4 Workout Plan Mistakes That Beginners Make

Akash Sehrawat

5 min read | Jun 10, 2018

Here, let me give you an idea about 4 Beginners Workout Plan Mistakes that most newbies make when they join a gym. 


1) They Start With Split Routines


This is a huge mistake. The most common split that the gym trainers recommend the newest member who joins a gym is either a,


 -Two Body Parts Per Day Split 


Monday- Chest + Back

Wednesday- Shoulders+Legs

Friday- Arms




-One Body Part Per Day Split


Monday- Shoulders

Tuesday- Chest

Wednesday- Back

Thursday- Biceps

Friday- Triceps

Saturday- Legs


Honestly, I don’t have an issue with split training; in fact, I recommend a split workout too i.e. FBX training, but only for intermediates/advanced trainees. 


Related Article: Best Workout Split Routines


The main rationale behind split training is to ensure that all muscle groups are trained with enough volume for good results. For every muscle group like shoulder, chest and back, legs etc, a trainee is required to perform around 10 sets per week if they want to keep progressing. 


You see, once the beginners gain dies down i.e. once a beginner has gained 10-15 lbs of muscle, to keep progressing and gain more muscle, there is an increased need for volume training and training the full body three times with that much volume for each muscle group would mean 3-hour workout sessions!


But when it comes to a beginner, the main goal is not volume nor hitting the muscle group from every angle (by doing tons of isolation exercises), usually on machines, and that’s where the main problem lies!!


Within a few months, a beginner trainee prefers isolation exercises and machines more than compound movements like squats/deadlifts using dumbbells and barbells.


Why? Because barbell squats and sumo deadlift (trap-bar deadlifts) seems super tough! They start to fear that they may hurt their lower back, and they feel that the learning curve for these exercises is very steep.


They think that they don’t want to become a powerlifter, so why go through all the trouble when they can have fun using the machines which are freely available in most commercial gyms for every body part?


Bottom line, if you want a fabulous physique with real-life functional strength and need to gain lean muscle, then compound lifts are mandatory and should comprise at least 90 percent of your full body workouts with an increased workout frequency per week (3 times is ideal).


Lastly, there is another problem with split training. With the increased volume, the common split workout routine only allows a trainee to hit a muscle group only once a week, which is TOO less for a beginner.


2) They Go For Either A Cutting Or A Bulking Phase


Beginners can easily lose fat and build muscle at the same time, and there is absolutely no need to go through a cutting or a bulking phase. 


A beginner should focus on building the right eating habits. Instead of being obsessed about huge muscles and/or a six-pack look, they should learn the fundamentals of eating healthy (which is another topic in its entirety) and learn how to do key compound movements, as discussed in the previous point. 


Based on the BMI data I collected of over 1000 men (when I used to run my own health club), almost 80 percent of men have their body fat percentage between 20-24% with relatively less muscle mass for their body weight (even less muscle mass if you are an Indian…in that case you are a skinny fat person). 


Related Article: Skinny Fat Solution: 9 Effective Ways To Cure Skinny Fat


So the number one goal for any beginner who joins a gym is to lose fat and build muscle simultaneously.


Now if you belong to the camp of ‘Hey Akash, I don’t want to train to build muscle; I just want a lean look!’. I get it, but you need to trust me on this one: You will not look like a bodybuilder and build bulky muscles if you train with weights.


In fact, the side effect of weight training will be that you will not only look sexy, toned and fabulous, but your digestion, overall health and functional strength will drastically improve and be optimized. 


Bottom line


don’t complicate things at the beginning by obsessing about bulking/cutting, as eventually, these concepts, when practiced at the start of your weightlifting journey, will lead to unhealthy habits, unrealistic obsessions and image disorder problems and excessive supplementation or even drug/steroid use.


3) They Overload With Too Much Weights Too Soon


You are not just training your muscles when you lift weights. Your tendons, ligaments, your central nervous system all get a beating when you weight train. 


Your muscular system recovers the fastest, and even if you feel you can go back to the gym almost every day and overload with more weights, then think again!


Your tendons (tissues that connect your muscles to bone) and ligaments (tissues that connect bone to bone) don’t have a very good blood supply and heal slower than your muscles.


Muscles, on the other hand, have just one job: to contract, and that requires a lot of oxygen which is supplied by blood, and that’s why they recover faster than other tissues. So keep this in mind next time when you load too much weight on a flat bench press, do too much volume training, or perhaps train every day with weights!


4) They Blindly Trust Bodybuilders Or Coaches


The year 1999-2000 was the first time I lifted weights. We were fortunate to have a computer and a dial-up, but most of the time, it was chatting on messenger…hehe and now the year is 2018. 


Like my blog, there are thousands of other blogs where you can get any information you want. Amazon has a great collection of health and fitness books you can read. 


My point is simple: You don’t need to trust your trainers blindly. I have been a trainer myself and have a soft corner for these guys; in fact, I had two dozen trainers working for me a couple of years back, and it was fun. :))


But let me tell you what is not fun. Most of these guys have no formal credentials. Depending on the type of trainer, he/she will recommend workout programs that they personally have been following, and it will be mainly isolated exercises on machines. 


Think about this, which one is easier for the trainer?


To teach you how to do a shoulder press with dumbbells or on a shoulder press machine?


To teach you how to do a sumo deadlift/barbell squat or bicep curls?


My point is don’t allow yourself to be at the mercy of your trainers. You need to do your own research.


If you prefer weight training and like going to the gym, invest some time in reading stuff. You may not grasp everything in one month, but with regular reading of the right stuff, within 3-6 months, you can become more knowledgeable than most trainers out there! If you just know where to look.


You can start with my free course, The FBX Training to get started.


Related Course:



What do you think about these beginners’ mistakes? Have anything you like to add or have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

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About Akash Sehrawat

Akash is a creator of 25+ programs and certificate courses in which more than 200,000 students have enrolled both on Udemy and Fabulous Body's native platform. Akash is also an author of three books that can be found on Amazon. His answers on Quora have gathered more than 12 million views in less than a year.


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