By Ste Watson – London fitness Blogger & Personal trainer in London

When you begin any new endeavour there’s understandably always a steep learning curve: a transition into learning new skills and becoming familiar with a new environment. When you start training and begin a new gym routine it’s more important than ever to do some studying before you start, the sacrifice for not doing so is risking injury, training longevity and long-terms goals you may have. Here are some common goals people will typically make when they start a training routine:

1. Under-valuing the importance of rest:

There are often two personality types that can lead to undesired training outcomes: 1) the impatient and 2) the over-enthusiastic. This point discusses the latter. Training for many can become fairly addictive, that endorphine rush can be something many seek out daily or even multiple times daily. Although initially you might think you’re doing yourself a favour by committing so much to the routine, it’s often the case you’re doing your body and ambitions a disservice. When you’re training in any capacity you’re breaking down muscle tissue (to varying degrees based on the exercise/resistance). An integral part of reaping the benefits of this exertion is allocating rest time, enabling the muscle tissue to recover into a stronger version of its previous self. Failure to factor this in means that the muscle won’t grow and strengthen, you’ll just constantly be beating down and damaging tissue, which leads to injury.

2. Lack of patience:

Addressed briefly in the first point; lack of patience is a common cause unused gym memberships. Don’t be fooled; goals are rarely achieved overnight, it can take months or even years to achieve a goal. You need to plan out a structured regiment that can slot into your lifestyle and enjoy the process of eating well and training. You need to have a clear goal, if it’s vague, you won’t be motivated to sustain the sacrifices you need to make. Also make sure your goals are realistic. If you’re 35% bodyfat, getting abs in a week isn’t achievable. Instead set an achievable goal, such as completing 4 x 20 minute cardio sessions a week.

3. Don’t run before you can walk:

The gym environment can be competitive, particularly if you train with competitive individuals. This can often be advantageous: it will help fuel you for those tough training sessions. However – conversely – it can also lead to ‘ego lifting’. ‘Ego lifting’ can be characterised by listing weight outside of your strength capabilities, which inevitably leads to poor form, short range of movement and injury. Push yourself, but be sensible. A great way to do this is by logging the amount of weight you lift in each session, this way your competition is solely yourself. This will keep the weights you lift logical whilst allowing you to develop strength and muscle mass progressively.

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