We’re lucky that we get the chance to work with so many fitness newbies BEFORE they have tried to work it all out for themselves. It gives us a chance to instill all the “stuff that works” before they waste months – or years – and suffer unnecessary injuries working it all out for themselves.
Still, in those early days we find ourselves dispelling a lot of myths, and imparting a lot of common-sense ideas that might seem to kick against received wisdom.
Here’s a few:
- Having no structured training plan
Many beginners wander around the gym looking confused, and seem to pick exercises at random. Often this is justified by “well, I’m only starting out so I’ll do a bit of everything before I follow a plan”. This, whilst it probably feels sensible, is the polar opposite to what beginners need to do. They need to do a few things, do them frequently, learn them well, and make progress in them. No beginner has any business doing a program with more than 10 exercises in it.
2. Hitting it too hard
Almost the opposite to the above: the folks who print off program from an Instagram hero and try to do it straightaway. 50 difference exercises? Advanced tempo techniques? Partial reps? Recipe for disaster and as for injury – that cheque is on it’s way in the post.
3. Thinking your nutrition has to perfect, right now
Given that no-one has ever defined “perfect” in terms of nutrition, you’re on to a loser here before you start. For newbies, get the exercise sorted first. Make that the new habit. Get a training programme that won’t kill you. Once you’re in the groove, start removing the obvious crap and/or overeating culprits from your diet. For most people, addressing the glaringly obvious problems will do FAR more than suddenly investing a small fortune in matcha tea and bulgar wheat.
4. Hammering the supplements from day one: we’ve already written about this here:
5. Changing your program every couple of weeks.
We get it, sometimes you just can’t face that same session again – but if that’s two weeks in to your new plan, you need to work on your concentration. Progress is linear – you need to do the same thing over and over again to get anywhere. You need to be able to measure your progress over a period of weeks, not days. If you constantly change your program, mixing up rep ranges and even completely changing the exercises you’re doing, you’ll get nowhere.
If you’re training properly, it’s unlikely you’ll follow more than 6-7 programmes in any 12 month period.
Of course, there’s hundreds of basic errors a newbie will make, but addressing these above will probably save a years worth of wasted effort (and money).
For more tailored guidance around YOUR circumstances, nothing beats having a few sessions with a good PT – get in touch and see how RWF can help you.