I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread about the lessons us every day gym rats have learned over the years. It can be anything from methodologies, to motivation, to anything that might be beneficial for others to read. We can also debate the lessons and maybe learn even more.
Here are a couple of lessons I’ve learned:
1.) A video camera is the best non-lifting tool to have in your tool bag. Videotaping lifts is the best way to assess your form and progress EVEN if you have a training partner. There is nothing more humbling and motivating at the same time than seeing yourself squat well above parallel.
2.) Set up on max effort/PR lifts is VERY important. For me missed lifts are almost always due to sloppy setup, not a lack of strength.
3.) CONSISTANCY is king for most non-competitive lifters. IMO consistency is more important than a proper training template (as long as there is some plan).
4.) Worrying about training philosophy, style, templates is nowhere near as important, in the beginning years, as consistency and intensity.
5.) If you lift heavy and/or you get in a lot of volume, you better SLEEP a lot. If you have trouble sleeping invest time & money to figure out how to sleep better.
6.) Don’t program jump. If you choose a program sticks with it for at least 6 weeks.
7.) Supplements are only as good as the work you put in at the gym and the food you consume. If you eat 1200 calories a day and you need 2500 to grow, adding a protein shake and fish oil isn’t going to do a whole heck of a lot.
8.) Less is more. IMO, 3-4 exercises at most per workout.
9.) BW exercises are often neglected and that’s a mistake. Push-ups, pull-ups, jumping, etc… Are all very helpful for us every day gym rats. If you haven’t done push-ups or pull-ups in a few years, give it a shot, and be humbled.
Here are just a few I can think of off the top of my head. I can’t wait to hear what others have to say.