I’m going to be brutally honest, the first 3 months of my lifting life were a disaster, well, and the next year or so after wasn’t much better either!
And I guess that’s were hindsight comes in, I was the skinny guy who got a dumbbell set from my local store and thought this is how to carve out a Mr Olympia physique. I would do dumbbell bicep curls 5 days of the week, my chest press would involve my back being supported by a stability ball, doing a million and one reps because the weight on the bar was quite light, don’t get me wrong, I started getting shape in my arms which was great, I also started taking Creatine because I heard from mates of mates that this supplement makes you some sort of walking monster….it didn’t.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to join a gym, a proper bodybuilder’s gym, being the small skinny guy surrounded by walking colossal men was a bit unnerving to begin with, but in time it started to feel welcoming and just the motivation I needed, watching these men was pure inspiration for me, I thought, “well If they can do it, what’s stopping me”, little did I know I was doing the very basics wrong in the first place.
The basics being, that instead of working on compound exercises which help encourage the production of growth hormone, I was hitting a lot, and I mean a lot of Isolation exercises, I avoided bench pressing, barbell squats, deadlifts, pull ups, partly because I was scared of the exercise, partly because I didn’t want to ask for a spotter, at the time I felt embarrassed by how much weight I could lift, again looking back with hindsight, I doubt anyone cared.
Another basic I skimmed over was nutrition and just what a massive part it plays, I skimmed over this for years, I just figured as long as I was hitting the gym at least 3 times a week it didn’t really matter what I ate as surely the results would follow, and to an extent they did, but the reality was, I wasn’t maximising my time in the gym because I wasn’t feeding or allowing my muscles to recover.
Alongside nutrition comes supplementation, now I think everyone reading this will know pretty much to take a protein shake, but do they know when or why, that’s a different matter for another article, but needless to say, I bought protein powder, the cheapest I could buy (which I thoroughly recommend not to do!), and it was vile, completely put me off for a long time, but now I’ve spent countless hours researching and learning what my body needs to maximise its potential.
So in short, to anyone about to start their lifting journey, my advice would be, don’t make the mistakes I made, start off learning correct form for the big compound movements, these are the ones that will really push forward your development, make sure your nutrition is spot on, use MonsterSupplements to purchase the supplements which are going to go hand in hand with your diet , and research, research, research, there are many fantastic articles you can learn from on this site alone, and one final thing, never be too proud to ask for help or advice.