Training basics for beginners

Estimated reading time: 3:16 min.

As a beginner in the world of fitness, it’s crucial to remember that there are rarely any one-size-fits-all answers when it comes to training, nutrition, and supplements. When someone claims to have the absolute truth, be sure to question it.

Even when training and muscle-building advice is backed by research, it’s important to remain critical. Studies in the fitness industry, particularly those related to supplements, can be biased or influenced by the manufacturers. Moreover, even legitimate studies are conducted under specific conditions that may not always apply to everyday life. So, when seeking answers, be prepared to hear, “It depends…”.

Keep this skepticism in mind when browsing our website. While we do our best to provide accurate information, it’s always worth getting multiple opinions.

First time at the gym

When starting out, one of the most valuable pieces of advice is to “leave your ego at home.” As a newbie, you might be lifting lighter weights than others or feel self-conscious about your appearance. Don’t let it get to you. By showing up and committing to your journey, you’re already taking the first step towards self-improvement.

Leave your ego at home

The harder you train, the more you’ll notice changes in your body, boosting your self-image and confidence. However, it’s crucial to take it slow when starting out. Before attempting heavy weights, first master the proper form of each exercise. Begin with lighter weights, which allow you to perform more repetitions with good form.

Lifting too heavy too soon can lead to sloppy form and hinder muscle growth. Worse still, it can be detrimental to your health, damaging your back, shoulders, and other joints. So, start clean and ignore any judgment from others.

In the gym, you might receive unsolicited advice from more experienced exercisers. Listen to their tips but remain critical, as even advanced trainees can make mistakes.

Repetitions, sets, and other terms

Understanding key terms is essential:

  • A repetition refers to a single execution of an exercise from start to finish.
  • A set consists of several repetitions.
  • The rest period occurs between sets.

While the number of repetitions influences muscle growth, it’s primarily the training volume that determines growth potential.

Basic exercises target large muscle groups and multiple muscle parts simultaneously, while isolation exercises focus on a single muscle. Beginners should concentrate on basic exercises, such as:

Focusing on these exercises helps balance large and small muscle groups, leading to significant muscle growth with lower training stimuli. After several months, you’ll likely notice that certain muscles need extra stimulation, at which point you can incorporate isolation exercises.

Nutrition is at least as important as training

Protein foods on a table: salmon fillets, beef, chicken breast, cheese, eggs, nuts, milk ... bitt24/

Watch your diet.

Hard training is only half the equation for muscle growth; a balanced, protein-rich diet is equally vital. Beginners often focus on exercises but neglect adequate protein intake, which is essential for muscle growth since muscles are made of protein.

Take a close look at your eating habits and consider how to optimize your food intake for muscle growth while maintaining balance. Check out our nutrition section for more information.

Muscles grow during the rest phase

Rest and sleep are crucial to muscle growth, as they allow muscles to recover and grow. If you don’t get enough sleep, your muscle growth and energy levels will suffer.

The optimal amount of sleep varies from person to person, but generally, 6 to 8 hours of continuous sleep is recommended. Always listen to your body and adjust accordingly.

You never stop learning

Man in front of blackboard with arms drawn in chalk Dima Sidelnikov/Shutterstock

You live and learn.

This overview covers the basics of muscle training, but there’s so much more to explore on our website. As you progress, continue learning and observing how your body responds to various training stimuli, dietary habits, and other factors. Revisit our site for new ideas, advice, and tips to enhance your training.