Four Rookie Gym Errors & How to Avoid Them

gym errors

Everyone makes errors when starting out, it’s absolutely nothing to be worried about and, with a few quick tips, we can jump the start a little to avoid some of the most common mistakes.

So, let’s have a look at four rookie gym errors and how to avoid them.

Overthinking

I see a lot of people tie themselves in knots before even making it to the gym. Which one should I join? What should I wear? What time should I go? What’s my routine?

Everyone carries a bit of nervousness in the beginning, don’t worry about it and just get started. Remember, no one knows what they are doing right away, you won’t be the only novice and there really is only one way to get over the initial fear.

Too much too soon

You’ll see this one a lot – people who go 100mph for a few weeks, burn out and never go back. Make sure you start at a maintainable pace and one you can commit to long-term. If you have never stepped foot inside a gym before, don’t plan to go 7 days a week – 3 is enough to make a MASSIVE difference and you can build from there. A simple push, pull, legs routine is a great place to start.

Should I be bulking or cutting?

The quick answer is IT DOESN’T MATTER. It’s too early to be worrying about whether to cut or bulk – if you are new to the gym, it is possible to build a little muscle and lose a little fat simultaneously. Just get started and spend your first six weeks or so learning the basics. You’ll be in a better place to tackle specifics from there.

Going too heavy

You don’t have to try to match someone who has lifted for years. It’s not a good idea to ‘impress’ your pals by struggling through a set with bad form at your absolute max weight. Take your time, start out light and focus on feeling each movement. That’ll build a base to serve you for years to come.

Like I’ve said before, the most important step is the one through the gym door. Get yourself in there, push stuff, pull stuff and enjoy the process.

What advice do you give to beginners? Did you make any of these errors in the beginning??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below…

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Wraps, Straps and Gloves – Pros & Cons

wraps, straps & gloves

Sometimes injury or a specific weakness can hamper your ability to progress through your workout schedule as planned. You may find your grip bears the brunt of some movements, rather than the targeted muscle, or that wrist pain is hindering your progress on the bench press.

Instead of eliminating exercises from our routines, there are ways to work around these issues by utilising accessories such as wraps, straps and gloves. So let’s look at the pros and cons of each.

Wraps

Pros – One of the most common problems amongst lifters is wrist pain, particularly during pressing and curls. Wraps can help support the joint to ensure it doesn’t stop you from tearing into some of the most important movements in your routine.

Cons – Wrist wraps can be bulky and slightly uncomfortable but won’t really impact progress or limit muscular development.

Tip – Wraps are only necessary if you feel pain / discomfort or have a pre-existing issue. Or if you want to hide some skinny wrists (or is that just me?)!

Straps

Pros – If you find your grip failing before appropriately blasting your lats on pulldowns, straps will help you crank out those last few reps that are so important for growth and progression.

Cons – Linked to the above – if you rely too much on straps, it may limit improvements to your grip strength over time.

Tip – Rotate volume with training to failure, using straps on failure sets to ensure you’re getting the best of both worlds and your grip is still being regularly tested.

Gloves

Pros – Gloves will help protect your hands and are less messy than chalk. They’ll also stop the olympic bar ripping through those hard-earned calluses.

Cons – From a personal point of view, I find it difficult to feel the weight when wearing gloves – particularly on isolation exercises. Also, gloves take a bit of a beating on the fitness meme circuit.

Tip – Wear for heavy deadlifts, rack pulls etc. but don’t get into the habit of wearing throughout your full workout.

So, in summary, each accessory has the potential to assist you with specific lifts and movements but an over-reliance on any one has the potential to hinder your overall progress.

What are your thoughts on wraps, straps and gloves? Is gripping your olympic bar akin to squeezing a cactus??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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Gym Bag Essentials

You’ve had a decent nights sleep, todays nutrition is on point and you’ve taken your pre-workout – what else can you do to upgrade your workout? Making sure you have the right tools, along with the usual keys, padlock and towel, is a good start.

So, what are the key gym bag essentials?

Deodorant

An obvious one, but absolutely essential pre AND post workout. Don’t be that guy.

Phone

This one might be slightly controversial to the old school who swear by avoiding distractions on the gym floor but my phone is an essential for every session; used to record workouts, progress and rest times. And, if you don’t have your phone, what are you gonna blast through your…

Headphones

The only thing more frustrating than trying to get a bench on international chest day is arriving at the gym and realising you’ve forgotten your headphones. I find wireless or headphones are better – nothing worse than having an earphone fall out mid set and struggling to push through those last 3 reps with One Direction playing in the background.

Wraps, Straps, Gloves etc.

Whatever you need to get through the days routine. Straps for back day, gloves for deadlifts and so on… We will cover the pros and cons of each later this week!

Water

It might not be ideal if you forget any of the above but water is the only true ‘essential’. Don’t even try forcing through without it! I drink A LOT of water and will get through at least a litre during a regular session.

Simple Carbohydrates

You are going to burn a lot of calories during a heavy workout so it’s a good idea to quickly replenish the lost glycogen / glucose by taking in some simple carbs following your session. This will get the recovery process going quickly. My go-to is a couple of small bags of Haribo Starmix – 2 will come in at only 69 calories.

What are your gym bag essentials? Have you ever toughed it out without your headphones??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below…

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