Weight training is a great way to increase your self-confidence, fitness, and functionality, and, of course, your overall quality of life. So, congratulations on your decision to begin working out!

People have different reasons for why they want to start working out. It could be to get stronger, look better, improve sports performance, or to have more strength to complete their daily tasks.

Whatever the reason, here are some pitfalls to avoid when starting a weight training program.

Leave your ego at home 

It’s natural to feel a little shy or intimidated when you go to the gym for the first time. Please don’t compare yourself to anyone because everyone is at a different fitness level. You’re not there to compete with them; you’re there for you. Besides, everyone was a beginner at one time.

As a beginner, never attempt exercises that require a high degree of skill, or lift weights that you can’t lift.

You’ll learn and grow over time. Do what you can do, even if it seems like everyone else is capable of doing more! It’s your fitness journey, and you’re building a strong body by lifting what you can safely manage.

Ego is a big pitfall for beginners; so, leave it at home.

Compare your performance only to your former self

We just said not to compare yourself with anyone else at the gym. The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

Sure, the person next to you might be sculpted or picture-perfect. Or the magazines you pick up to learn more about fitness will have cover models with perfect (and photoshopped) bodies. Although it’s good to see what’s possible, why should you compare your journey to anyone else’s?

Live your life.

Compare yourself only to your former self – to the person you were yesterday, last month, or a year ago.

Your competition is you.

So, stay focused on the kind of person you want to become. Be consistent with your fitness routine. Making progress in your life and health will inspire you to stay the course.  Comparing yourself to others will discourage you; besides, it’s pointless.

Compound lifting is best for beginners

When new to lifting weights, keep things simple by centering your workouts around compound lifts.

Movements like bench press, deadlifts, squats, and overhead press are compound lifts. Your priority should be to perfect your form on these compound lifts.

Increase the weight slowly at a rate that allows you to safely perform these movements by making your muscles do the work. It’s hard on your joints when the weight is too heavy. It’s better to go lighter and focus on making the muscle move the weight.

Set reasonable training goals

Beginners tend to do too much too fast because they feel so motivated!

Let motivation fuel you. Just don’t be over-zealous and get burned out, or, worse yet, suffer an injury.

To keep this from happening, set reasonable and attainable goals you can stick with. For example, as a beginner, maybe set a goal to go to the gym 2-3 times a week instead of 4-5 times; this is something you can stick with, and it builds momentum.

Nutrition goals

When you start working out, you’ll need to focus on nutrition and rest. With regards to nutrition, set reasonable goals. There’s no need to eat brown rice and bland chicken breasts all the time!

Make simple changes at first, like adding more nutrient-rich foods to your diet, and reducing junk food and sugary drinks; these simple modifications are a great way to see big changes. And you’ll feel so much better too!

As a beginner, it’s important to focus on a weightlifting routine and nutrition plan that you can sustain over the long haul.

Stay focused and on track by avoiding the common pitfalls that discourage so many beginners.

Remember, it’s your life and fitness journey!

Image by Ichigo121212 from Pixabay

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