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5 Most Common Beginner Gym Training Mistakes You MUST Avoid

Make sure you aren't making these mistakes and slowing down your progress.

These are the most common beginner gym training mistakes you must try to avoid if you want to avoid injury and speed up your progress.

Mike Israetal from Renaissance Periodization has compiled his 5 most common beginner gym training mistakes.

Go check out more information from their excellent YouTube channel.

1. Biting Off Too Much Program

A lot of beginners think that quantity is the most important facet for success. 2-hour sessions are generally too long if you are new, 1 hour or less is best.

Most Common Beginner Gym Training MistakesSource: Stevie D Photography

Following the same principle, too many sessions per week can also do more harm than good, taking up too much precious recovery time. 4 or fewer is best.

2. Most Common Beginner Gym Training Mistakes – Inconsistency

Beginners can get away with a lot, but skipping a muscle group for a week or two at a time is not ok.

At all levels it is important to remain consistent.

3. Most Common Beginner Gym Training Mistakes – Avoiding the Hard Stuff

Deadlifting and free weights are harder than no deadlifting and all machines.

But the hard stuff works better, and now is your time to master it so you can benefit from it for years to come!

This will also really teach you how to get the most bang for your buck. Unsurprisingly enough, the big hitters and lifts that require the most effort, such as the deadlift and squat, are what will really advance your strength and muscle gains.

4. Most Common Beginner Gym Training Mistakes – Advancing Relative Effort Over Technique

This includes too much load, or going too close to failure at the expense of technique.

Technique is one of the MOST important aspects as a beginner. Performing an exercise properly, through the full range of motion is ALWAYS a better idea than using poor and dangerous technique through a sub-optimal range of motion. I.e. not squatting below parallel.

5. Most Common Beginner Gym Training Mistakes – Trying Advanced Programming

It’s designed for the advanced. You can progress better without it.

When you are beginner, it is important to leave your ego at the door and use intelligent programs that are designed for your ability level.

Everyone was a beginner at some point.

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Barbell Exercises

The barbell exercises are some of the most effective and efficient ways to build strength. We’ll go over the different types of barbell lifts and how they can help you get stronger.

Front Squat

The front squat is a variation of the back squat, which is one of the most important exercises in any strength training program. The front squat also works mostly your quadriceps and core, but it emphasizes the quad muscles slightly more than the standard back squat.

In addition to being a great way to develop strength in your quads and core, the front squat can be used as an alternative exercise if you’re injured or have some kind of lower back problem that prevents you from doing traditional squats safely.

Back Squat

The back squat is a compound exercise that targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and erector spinae. It’s considered one of the best ways to build muscle in your legs (and full body).

The back squat can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells and can be done at home or in the gym.


The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, including the lower back, legs, and arms. The movement involves lifting a heavy barbell from the ground to your waist while standing up straight.

The deadlift is great for building muscle mass and strength in the entire body. It’s especially good for building strong glutes, hamstrings and quads which help you avoid injury when performing other exercises like squats or cleans.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is a push-based overall body exercise that helps strengthen your shoulders, chest and triceps.

To perform the overhead press:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the barbell at shoulder level with an overhand grip. Keep your back straight and bend your knees slightly to maintain an upright posture throughout the exercise.

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Keep your elbows tucked in as you lift up so they remain under the bar as it moves up toward your face; this will help you avoid injury to them or any other parts of your body. Also make sure that they are not sticking out to the side when pressing because this could cause harm you, as well as take away from what should be focused on during this exercise—your legs, core and upper body strength!

Squeeze your glutes (butt muscles) as if sitting down into a chair while keeping them engaged until completion of repetition(s). This will keep proper alignment through movement to ensure optimal performance gains.

It will also prevent injury by forcing proper posture throughout the entire execution of the movement.

Squat Clean

The squat clean is another name for the traditional clean. The name is used to distinguish it from the power and muscle clean variations.

It’s an explosive full-body exercise that involves lifting up a barbell from the floor into the full squat position, then rising to the standing position with the barbell in the front rack position.

As you pick up the weight from the ground, you’ll be using your legs to generate power for this movement by bending at your knees and hips.

Why Good Technique is Important for Weightlifting

The barbell exercises that you perform are going to be more effective if you have good technique. Before starting any exercise, it’s important that you warm up your body by stretching and doing a few light sets with the equipment.

To ensure that you’re using proper form, make sure to learn from someone who knows what he or she is doing before engaging in an intense workout routine.

Poor form can also lead to injury.

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