In order to progress, we must make our own mistakes, in any walk of life. However, we must also learn from the mistakes of others, because we don’t live long enough to make all of them ourselves! This post is going to outline 10 things I wish I knew when I started training and bulking, as a skinny ectomorph –
- Write everything down! The amount of times I would do an exercise one week, go back to do it the week after and not remember what weight I had lifted or how many reps. This is a sure way to end up in a stalemate of no progression. Which leads me onto my next point…
- Make progress every time you do the same exercise. e.g. If I do flat bench press one Monday, and then the next Wednesday, I don’t want to be doing the exact same thing twice. Whether this be an extra rep, an extra KG, less rest time, or better form – always improve! This leads me onto my next point (getting good at these transitions!)…
- Master your form before you start piling on the weight. I spent my first few months of bicep curls swinging the weights, the early days of squats with a bent back, and I dread to think what my first deadlifts looked like. Make sure you get the form right – watch tutorials and also film yourself and watch it back. It will help promote growth and prevent injury down the line. Which brings me on…. Only joking.
- Track your macros. You probably aren’t eating as much as you think you are.
- Measure your main muscles at the start of your journey! This is a great motivator in the future and is a perfect indicator to tell you what exercises may or may not be working!
- Super sets – Super sets are when you finish an exercise of a particular muscle group, and immediately blast out reps of a completely different muscle group, sometimes to exhaustion. For example, I often go straight from squats to Z Bar bicep curls. The adrenaline of the previous exercise and no rest produces great results. This is a great way to grow weaker muscles.
- ASK! If you see someone in the gym doing an exercise you are interested in trying, or you want someone to check your form, or spot you on an exercise. Ask someone in the gym for help, chances are they’ll be flattered and happy to help!
- Consistency is key. Again, this is true in every aspect of your life. If you want to see results, consistency is your best friend. A gym session in the bag is a session in the bag. It is better to train and have a bad workout than not go at all. If you are not feeling up to it before, you normally feel 10x better after a good workout. Always turn up!! (Use discretion when training with any illness or injury).
- Take advice from people who do not have similar body type/genetics to you with a pinch of salt. Every individual is different and requires different things to see results.
- Don’t be disheartened if you do not see results straight away. Keep tweaking what you are doing, keep working honestly and consistently, you will see results. Never lose faith or focus.
I know for sure if I had taken all of these points on board when I first started training, I would be in a better position than I am now. Aren’t you lucky, I have made some of your mistakes for you!
What would you tell your past self just starting out at the gym? Let’s get the conversation going! Comment, share, or get in touch on our socials. It is amazing to hear from you.
Have a fantastic week!