Take it from me, I made a lot of mistakes early on. I’ve always been the type that had to learn everything the hard way. After my first three years in the gym, I had made little progress and a lot of mistakes. I want you to learn from my biggest mistakes, so you can avoid them and make great progress.
MISTAKE NO. 1
Don’t be ignorant! I used to think: How complicated can weight lifting be? You just go into a gym and lift a bunch of weights, you see other people lifting and whoever worked out the longest grew the most muscle. After four-hour workouts and a few injuries, I was starting to realize that maybe it wasn’t that simple. I’d better figure out what I was doing before I killed myself.
Moral of the story: Learn before you do. Weight training is not rocket science, but there’s more to it than you realize. I’ve been doing it for over nine years now. I still learn new things every week,. And, of course, I’ll teach them to you.
MISTAKE NO. 2
Beware of “Muscle and Fiction” magazines. There may not be a magazine called, “Muscle and Fiction,” but that’s the name people in the fitness industry give fitness magazines for good reason. I don’t have a personal vendetta against them, but they have done me much more harm than good. When I first realized I needed to figure out what I was doing, the first placed I turned to was a fitness magazine I saw at the local GNC. I bought the one with the biggest guys on the cover thinking, “they’re the biggest therefore they must know the most” (more like the most about steroids).
At first, I admit I learned a few things. I learned more about nutrition, a few new exercises and a lot about supplements. Most of them are nothing more than a glorified supplement catalogs. But the major problems with these magazines are: 1. They are pretty much the same thing every month. Sure the exercises may change and the articles may have different names, but they never progress you in results. Most of the models you see in them aren’t writing for them or even teaching you their secrets. 2. They’re owned by supplement companies and are very well written. Written to sell you supplements (they sold me early on). Let me ask you, if your goal was to sell someone your supplements, would you want to give them the knowledge they would need to get great results without supplements? Probably not.
Here’s the biggest reason why I stopped believing fitness magazines. When I started personal training, I took several certification courses, read many books and had a chance to learn from the best. Those are all three great ways to gain knowledge. The only problem was I polluted that knowledge by continuing to read fitness magazines. Not everything in those magazines is junk, but if just 20-30 percent is then it will confuse and pollute your knowledge. When I started applying this incorrect information to my clients, I noticed their progress would slow down or stop. That’s when I said I will no longer use fitness magazines as an information resource.
Moral of the story: I’m not completely against fitness magazines, but I do not recommend them. If you subscribe to one and you like it because it motivates you to train, then keep subscribing. If on the other hand, you’re looking to make some great progress by following a training system that works without supplements, then I just might know of one.
MISTAKE NO. 3
The blind leading the blind. Be careful when getting advice and opinions from others. In any health club there’s a good percentage of people who know their stuff or enough to get you results. There’s a much larger percent of people that don’t have a clue and would love to tell you about it.
How can you tell the fakes from the fitness gurus? You really can’t all the time. You figure you can listen to the guys with the biggest muscles, but many of them are on steroids and what works for them will not work for you unless you’re on ‘roids, too.
You can ask the personal trainers. Many of them know their stuff. Be careful, some are just wanna-bes in a fancy shirt. But when they are charging their clients $50-$100 an hour to train how much time and knowledge can they really give. Also, someone who does have a decent amount of knowledge may see a workout program or training system that looks different to them and be opposed because they’ve never tried it.
When I was in my first year of personal training, a fellow trainer asked me how I made such good progress at such a young age when I didn’t even train as much as most people. He was thinking I was on steroids,.I wasn’t, but people will think that when you start training correctly. I showed him my workout and told him to try it for two weeks. He didn’t believe it would work since I was training my muscles four times a week when he was always told to train each muscle no more than two times a week. He gave it a try and was shocked by the results.