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What Were Your Top 5 Newbie Lifter Mistakes?

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  • What Were Your Top 5 Newbie Lifter Mistakes?

    Hey all!

    I finally got access to a weight room again, and I am super excited. Starting Wednesday I'm going in and starting the Stronglifts 5x5 program. My knees are strong enough to handle weighted squats, and deadlifts. My arms are strong enough to support my weak wrists. I am ready for this, finally, after a year of bodyweight strengthening in preparation!

    What I want to know is this: You lifters out there, what were the top 5 mistakes you made when you were new to heavy lifting that you wouldn't want someone else to make? This can be anything from "don't injure yourself by doing this dumb thing" to "don't be that jerk in the gym who does this dumb thing". Pain, embarassment, ignorance, etc. I want to hear all the stories! Help a new lady lifter to success?
    Prions are natures way of telling us that cannibalism is for losers.

    My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread36522.html

  • #2
    Gone heavy and compromised form - videotape yourself and then post for feedback (Starting Strength has a forum for this, perhaps Stronglifts does too)

    I now use wrist wraps for press, snatch, jerk and bench

    I'm sure there are more but that is all I can think of besides for really stupid things (walking the wrong way out of a squat rack probably takes the cake - I had never used a barbell before though... in my weak defense ).

    Overall I offer the following advice - find someone who knows that they are doing and ask for help. This can be someone at the gym who seems competent and experienced or perhaps a coach. Be wary of people who push you towards machines over free weights - find someone else. I was at a powerlifting gym for a while and the men there (there were few women) could out squat me by 500 lbs... but they were helpful and nice! They would watch my squats for depth, offer suggestions for my bench, etc.

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    • #3
      Mistakes:

      1 - Telling people and this board my routine
      2 - Offering advice

      Comment


      • #4
        Sure, I’ll see if I can help you. Stronglifts is not a bad program, and if you stick with it, you should see good progress. My lifting began with a few months of Starting Strength, and here are some of my main mistakes from that period.

        1. I didn’t eat enough protein. – Lifting programs for beginners have aggressive load increases. You add weight to the bar every workout. To keep that going, you need lots of protein (at least 1 g per 1 lb of bodyweight each day). When I should have been eating 210+ grams daily, I was only getting about 150 on average. Trust me, it makes a difference.

        2. I didn’t sleep enough. – Lifting programs for beginners also require a lot of sleep (the more the better). I was getting about 7 hours each night, but 8 would’ve been a lot better.

        3. I didn’t appreciate how difficult the lifts are to master. – Although the lifts look simple, it can take some time to get the form right. A properly performed low-bar squat has many subtleties to it. That’s why Mark Rippetoe spent about 60 pages describing how to squat in Starting Strength. Do what you can and realize that your form will get better with practice.

        4. I didn’t buy a belt or weightlifting shoes, at first. – I didn’t think that I’d need them. Looking back, they’ve been my best training partners. A belt helps you stay tight through your torso, lift more weight, and become stronger (mainly for the squat and deadlift). Shoes help you to become more stable, very useful for the squat and overhead press.

        5. I listened to music while lifting. – This is somewhat trivial and may not apply to you. At first, I would workout while listening to some metal to get me in the right mood. I found that I started to rely on it too much. I now lift in silence and prepare mentally on my own. If listening to music helps you though, then by all means, do that.

        I hope this helped. Good luck!
        Last edited by Jefferson1775; 08-05-2013, 07:21 PM.
        In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

        This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Vick View Post
          Mistakes:

          1 - Telling people and this board my routine
          2 - Offering advice
          I'm sorry, Vick, did I do/say something to offend? Am I using this forum incorrectly? If so, I apologize.
          Prions are natures way of telling us that cannibalism is for losers.

          My Primal Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread36522.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Ditching shoes made a big difference to my squats and deadlifts.
            Stretching and foam-rolling regularly made a big difference to my squats.

            Learn actively - study what is out there, do your own thinking and experiment.
            Few but ripe.

            Comment


            • #7
              Improper/not enough warmup
              Improper form
              Doing too much too often
              Behind-the-head pulldowns
              Not squatting/deadlifting hard enough

              Comment


              • #8
                No stretch / warm up
                Neck / head position on main compounds
                Curved arched back
                Shoulders shrugged / tight
                General Shocking form / depth /
                feet position / grip / knees out


                From London England UK

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                • #9
                  Not squatting below parallel.
                  Still not eating enough protein, so said . I'm still not sure if I really believe that, seems insane to eat that much.

