Tag Archives: beginner

Making the Jump

Results are easy and almost always guaranteed when your’e working with beginners.
Literally everything works due to their level of noobness.
As a PT/Coach if you don’t get a beginner to a goal then you might need to reevaluate your career choice.
The struggle comes from those who’ve perhaps been in the gym for a while and have achieved results once or perhaps a few times before they take up your services.
These are the one that need you to delve in to the realms of fitness far deeper.
Personally I split it in to 4 pieces.
1 – Their Why
2 – End Goal
3 – The Emotional Need
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
Let us break them down.
1 – Their Why
Helping someone is easy, however helping someone reveal or understand why they want to do X,Y or Z is an entirely different matter.
Having a cast iron ‘why’ will keep people moving forwards because each time something crops up you can ask them if they remember why they’re doing what they’re doing (as in why they’re working towards the goal).
2 – End Goal
You’d do well to look at this in a big picture sense.
We might even say it’s the perfect outcome they they desire that links unquestionably with their why.
Once you know the big picture you can start to pick out the smaller pieces of it to help set the small milestones as this will allow those quick wins and little hits of emotional sustenance and validation that is sought.
A goal is more or a leaking tap dripping single water droplets every hour to fill a bath tub than it is using a hoe to fill a paddling pool.
3 – The Emotional Need
We do what we do because we want to feel a certain way.
Emotion drives many people, it is linked with their reason why they do what they do. The need is to fill a hole that they consider almost as important as air to breathe.
If the need isn’t being met then other methods will be sought to fill this void like emotional eating or some other such debauchery.
Knowing what/how/why people currently feel and more importantly why they want that to change and what it will mean to them is the key element many miss.
4 – Willingness to Sacrifice
There can be no change without change, and their can be no real change without sacrifice.
Such might be going out 2 nights a week on the lash instead of 5, or forgoing the tub of ice cream each night before bed and so on.
The only problem is that people get very emotionally attached to their habits and to sacrifice them causes quite a nasty feeling (usually loss).
When working with beginners they’re ready to give things up because they see it as only short term, then they revert back to their old ways and expect the results to stay; this is not how change works.
This is where working with those who’ve repeated this cycle become difficult as they’ve gotten trapped in no longer wanting to sacrifice anything while still desiring change.
We can relate this back to why they want said change, and if it is more or less important to their habit/thing that needs to be sacrificed.
You’ll often find there is an emotional attachment/need to the sacrifice in question which then leads us to asking which is more important, the thing or the end goal.
Some will say “Why can’t they have both?” and put simply it is because they just can’t due to conflict.
As the old saying goes, you can’t make an omelet with out breaking any eggs.
Same goes for achieving a goal, somethings got to give.
This is how you can start to take those troubled clients forwards.
Understand it’s less about the training at this stage (although that is of course important) and more about the mindset required.

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Rookie Mistake

Morning Guys,

When people start out in a gym they an be met with various feelings and find themselves flustered. This is fairly common amongst new gym goers but it’s nothing to be worried about because it’s all apart of learning, commonly people will feel one or more of the following:

Or perhaps Petrified

Everybody had to start somewhere, I think it’s easy to forget this simple fact, especially when you see other in the gym who have been training for years and are relatively experienced, though what you will see some of these experienced people doing is very questionable.

When I first started in the gym it’s safe to say I made a lot of mistakes, but I was always very careful to focus on learning which is what I see lacking in multiple beginners (some experienced trainees too).

Questionable form is one of the most common mistakes I see surrounding gym fledglings, however that isn’t the only possible mistake they will make. There are a lot of other problems I encountered in the naive years of my youth such as training too much, too many isolation exercises and under eating to name a few.

I am going to run through the 5 most common mistakes beginners make and how to avoid them.

1 – Bad Form

While this is an obvious mistake and can be easily rectified by purchasing some sessions with a good coach/trainer, a lot of people won’t ever take this necessary action. Men tend to avoid hiring someone because of their ego, yes guys, your ego gets in the way of you making progress so be sure to leave it at the door. Woman will avoid hiring a coach for more reasons than men, namely they feel intimidated by some trainers/coaches and will only consider being trained by a female instructor.

The most common reason for evading trainers is the perceived cost but you will find that trainers will help you out anyway they can. There is also a lot of great information that’s out their for free, all you have to do is look for it.

2 – Too Many Isolation Exercises

Both men and woman are guilty of this. It’s far easier to grab light dumbbells and to bicep curls, tricep extensions, sit on the leg extension or do crunches for an hour than get under the bar and squat, this is often why people never make any real progress.

Exercise is not as hard as some would have you believe. To burn fat, build lean muscle and improve your CV you only really need to focus on 3 things:

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises utilise multiple muscles in the body which will provide far more benefits than sitting on the leg extension.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training (think sprint work) and LSD stands for Long Slow Duration (think long runs). Both are essential for burning fat and building a good CV base.

3 – Too Much Cardio

I know that I have written above that CV is essential for losing fat and building a good CV base (getting fitter) but you will see people drive to the gym to WALK on the treadmill… This is seriously as waste of your time and money, you could do this outside for free.

Cardio bunnies are more often than not female, mainly because a lot of them still suffer the phobia of “If I lift weights I will get big.” this is a fallacy. Lifting weights will help you build lean muscle, strength, strip fat and more importantly improve your confidence and self esteem.

As with anything cardio needs to be in balance, doing too much will lead to a strong heart but a very weak body and potential knee problems from poor running technique, after all, how many of us are every taught to run?

2-3 CV session a week is sufficient, there is no need for more. A mixture of LSD and HIIT would be optimal.

4 – Not Eating Enough

Another common mistake across the entire spectrum of new gym goers. A lot of people go to the gym with the theory of “If I workout and eat less I will lose weight.” and while this is true you will only lose a certain amount of fat before your body starts to break down any muscle you have because of a lack of nutrients in your diet.

Instead of reducing how much you eat try changing the types of foods your eating and follow this simple advice:

Eat More Protein (Lean Meats.)
Eat More Fibre (Vegetables 6+ portions per day. Fruits 1-2 portions per day.)
Drink More Water (1 Litre per 25kg of body weight and and extra litre for each hour of activity.)
Starvation is not the answer and neither is restriction. If you want some cake then have some cake, just don’t eat the whole thing in one sitting.

5 – Expecting Miracles

This might be hard to accept but the success stories of people losing 3 stone in a month, building 6 pac abs in 2 weeks or changing your life with a Juicing Diet are utter crap.


In your first 6 months of training your progress will indeed come at an accelerated rate, that is because you’re a beginner and your body is trying it’s hardest to adapt but once it does your results will slow down. When your results have slowed and you’re only losing 1lb or less per week you should be prepared to dig deep and keep pushing hard because this is where your real journey begins.

There are no shortcuts to success. If you ask anyone who has actually made a change in their life they will tell you that it took time, effort and patience to achieve but it was worth it.

Don’t become despondent if you don’t go from 13stone to 8.5 immediately, it will take time.

Final Thoughts –

Before you step foot in a gym try asking yourself this question:

I am prepared to work hard and stick with this?

If the answer is yes then hire a trainer/coach and follow the steps above. I can confidently say that you will get results if you do.


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