To start off, this isn't a general dishwater blind-leading-the-blind post, this is more about important, overlooked details about training philosophy that total newbs (such as myself) may not consider and can benefit learning from. I'm not an expert so I'll let some of the vets correct me if need be.
I started my bodybuilding training 6 months ago. Started out at 136lbs 6% BF. Now I'm around 152 3-4% BF. Anyway here are some important things I've learned so far:
1) IT TAKES TIME
Everyone know this already, but really take the time and burn this concept into your brain. It took me awhile to come to grips with this reality and the faster you accept it, the better off you'll be. I wouldn't look at my gains so far and call them great, I'd be reluctant to call them good. My current goal is to get to 165, but even so, frustration creeps in often. I look back at this past week and I feel I trained very well: I soaked myself in sweat, I strained and ached during every lift, and I even wore out my voice from grunting. I got my PWO protocol down to a T, everything seemed to be in place. I stepped on the scale today to see that my weight was the same. If you let frustration take over you, you will never get the results you want. So don't quit because you don't look like Arnold in your first year of training.
2) THERE IS NO MAGIC BULLET SUPPLEMENT
We all know the products out there that promise amazing results. 2 months ago, I ordered a bunch of MAG-10 because I thought it would keep the anabolic switch on at all times. The results were minimal, because as a beginner, training & eating right are more than enough to trigger peak anabolism. Supps of that caliber are really for the elite athletes that are doing everything right already, but for some reason, can't reach their full anabolic potential. So don't spend top-dollar for these supps. If your diet and training are already in order, then you won't need them AT ALL!!!!!
3) FORM COUNTS, DUH
Learning how to do the basic lifts are critical to getting good results. We all want to throw around as much weight as possible and look impressive for the ladies, but doing bicep curls by dipping your whole body down in an attempt to throw the weight upwards is stupid and counter-productive. A lift that is performed with good form and low weight defeats poor form and heavy weight every time. Seriously, go to the video section here, and watch CT explain how to do all the basic lifts properly.
4) LEARN HOW TO FLEX YOUR MUSCLES
Sounds a bit stupid at first, but think about it when you're doing flies. It's supposed to work your chest, but how come you don't feel "the burn?" It's because you have no idea how to control your muscles. If you contract your muscles during lifts (such as flies), you will increase the intramuscular tension and thus improve hypertrophy. Spend some time at home learning how to flex and control each individual muscle and then apply it to those ab crunches and bicep curls. This applies mainly to isolation exercises though.
5) YOU HAVEN'T BEGUN TO REACH YOUR POTENTIAL
The first serious workout I ever had was brutal at the time, I puked eggs & oatmeal everywhere. I look at that workout now and think, how was that tough at all? Fast forward to now, my program involves 100 reps/muscle group. Last month, I was able to increase the load on every one of the core lifts for 4 straight weeks. So as a beginner, if you want great results, you must put in the effort required, and that's easier said then done. I've had plenty of mental barriers along the way that have bogged me down and the quality of my training and it will be miserable at times, and you may feel like quitting altogether, but if you push through it, you'll be amazed at what you're capable of. NO SLACKING!!!!
That's it for now, maybe I'll post more as I think of them, or feel free to add your own.