7 Beginner Workout Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make


beginner workout mistakes

If you’re about to get started with a bodybuilding workout program, there are a number of so-called ‘sins’ that you should know about.

These beginner workout mistakes could quickly rob you of progress. First we’ll identify what these sins are. Then you can make sure to avoid them.

Many beginners will check out a magazine and hop into a program. For a bit more informed approach, you can also check out: beginners workout plan.

Very often however, these plans are not designed for them. As such, they won’t see the results they desire.

Here are the seven top sins. This is our list of beginner workout mistakes that you must avoid. Wondering what you should be doing? Start with a smart beginners training program and build off these tips.

Beginner Workout Mistake #1: Neglecting To Build A Strength Foundation

The first thing that you should know is that you must build a proper strength foundation. Many beginners rush into using intricate workout techniques. These might look cool, but not if you aren’t ready.

Push your body with these techniques before building up the proper strength foundation? You’re basically just asking for an injury. Not quite ready for the gym yet? try our at-home workouts for building a foundation.

Spend some time focusing on the main compound movements. These include: squats, bench press, bent over rows, shoulder press, and the deadlift. Get comfortable with all of these just using the bar weight. Always try them light first before adding more weight.

Feel very comfortable with these exercises? Consider adding more isolated exercises. And when you’re really ready to isolate your muscles for growth, try blood occlusion training.

As a beginner, your body is primed for excellent strength grains. Train in a way that promotes them and you’re on your way.

beginner workout mistakes

Beginner Workout Mistake #2: Overtraining

Next, make sure that you aren’t exercising too often. if you don’t take rest days throughout the week’s routine, you’ll regret it. Your body will be adjusting and adapting to the increased stress of exercise on the body. If you aren’t allowing adequate rest time and recovery, this will influence your progress going forward.

Have you heard of rhabdomialaysis? This is what happens in extreme cases, but overtraining is a risk at every fitness level.

Beginners will typically fare best on a program that employs bodyweight workouts. This will focus on the full body with each workout session. Comparatively, a split body program hits just individual muscle groups at once.

Beginner Workout Mistake #3: Too Much Cardio

Next, reconsider how much cardio exercise you think you need.  Many beginners think that by doing as much cardio as possible, they will build leaner muscle mass. This is not the case, if you’re going to do cardio, your best bet for building muscle and losing fat is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Fitness experts were wrong for years. Surprised? Scientists finally understand why steady cardio fails you. It really isn’t about how much cardio you do that will keep you leaner. Rather, it’s about the calorie surplus you maintain.

Too much food is what leads to fat gain, not too little cardio.

If you are doing too much cardio, you will sacrifice your strength level. This means you’ll lift less weight in the gym. This can translate into slower results.

Keep cardio limited to 1-2 sessions per week and make sure that you only do that if you are feeling recovered. There’s no need to cut cardio out entirely as it is important for maintaining good heart health. At the same time, you want to make sure that your program achieves good balance.

Beginner Workout Mistake #4: Not Building Good Form Habits

Maintaining good form is the next thing that you must make sure that you are doing. Bad form habits is one of the worst beginner workout mistakes. If you aren’t keeping your form in check as a beginner, bet it will hurt you down the road.

Once a bad habit is built, it can be hard to break. This could be something that you have to continuously monitor for the rest of time.

Start fresh.  As you learn a new move, do it without much or any weight at first. Work this movement until you have your form perfected. Only then add weight.  And, once every 3-4 weeks, do a form check on each exercise in your program. Spend time focusing just on form. Make sure you aren’t getting into any bad movement habits. This is is one beginner workout mistake you can’t afford. It will come back to haunt you.

Beginner Workout Mistake #5: Not Feeling The Mind-Muscle Connection

The next key for beginners focusing on building lean muscle mass is focusing on the mind-muscle connection. Do you know about the connection between your brain and working out?

Some beginners will just move through the exercise. Simply aiming to get the weight from point A to point B isn’t enough. There’s more to it. Visualize to grow.

To see optimal results, you need to feel the weight moving from A to B. You need to think of the muscles squeezing. Imagine them contracting and getting shorter. Move the weight to the upwards position and visualize.

Turn your focus inward like this. Imagine that muscle tissue moving as you go about the rep. When you focus and visualize is the when you’ll see enhanced intensity in your workout.

Many fit people have not mastered this mind-muscle connection. So spend some time developing it for yourself. You’ll be setting yourself up for a much higher success rate. You’ll thank us.

Beginner Workout Mistake #5: Not De-Loading Often Enough

Our fifth beginner workout mistake is not de-loading often enough. Most beginners entirely overlook this. You should be paying more attention here. To perform de-loading, reduce the weight and volume of your workout for one week.

This is to help you avoid getting stuck into overtraining mode. Too much strain on your body for too long wrecks you.

Deloading should be done once every 4-6 weeks on a regular workout program. Also every 3-4 months of consecutive training, you should have one week completely off. Got that? Rest.

If you neglect to do this, you could find that you start going backward in progress. Without this, your body simply cannot keep up to the demands you are placing upon it.

Beginner Workout Mistake #5: Failing to Change Your Workout Routine Regularly

Finally, the last beginner workout mistake. You want to avoid not changing your workout routine regularly enough.  If you are doing the same workout over and over again, expect to hit a plateau in record time.

Each week, something about your workout should change. Add a new exercise, do another set. Reverse the order of some exercises. Or, simply change the grip pattern you’re using for one or two movements. Any little change will help. Present your body with something it hasn’t encountered lately.

Ensure that you are continually shocking your body. Keep it guessing. Ideally your body never knows what’s coming next. Remember, your body is fast to learn and adapt to what you’re dishing out. Your mission is to keep changing this so it must keep responding. Guessing is good.

So have a good look over your current workout. Are you making any of these fatal beginner workout mistakes? Is there room for improvement? Yes.

Beginner Workout Mistakes


Always pay attention to your body. This way you can spot any potentially troubling factors. The idea is to catch these beginner workout mistakes early. Make adjustments before they really hinder your progress over the long-term. Building good habits now as a beginner forms a strong foundation for the future. These good habits will keep you healthy. Health keeps you training and progressing.

-Terry Asher

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Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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7 Beginner Workout Mistakes You Don't Have to Make
Today's post is about teaching you to avoid beginner workout mistakes. When you're ready to learn your way around the gym, start right here.
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  1. Hey, great post. I have a couple of questions. What is your take on pre and post workout nutrition and should you eat the same amount on non training days?

    • Hey Rubel,

      Thanks for stopping by, you can read my post on post workout nutrition for more information. Rubel, personally I eat just as much on non-training days. It also depends on your goals, such as trying to gain weight or lose weight for example. Hope this helps 🙂

      Terry Asher


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