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Life’s challenges force us to harden up. Relationships, work, children, family and finances all combine to put us under a lot of pressure and the way we are expected to deal with these is to develop resilience and to some extent indifference. We are required to be tough.

To teach our kids to be tough and with each blow life delivers to knock us down, we need to get up, dust ourselves off and pick up where we left off. The more times we start again, the colder and more jaded we become.

01 of 10 Form is Weight

Form is Weight

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Patience is something almost every beginner lacks, but is also a vital key to success. When first stepping in the gym, progress may come rather quickly, whether it is in the form of size or strength gains. Depending on your body, your progress will begin to decrease after a period of time and adding weight to the bar will become progressively difficult.

It’s important to understand that reality. You simply cannot continue to make those kinds of gains naturally, unless you’ve got remarkable genes. Having patience and realizing that you will not achieve your ideal physique in a few months will keep your spirits high and reality in check.

02 of 10 Have Patience – Set Long And Short-Term Goals

Have Patience – Set Long And Short-Term Goals

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Overtraining is arguably the most important concept for a beginner to understand. Overtraining can be avoided with a good routine, proper nutrition and plenty of rest. Do not just go to the gym everyday to bench and curl. Your body needs time to recuperate and repair, which is exactly why you need plenty of rest.

Find a good full-body routine. Ideally, you should be training in the gym 3 times a week, excluding cardio days. Soreness is not an indication of how “fresh” your muscles are, but they can be an indication of how “fatigued” they are.

For example, if you did legs on Monday, and come Friday, your legs are still sore, you should skip that workout and do legs on another day. The reason why your legs are still sore so many days after your workout is perhaps due to excessively high volume. I would aim for approximately 8-10 sets for a major muscle group, like the quads.

03 of 10 Overtraining


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Switching to a healthier lifestyle requires proper nutrition 100% of the time. Yes, I know, it’s not easy. Proper nutrition is just as important as the first three tips above. Since you are now expending more energy than the average person, you must consume more calories/nutrients than the average person as well.

Take a multivitamin everyday to ensure you have the necessary nutrients to train effectively, preferably one which contains higher levels of B-vitamins. Instead of 3 large meals a day, consume 5-6 evenly distributed medium sized portions. Also, make sure you eat clean, no junk food or soda.

04 of 10 Have Proper Nutrition

Have Proper Nutrition

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If you have questions about proper form or how to use a machine, by all means ask somebody. Don’t just assume you’re doing it right or else you might get injured. Ask the people who look like they know what they are doing in the gym or ask questions on the forum. If you hear good advice, take it.

05 of 10 Ask Questions And Take Good Advice

Ask Questions And Take Good Advice

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Beginners should focus their energy towards the basic three compound lifts: squat, deadlift, and bench press. After you perfect the form, start adding weight to the bar.

Those three lifts are the easiest to make strength gains on, which obviously means faster muscle mass gains. Compound exercises recruit many more muscle fibers than isolation exercises, so you will gain more overall strength.

Compound lifts should be done at the beginning of your workout, when you have the most energy. Isolations should be done towards the end of the workout, when you have the least energy. When you become familiar with the basic three, you are ready to move on.

06 of 10 Compound Exercises > Isolation Exercises

Compound Exercises > Isolation Exercises

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Most beginners and even some more experienced lifters don’t train legs either because the workouts are too grueling or simply because they can stay hidden in baggy jeans. Your legs are the foundation for normal everyday activities such as walking, running, and standing.

Your legs are even more important if you play sports. Strong legs will help you run faster, become stronger, and most importantly, lower your chance of being injured. I know this first hand. I used to train my legs sparingly because the workouts were so hard. I simply didn’t feel like going to the gym on leg days and even if I did, I would just go through the motions and never train at a high enough intensity.

07 of 10 Remember To Train Your Legs

Remember To Train Your Legs

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A proper warm-up includes a quick jog on the treadmill, stretches, and doing a couple sets with a lighter weight with higher repetitions. Of course you want to keep your energy level high after your warm up so don’t overdo it. The primary purpose of warming up is to prevent injury.

Let’s say today is your chest day. First off, you would hop on the treadmill or whatever cardio machine you prefer and jog for a couple of minutes at a moderate pace. The purpose of this is to get your blood flowing and to raise your body temperature. Remember, a warm muscle is more flexible and less likely to get injured than a cold muscle.

08 of 10 Warm Up Properly

Warm Up Properly

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There are so many different supplement companies out there with so many different products. Magazine sadvertise countless products and are endorsed by numerous massive bodybuilders. Maybe the supplements work, maybe they don’t. Let’s just focus on the essentials that are proven time and time again by people like you and me and spare your wallet in the meantime.

Beginners often use too much supplements, some of which they don’t even understand. In my opinion, anyone with less than 1 year of weightlifting experience should take a multivitamin and whey protein, that’s it.

09 of 10 Don’t Rely Too Much On Supplements

Don’t Rely Too Much On Supplements

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This is a great motivator. Take a picture of yourself right now without your shirt on, and continue to take these pictures every 3 months. Don’t take the pictures every month because you probably won’t see much difference.

When you feel like quitting or feel a lack of motivation, just look at your pictures and realize just how far you have gotten. After a while, you’ll be very pleased. If you are not, reevaluate your diet and training.

10 of 10 Take A Before And After Picture

Take A Before And After Picture

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Focus on those exercises, trust me, you won’t regret it. Also, don’t be afraid to add weight to the bar as well, as long as your form is in check. Overloading the muscles is essential for growth because the body doesn’t need to adapt if nothing’s changing. Therefore, you must force your body to change by adding weight or another repetition on that exercise that next time it comes around.

Aim for 8-12 repetitions for more mass, 1-5 for more strength. Don’t worry about biceps, triceps and traps exercises; they all get worked one way or another. Once you become stronger in those exercises, you can do isolation exercises, but your staple should always be compound exercises.

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It’s absolutely crucial that you follow those tips. Following those tips could mean the difference between run of the mill gains and great gains. It could mean the difference between becoming stronger and becoming injured. I know following all ten tips at a time isn’t easy, but you probably knew half of it already. Just take it one step at a time.

These 10 tips are just tips; they’re not the Ten Commandments. Listen to your body, everyone is unique and responds differently. However, most of these tips have been proven time and time again and some are just common sense. It’s up to you if you want to follow these tips or not. However, you simply cannot go wrong if you do.

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