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Thread: What Were Your Top 5 Newbie Lifter Mistakes? page

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    RedMenace's Avatar
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    What Were Your Top 5 Newbie Lifter Mistakes?

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    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?
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    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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    Vick's Avatar
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    Mistakes:

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

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    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 at 07:21 PM.
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    RedMenace's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

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

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    Ryancarter1986's Avatar
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    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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    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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    -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

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