T Nation

Six Newbie Mistakes

I haven’t been around here that long and there’s plenty of guys with more experience and progress than I have, but I feel somewhat compelled to share these observations that are staring me unavoidably in the face.

I specify serious noobs, by which I mean guys (and girls) who I perceive as having a prayer of being in this game a few years from now with progress commensurate with that period of time. Here they are not necessarily in order of importance.

1- OVERANALYSIS There are people here who burn more calories thinking and talking about what they should do than they do in the gym. Pick something designed for beginners and do it. Do it for a while, while you learn more.

2- DRAWING A FALSE DICHOTOMY BETWEEN GETTING HUGE AND GETTING ANYWHERE Most people new to the iron game nowadays seem to believe that if they’re not careful they’ll quickly blossom into a Vic Richards look alike and measures should be taken right at the start to insure that never happens. ANY progress will require lots of work and lots of food. Put it on your mirror.

3- OVERESTIMATING HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND OF FOOD WILL GET OR KEEP THEM FAT Nobody wants to or should be “fat”. However if you are working hard enough to actually grow you may be astonished to learn how much un-lite version, un-low fat food your body can 'absorb.

4- UNDERESTIMATING HOW MUCH AND WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS NEEDED TO GROW OPTIMALLY If you are working hard enough to actually grow you may be astonished to learn how much un-lite version, un-low fat food your body will demand.

5- TOO MUCH INFORMATION TOO SOON This is a strange one and mistake may not be the best way to label it, but in this day and age of the internet people have instant access to practically every piece of data ever pondered by anybody in the history of the world. I can’t help, but observe that this blessing/curse situation leads directly to mistake number one in many cases.

6- OVERRELIANCE AND FAITH IN SUPPLEMENTATION Supplements are not drugs and will never produce results that even remotely approach what can be seen with drugs. This may seem obvious, but to read some people it’s clear that they are counting on more than they will ever see. Quality supplements positively augment an already sound lifestyle which makes them worth using, but they will never perform the miracles that are too often expected of them.

A whole volume could be written about each of these and I’m sure there are more. I’m even surer that plenty will disagree with this whole thread, but there it is for what it’s worth.

Looks like good advice. Especially #1. I laughed when I read it, but it’s obviously true!

Just one question, who the hell is Vic Richards?

D

www.vicrichards.com/gallery/index.htm

The first really REALLY big guy that came to mind for my point.

@ VROOM:
If there were an actual order that one should be first IMHO which is all any of this is anyway.

Haha, awesome list. I think i have suffered from all but number 2 at one point or another. I am still struggling with eating enough goddamned food (I am on the V at the moment so its not an issue right now). I have some younger friends who are trying to get into lifting, I will definetly show them this.

Pretty good list :slight_smile:

One thing I’d like to add on the whole issue of un-lite, un-low-fat foods.

Usually “lite” versions, or “low fat” versions of an old food, are less natural and may be less healthy in the long run than just the natural version (of course there are exceptions). Depending on your goals, I’d say the only “low” something food safe to eat, would be one with no added sugar.

Personally I’m especially wary of low-fat dairy products, especially stuff like “I can’t believe it’s not butter”, or the like.

Yeah, that’s what I was referring to generally. Modern engineered versions of naturally healthy foods. The main point is worrying about calories to the point of maybe even paying more for a butchered reduced calorie version of a food that would actually be very beneficial in it’s traditional state.

BTW, I had absolutely nobody in particular in mind when I threw this together. I just found myself posting the same general things many times in a lot of noob threads.

All of those are good points. Unfortunately, this is probably never going to be read by newbies (much like vroom’s excellent Beginner threads from long ago, both of them!).

And who knows, point 1 could really be a fat-burning tip. After all, everyone wants abs, right? :wink:

But hey, for what it’s worth, everyone needs to be reminded of this sort of thing every once in a while, so while your target audience may not see it, you’ll get your fair share of nods.

