For beginners, weightlifting can seem intimidating at first. But those new to weight training can build muscle and gain strength faster than athletes with decades of experience. That’s the magic of “newbie gains.” This refers to beginners’ extremely rapid progress in the first six months to a year of weightlifting or similar workouts. According to Chris Duffin, world record holder in powerlifting (powerlifting) and co-founder of Kabuki Strength, this is because your body is not accustomed to the new training stimuli and can therefore adapt quickly.
With the right training design, you can make the most of your “newbie gains” and reach your goals in the long run. To optimize your training, Duffin recommends prioritizing recovery. You should also not cut back on nutrition, stick to a specific training program and avoid overloading.
Don’t Sacrifice Your Sleep
A morning session at the gym is fine as long as your sleep doesn’t suffer. According to Duffin, one of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting a new workout program is getting up too early to work out.
Lack of sleep is a common problem among gym newbies and, according to him, can lead to more muscle soreness and increase the risk of injury. In addition, it can also ruin the desired effect of strength training because lack of sleep means muscles don’t have time to grow and adapt – which slows down training success. “It’s like bending over to pick up a coin and missing the 10-euro bill in front of you. It doesn’t make sense,” Duffin says.
Most studies recommend at least seven hours of sleep for the average adult and up to nine or even 10 hours for some competitive athletes.
Be Consistent With The Training Program
Another common mistake newcomers to the gym make is the so-called “shiny object syndrome”: they try many different workout programs in a short period without investing much time in any of them.
“People are looking for the ultimate recipe for success. They try one approach for a month and then move on to the next. Yet the only way to find out if something is a good fit for you is to stick with it consistently,” Duffin says. He recommends sticking with a program for at least six months for optimal results.
Supply Your Body With Energy
According to Duffin, many people try to start a new fitness routine and a new diet simultaneously, changing their bodies quickly. However, you must have a caloric surplus to effectively build muscle, meaning you eat more food than you burn through exercise and daily activities. Reducing calories can slow down muscle growth, worsen fatigue and affect your progress in a new training program.
To avoid missing out on progress, Duffin recommends changing one major component of your routine at a time. For example, if you’re adding extra workout days or training more intensely, give your body time to adjust before making significant changes to your diet.
Trains Smarter, Not Harder
While it’s appealing to push your fitness goals to the limit, remember that overtraining is a barrier to progress, Duffin says.
“More does not always equal better. The goal should be to get the results you want with the least amount of effort,” he says.
For fitness newbies, 45 minutes of exercise three times a week is a good start. This slow but steady approach requires patience, but it’s the best way to ensure the sustainability of your training success. “The beauty of strength training is that it gets more challenging over time,” Duffin says.