protected] today to see how Blackstone Labs can take you to the next level.