If you want to avoid being called a “noob” in the gym then you need to figure out how to not make these 5 big mistakes. It starts with first distinguishing between a noob and a beginner however. People often think that all noobs are beginners and that is just not the case. Someone who is stuck in a stage where they get little results, especially when they have a lot of hours logged in the gym, is where we need to intervene and identify the biggest reasons why.
The first reason is that they rely too heavily on machines in the gym. This often starts out of insecurity and a lack of comfort lifting dumbbells and barbells in the more visible areas of the gym. It’s normal for a newcomer to the gym to be a bit self conscious in a room surrounded by guys much bigger and experienced.
The machines provide a comfort level that just isn’t there when you first start. The problem with this however is that they remove a lot of the important building blocks from the equation when just starting to work out. They limit the proprioceptive awareness that you’ll need when you start to lift dumbbells and barbells. They also limit the development of coordination that is often needed for the bigger compound lifts. If you do wind up building some strength here, it can actually be a detriment since, when taken back to the more classic weighted lifts you don’t have the actual strength and neurological skills listed above to execute the lift properly and safely. This winds up becoming dangerous and sets the stage for injury as you attempt to lift upon a cracked foundation.
The next big mistake is a lack of body awareness. Building off of the last point, when you don’t know where your body is in space you can also not be able to appreciate which muscles are supposed to even be performing the lift you are doing. If you aren’t aware which muscles are supposed to be firing to perform a lift it is easy to substitute momentum and limit the effectiveness of the exercise.
It’s also very hard to learn how to recruit the proper muscles fully. Even if you knew which muscles were supposed to be working but didn’t have an ability to contract them fully then you would be limiting your results due to a bad mind muscle connection with the muscle.
Thirdly, when the strength is lacking the range of motion suffers. This is common since we tend to want to perform the portion of a lift that we are confident we have the strength to perform in. Rather than lowering the weight to accommodate our strength in even our weakest range, we just either lift the weight that is too heavy or we limit the range to allow for what strength we do have. Either way, this is not an ideal strategy since it is one that will eventually be exposed down the road in the form of injury or unimpressive gains.
The next thing you want to be aware of is the order of the exercises that you are performing in your workouts. Most noobs randomly attack their workouts, opting to perform them in whatever order they feel like at any given moment. This is not ideal if you are looking for maximum muscle gains. Instead, you want to be sure your biggest lifts (the compound exercises) are performed not only when you have the most energy but before allowing any isolation exercises to fatigue your performance in the gym on those big lifts.
If you start off your workouts with small isolation exercises and then start to perform your big lifts (and the ones that require often times the most coordination and freshness) then you will likely never lift the type of weight that is possible here due to fatigue that was avoidable.
The next big mistake is not knowing when to switch things up. This can come in the form of switching it up too early or not switching it up enough. The issue is just not having enough experience to know when a change is necessary. And here we hit upon a very important point. It’s not uncommon to hear that minimalism and just a few exercises is all you need to get bigger. That’s true. But if your exercises are devoid of progressive overload in any form then you are better off just switching up your exercises instead.
The very fact that the new exercise can provide a novel stimulus is often enough to provide some reason for adaptation and response in the form of muscle growth. Of course, change for the sake of change is not the ultimate goal, learning how to progressively overload is.
If you want to remove your noob status once and for all, you’re going to want a plan. You can find them at athleanx.com via the link below. Start training like an athlete today and remove all the guesswork from your workouts so you can make steady, impressive gains year in and year out.
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