A gym can be a daunting place for a beginner. Hopefully this page will help you learn how to prevent injuries and minimize conflicts with other gym-goers.
Showing Common Courtesy
- Just because you will be getting sweaty and gross during your workout does not mean you should not practice good hygiene before going to the gym. At least wear some deodorant.
- Avoid lifting directly in front of a rack of weights or you most likely will be in someone's way.
- If you need to ask someone a question, wait until they are finished with their set. That way, they will not lose count.
- Be aware of your surroundings and make sure no one is in your range of motion and that you are not in another person's range of motion.
- Squat racks are not for bicep curls.
- Do not be embarrassed about the amount of weight you can lift. You have to start somewhere.
- Do not sacrifice range of motion for more reps or more weight.
- Be sure to use proper form to avoid injury.
- At some point, you might want to start cutting (reducing body-weight and fat), for advice on doing so check out this link.
- To build strength, try 3-5 sets of 4-6 reps.
- To increase muscle size (hypertrophy), try 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps.
- For endurance, try 4-5 sets of 12-15 reps.
- People's bodies are different. The last three points work for most people but if they do not, switch up your routine when you are comfortable and do what gets you the best results.
Basic Compound Lifts
A compound lift is a movement across multiple joints, so that a variety of muscles get a work out as opposed to isolation lifts, which target specific areas. Compound lifts are usually a good introduction to weight-lifting because they supposedly develop strength and size most efficiently when they are the core of a workout program.
Questions Beginners Normally Ask
Why am I not getting any bigger? Most people normally run into this problem because they are not consuming enough calories and macronutrients.
How do I get nice abs? You need to drop your body fat if you want your abs to show nicely. Large reps of crunches will not get rid of the fat around your stomach. You just have to eat cleanly and maybe increase the amount of cardio exercises that you do.
What is overtraining? If you train too intensely too often without allowing time for recovery, you might be overtraining. Usually you will stop progressing, lose the desire to train, and start getting sick and tired. Most likely you will not be overtraining even with these symptoms.
I think I injured something, what do I do? Try taking a break for a week. If the problem persists, talk to a trainer, coach, or doctor.
- Abcbodybuilding.com's Animated Exercise Guides - Helpful animations to help you learn and improve your exercises.
- Bodybuilding.com's Exercise Guides - If you want to learn how to do a certain exercise, they have written instructions and videos that are really helpful.
- Exercise and Muscle Directory - How do I work out...?