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.


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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Should You Listen To Music During Your Workout?

For me, music has been linked to exercise ever since I was a kid watching the Rocky series. Who can separate the movies from THAT soundtrack? If only every workout was as sweaty, ripped and intense as a Rocky training montage (you can keep the chicken-chasing though)!

So, should you listen to music during your workout?

Research shows that adding the right music to your session can have a positive effect on your heart rate, mindset and ability to deal with discomfort. Experts recommend avoiding syncopated music such as salsa or jazz as it can have a confusing impact on your coordination but I’m not sure they would have been high on your list anyway!

I find that the best music to accompany an intense workout is something familiar which holds a positive association. Personally, my workout playlists consist of cheesy nu-metal and classic hip-hop – equal parts nostalgic and motivational.

If music isn’t your thing, podcasts are fine for extended periods of cardio but I wouldn’t recommend anything that is going to draw attention away from your workout. The best results come from movements performed with a perfect mind-muscle connection – something that can be difficult to achieve at the best of times without finding yourself immersed in a murder-mystery series!

There are times when it may make sense to go music-free. I found a lot of benefit in silence when shifting routines and focusing on learning new exercises and tempos. Once I became more comfortable, I reintroduced the playlists to help squeeze out an extra rep or two! Now, you’ll notice I said ‘music-free’, I’ll still be wearing headphones to give off that I’m in the zone, don’t bother me vibe.

What’s on your workout playlist? Do you ever wear headphones just to be anti-social??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below…

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From Rookie to Rocky: 3 tips for getting started at the gym…

getting started at the gym

This is a post that I put together last year but I thought it was the perfect way to kick things off here at the NEW Trouble with Gary. P.S – I promise not to pose like this in every picture.

Everyone has to start somewhere but it doesn’t hurt to have a plan from day one. When it come to getting started at the gym, we want to avoid over-estimating and booking into a series of intense classes as a starter. Instead, look to bed yourself in slowly and focus on making small adjustments until your comfort levels increase.

To help you along, follow these 3 tips for getting started at the gym…

1. Keep it simple

A focus on the basics will keep you right for those early visits, at least until you get comfortable enough to experiment or incorporate more advanced exercises into your regime. Straightforward moves like curls and rows will see you continue to improve and avoid you becoming tangled upside-down in a squat-rack.

2. Keep it light

This one goes for weights, distances, speeds and any other type of measurement you can think of. If you’ve not been to the gym in a while, you might be surprised by how difficult you find cardiovascular work. I was shocked at how much I struggled on the treadmill, thinking back to the boundless energy I had last time I played football (admittedly about 10 years previous!).

3. Keep a record

What exercises did you feel a real benefit from and what did little to engage your body? What weight are you lifting, what distance are you covering and what speed are you reaching?? Make sure you note it down! I do this on my phone using an app called ‘Strong’. This is essential as it will help you track your progress and improvement – there is no better boost than that!

Basically, don’t let anything put you off working towards your fitness goals. There is a routine to suit every age, body-type and experience level.

The most important step is the one through the gym door…

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