I’m not Charlton Heston, so please imagine a booming voice vibrating these from my skull to yours!
1. You Shalt Know Thy Starting Ground
Newbies tend to construct complicated workout plans, made up of dozens of exercises, most of them only suitable for guys who have lots of practice. What you need is a plan that builds your foundation!
2. You Shalt Have One Workout Plan Only
This one comes hot on the heels of the first: guys switching their workout plans every week, heck, every workout and getting nowhere. You have to stick with a plan to get your body accustomed to the exercises and get the most out of them. When you are new, you can stay with the same full body workout plan for half a year!
3. You Shalt Show Persistence
Most guys give up on working out because they have unrealistic expectations, fueled by the “gain 20 lbs of muscle in 4 months” snake oil sellers. Gains come slow! If you haven’t seen some muscle growth after 1 year of steady training, then you have a reason to complain. Maybe.
4. You Shalt Honour The Rest Day
But up there in the list of top mistakes workout beginners love to commit is, well, overcommitment. From Monday to Sunday, they work out every single day, never giving their bodies time to rest. Unfortunately, rest is when muscle growth happens. When you train, your muscles work, when you rest, they grow.
5. You Shalt Have One Gram Of Protein Per Pound Of Thy Weight
Working out without getting protein is futile, because it’s the stuff your body uses to build muscle mass. You don’t even need that much of it: research shows that 1 g / lb of body weight is the upper limit where it’s useful.
6. While You Are It, You Shalt Check The Rest Of Your Nutrition
You don’t live on protein alone, you know? Carbs give you energy, some fats the body needs and there is also the small matter of vitamins and minerals. If you are too lazy to figure it all out for yourself, check my free workout nutrition plan that covers an entire week. It takes care of all your nutritional troubles!
7. You Shalt Not Cheat Thy Gains
Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can curl 20 lbs when you swing the dumbbell like Six Flags’ pirate ship ride:
That ship uses momentum to keep on swinging. When you use momentum, you keep on stalling …your gains!
8. You Shalt Forget About Almost All Supplements
There are just three workout supplements that have solid scientific evidence behind them: protein powder, creatine and caffeine. The rest does next to nothing and is sometimes outright dangerous. Save your money (and maybe your health)!
This is not meant to insult your religious feelings. Rather I have seen beginners commit those mistakes so often (and advice against them ignored), that I felt something that sounded a bit more drastic was in order.
If you have a commandment to add, let’s hear it!
Picture courtesy of Wikimedia.