In light of recent events and growing tired of repeating the same things over and over I felt the need to bump this. Take it for what it’s worth.

Good post. I constantly have to remind myself about #1.

[quote]Dedicated wrote:
Just one question, who the hell is Vic Richards?

D[/quote]

I am stirred…that one of the people discussed the most in that two year old thread on bodybuilding pictures is completely unknown to someone on a bodybuilding forum.

You forgot too mention ‘training like a pussy’.

Many trainees seem to be afraid to go anywhere near failure and put the weights down before they experience any exertion at all.

That’s some solid advice right there, I didn’t see it the first time round.

Points 1 and 2 are so true. I see examples of point 1 a lot around here and examples of point 2 a lot in the real world.

Someone actually told me that they don’t want to take protein powder because they didn’t want to get huge. Luckily he was just misinformed rather than being a complete idiot so he listened to me when I told him that it isn’t that easy, hopefully I can swing him around.

If I had to add anything to that list based on my limited experience it would be:

  1. Basing decisions on theory rather than results.

If I’m doing something which is working I continue, if I’m doing something which isn’t working I change it, no amount of scientific studies will be able to change this reasoning (what I like to call common sense).

[quote]IQ wrote:

If I had to add anything to that list based on my limited experience it would be:

  1. Basing decisions on theory rather than results.

If I’m doing something which is working I continue, if I’m doing something which isn’t working I change it, no amount of scientific studies will be able to change this reasoning (what I like to call common sense).[/quote]

Most of the debates on this forum are between people who have experience against those who claim that experience is wrong based on studies or the words of a specific trainer or author.

I also think most of those debates would end before they started if people were required to post photo examples of how their training has worked for them.

It probably goes without saying that I agree with both of you.

How about number 7:

Following a program designed for drug enhanced super freaks.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
IQ wrote:

If I had to add anything to that list based on my limited experience it would be:

  1. Basing decisions on theory rather than results.

If I’m doing something which is working I continue, if I’m doing something which isn’t working I change it, no amount of scientific studies will be able to change this reasoning (what I like to call common sense).

Most of the debates on this forum are between people who have experience against those who claim that experience is wrong based on studies or the words of a specific trainer or author.

I also think most of those debates would end before they started if people were required to post photo examples of how their training has worked for them.
[/quote]

OK put up your pic. Shirt off. Lets see the goods.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

I also think most of those debates would end before they started if people were required to post photo examples of how their training has worked for them.
[/quote]

It would at least unveil the BS posers.

I like this site a lot but there is way too much false bravado, posturing, and overall pretentiousness from people who probably haven’t really accomplished that much.

People just parrot what someone else has said, over and over again. Eventually the original meaning and context is lost.

There are too many people trying to fullfill an immature and false vision of what they consider “dangerously hardcore.”

The ironic thing is that the more accomplished people on this site are also the most helpful.

The posers are often the ones who bring the level of conversation down and instigate the flame wars.

Mini Rant over

Trib - Good list

[quote]Andrew Dixon wrote:
Professor X wrote:
IQ wrote:

If I had to add anything to that list based on my limited experience it would be:

  1. Basing decisions on theory rather than results.

If I’m doing something which is working I continue, if I’m doing something which isn’t working I change it, no amount of scientific studies will be able to change this reasoning (what I like to call common sense).

Most of the debates on this forum are between people who have experience against those who claim that experience is wrong based on studies or the words of a specific trainer or author.

I also think most of those debates would end before they started if people were required to post photo examples of how their training has worked for them.

OK put up your pic. Shirt off. Lets see the goods.
[/quote]

Dixon every thread prof seems to post in these days, you there riding his back

Good list. Here’s a couple more I’d like to add:

Having a limited workout time, but wasting half of it on isolation exercises.

Thinking that because you got in your workout for the day, it’s an excuse to move as little as possible for the rest of the day.