Common training mistakes made by beginners at the gym

When you’re training, it can be tough to start out with, as it is usually a maze of trial and error. If you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for, then it can be easy to give up before you’ve began. However, you shouldn’t worry – as success is usually just around the corner. Ditch the things that aren’t working, and keep the things that are.

Training can be a real challenge. Finding the elements of your training programme that are causing you difficulty are even harder. As a common checklist of mistakes put together by Maxinutrition, this guide will have you succeeding at the gym in no time.

Quantity Isn’t Quality

When lifting weights, it’s more important to master your technique rather than mastering how much you can lift. By ignoring technique, you’re ignoring your ability to progress and lift heavier. Master your technique before you attempt to bulk out.

Weights Are Meant to Stimulate Growth

The purpose of lifting weights is to stimulate growth in your muscles and to test your strength, not to see how much you can actually lift.

Start out by performing ten perfect repetitions as opposed to 15 inadequate ones; put your ego to one side, you can always pick it up again once you’ve left the gym. Make sure that you stick to whey protein shakes after your workout to get the best out of your workout.

More Hours Don’t Equal Better Training

Don’t work on the assumption that if you train for 3-4 hours per week, working out for twice as long is more beneficial – this isn’t always the case. When you’re building muscle, gaining weight or shedding fat, more time in the gym is not always better, so make sure you’re utilising your time wisely.

Training too hard

As one of the biggest mistakes people make, beginners can often workout too much or too often. Do a little less than you would like to if you’re in doubt. You’ll not burn yourself out by working too hard and because you’ll have the energy, you’ll be looking forward to your next gym session.

Performing repetitious exercises

Many people think that doing the same exercises repeatedly, but just more of them, is a good thing. You need to keep yourself and your body guessing when it comes to the gym. By introducing changes into your programme on a regular basis, you’re incorporating progressive variation into your exercise routine. Start with incline bench first rather than second, then take to the squats rather than at the end – a variated workout is a good workout.

Introducing something new every 2-3 weeks into the routine will keep it fresh and interesting, and will help you avoid continuous mistakes in your workout. After that, completely change your workout every 6-8 weeks.

Introducing too much change

Using the same routine all the time will kill your progress, but so will switching your routine continuously. 6 – 8 weeks is the optimum amount of time to determine whether a workout is right for you. Make sure you’re patient; nobody gets a great body in a few months.


Everyone at the gym needs a goal, and if you’ve ever seen people endlessly wandering around the gym, this is because they’re usually goalless. 8 out of 10 people usually give up on their exercise programmes after 12 months or less after starting.

When you start working out, decide exactly what it is you want to do in the gym, and once you’ve achieved this, give yourself another goal. Vague notions such as ‘losing weight’ or ‘toning up’ are not enough, specific targets such as 7 pounds in six weeks, or a stone in 2 months, are goals that you can put pen to paper to and tick off.