After 1+ year of solid training with no breaks, I am ready to offer my guidelines every NEWBIE lifter should know.
Your Health is the most important thing you can improve. If you have it dont lose it. You have the rest of your life to train. Dont fuck it up when your 18.
Just because your lifting doesnt mean your in good shape. Weight Lifting transfers somewhat to the real world, but running and sports are different after youve added 20 pounds. Stay in shape every so often with some type of non weight lifting physical activity. It will help immensely towards your workouts.
Stretching is more important then it was in gym class. Figuring out that you need to stretch is more important then finding the perfect workout, or the perfect diet, or finding the perfect form. It will prevent injury, and that is the most important thing.
Eating is important. Although you can workout and eat just ok, and you porbably wont overtrain, not eating is absolutely terrible. If you get busy and cant workout for a couple days(school) continue to eat. IF you stop eating bc you dont want to get fat, you will lose roughly 3 days of training for each bad day of eating. If you take a week off, thats 3 weeks of training.
Be consistent. Getting the perfect workout in is not as beneficial as eating and working out decently for 2 days. Working out is not a one shot deal, its a slow meticulous process. Keep at it, get frusterated, but keep at . Looking for the perfect workout is fine, but be happy with just a regular workout as well.