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                  • #10
                    -Looking in the mirror all the time (ruins your line of sight/neutral head position)
                    -Keeping tight and engaged core & back. I still sometimes struggle with this. I don't use a belt, I think it's better to learn that control first before you use a belt, but that's personal opinion.
                    -Letting my knees come in on the upward part of a squat. Took me a loooong time to fix it because I left it for so long.
                    -Initially not making myself progress as I could've. I wasted some of my newbie gains window. I guess I was afraid of going up too quickly because I lacked confidence.
                    Current weight lost: 82.9lb (37.6kg)

                    Current PRs:
                    Bench: 45kg/99lb
                    Squat: 100kg/220lb
                    Deadlift: 120kg/265lb

                    My blog
                    My journal

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vick View Post
                      Mistakes:

                      1 - Telling people and this board my routine
                      2 - Offering advice
                      You sound salty Vick? I've enjoyed our exchanges of ideas....

                      OP: My biggest mistake was flaring the elbows too wide and probably in conjunction with a too wide grip on the bench press leading to a complete rupture of a pec tendon. Not fun. Easily enough rectified though. Keep the grip close to shoulders width and the elbow flare to 45 degrees (not 90) to keep the stress off your tendon and ON the muscle. Course this is really only important when getting relatively heavy. I learned the "bodybuilder" bench form at an early age and just never changed it. Bad move.

                      Basically any mistake I had EVER is probably form related. Programming can be fixed without catastrophic events. If you work out too much, work out less. If you aren't doing the right combo of exercises .... still fixable. But ill form will kill ya.
                      Last edited by Neckhammer; 08-06-2013, 05:16 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by nixxy View Post
                        -Looking in the mirror all the time (ruins your line of sight/neutral head position)
                        -Keeping tight and engaged core & back. I still sometimes struggle with this. I don't use a belt, I think it's better to learn that control first before you use a belt, but that's personal opinion.
                        -Letting my knees come in on the upward part of a squat. Took me a loooong time to fix it because I left it for so long.
                        -Initially not making myself progress as I could've. I wasted some of my newbie gains window. I guess I was afraid of going up too quickly because I lacked confidence.
                        I saw a fella on hear say "show me your nutz".... Best cue ever (for a guy... maybe "show me your hoo hoo" works for a girl ). Either way, that cue is now in my head and it works for the leg press as well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          -at the first small gym I attended, i did not know that bench was not a part of the squatting rack. So I took the bar off the rack and tried to squat from the parallel bars. Yeah. Don't recommend.

                          -squatting with my back to the rack - I liked looking out of the windows rather than looking in the mirror. A friendly gym monitor pointed to me that backing into the rack is not a good idea.

                          -deadlifting with a but high up in the air.

                          -not warming up enough before lifting (8 min is a minimum I need)

                          -not eating appropriate macros (and maybe not enough?)/trying to lift on the VLC.
                          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
                          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                          • #14
                            1. Lifting without a program. Wasted hundreds of hours and dollars going to the gym not getting stronger because I wasn't doing programming designed to get me stronger
                            2. Refusing to wear a belt and proper shoes. Just like a squat rack and barbell are technology that allow us to produce more force against an external resistance, a belt gives you something to push your abs against and weightlifting shoes create an ideal angle against which to push between the floor and bar.
                            3. Trying to deadlift with my butt low
                            4. Emphasizing vanity muscles over useful muscles (used to bench press every workout in high school, never squatted)
                            5. Squatting too low. Insisted on going ATG for years and never realized I was losing all hamstring tension by doing so.
                            The Champagne of Beards

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                            • #15
                              Mistakes:
                              - Overextending back on any of the exercises, or while even just standing normally. Anterior Pelvic Tilt and Lumbosacral Pain as it Relates to the Hip Thrust and Glute Bridge | Bret Contreras

                              - Not buying my rumble roller soon enough (seriously, that thing is amazing)

                              - Not following an established program. I made that transition this week. The one I was doing was okay... sort of.

                              Recommend:
                              - Progress pictures and measurements. Sometimes the scale doesn't move, but you're still definitely changing. Why Weight Loss is Not the King of Achievements | Fitocracy Knowledge Center

                              - Eating enough protein, and getting adequate rest.

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