Here are the 7 things I wish I knew when I started lifting to help get results faster or save time and wasted energy.
1. Don’t Let Others Influence Your Training So Easily
This is most common in young or new lifters and the most dangerous way this happens is when someone tries to impress their friends or the people around them by lifting heavier than one should. Get this in your head: no one cares how much you lift especially if it’s not done with proper form.
2. Building Muscle and Losing Fat Can Be Simple
There are so many influencers in the fitness industry telling different things that can be difficult to understand what really matters for your personal goal. But building muscle and losing fat can be simple;
Lift weights with good form
Mostly 6-12 rep range
Mostly compound movements
Eat protein often
Calorie surplus to gain size/strength faster
Calorie deficit to lose fat.
And that is what you need to know.
3. Genetics Matter
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get stronger because your genetics do not favour you. In fact, it is just to say that some people have faster progress than you, and you should not be discouraged by that and compare yourself with others. Certain people are genetically predisposed to burn fat fast, others put weight on fast. Either way, trust that discipline and consistency will get you to your goal eventually.
4. Physique Looks Different Depending on Light, Pump, Time of the Day
You should not base your progress on an hour-to-hour or even day-to-day basis, but rather on a longer time scale. Use objective means to track your progress, such as once a week. Mondays people tend to weigh more than Fridays as it’s often after a heavy weekend of food/booze. Be consistent with the time you measure and make sure you are getting progressively stronger in the gym which is a much better indicator of how you are doing instead of how you are looking.
5. Be Analytical About Your Nutrition and Training
Taking a look at your gains from an analytical perspective is a good way to make progress as a beginner. Have some form of a workout log book, or an app, track your weights and reps from week to week and don’t forget to do similar with your nutrition, keeping track of your macros and calorie intake.
Eventually, you will understand your body’s needs and you won’t need to track everything down. Use that period as a learning experience. Like a short course on yourself! Being analytical, from the beginning, will also help you learn more about yourself and help you progress more effectively.
6. No Need for Steroids for an Impressive Physique
Sure there are many bodybuilders who take steroids and look muscular with an impressive physique, but you don’t need to do that to look better. Steroid use when you’re new to the gym can set up a slippery slope for serious mental and physical health issues down the road. Forget aesthetics and think more about strength & performance. A good body will transpire as a bi-product.
7. Newbie Gains Are Real, Take Advantage
As a newbie, you are the most prime for growth so take advantage of it by being serious with your training. If you are thoughtful and intelligent about each workout, be prepared to make the best gains of your life.