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5 Lifting Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

We learn from our mistakes. And since I took up strength training (Stonglifts) a year ago… let’s just say I learned a lot. I’m writing this to help other beginners avoid the same mistakes I did.

1. Not eating enough – Seriously.

I read this piece of advice so much it became redundant. I tried to follow Leangains and expect my strength gains to continue. FAIL. I eventually plateaued. So, in the final weeks of my training, I decided on a little experiment: EAT AS MUCH AS BLOODY POSSIBLE. After every training session, I’d eat like it was Christmas and be stuffed. (I’d still avoid starchy carbs on rest days though). Results? I made more progress in six weeks than previous couple of months! I gained a little bit of fat.

2. Not adding weight every session

If I struggled to bust out my sets, I’d just stay on the same weight for a few sessions and only THEN attempt to move up (especially with squats, where I’d move up only once a week). So then I tried moving up every session. And guess what? My rate of progress improved massively. Even if you feel like the last session was torture, you won’t know you can lift heavier until you get under and bar and try.

3. Not having measurable Goals

Last week, I explained how not having goals will kill your motivation and outlined good lifting goals for beginners. Goals help you focus and progress.

4. Ego lifting

Related to no.2 and no.3, sometimes you want to move up so bad, your lifts are move about the weight on the bar than your technique. Leave your ego outside. This is a marathon, not a sprint. When you squat, get your ass to the grass every time. Not going through the whole range of motion is cheating. Check out Youtube videos to improve your technique on each exercise.

5. Taking too much time-off  (or letting travel get in the way)

Two weeks off in the gym can set you back a whole month. When you travel, try and get to the gym at least twice a week. Most places do day-passes (I also recommend gyms in my city guides). Can’t find one? Turn to Calisthenics. Find a branch for chins, do jumping squats, do push up with your back back on, etc… You may not make gains, but at least you won’t loose out on all the hard work you’ve done.

9 Responses to 5 Lifting Mistakes to Avoid for Beginners

  1. Unrogue March 9, 2014 at 3:38 am #

    Thanks for the reminders Mark.

    2 and 4 seem to contradict, but they really don’t. I think the route for beginner lifters is something like:

    1. develop the habit

    2. care about results

    once you get the form down, adding weight becomes natural.

  2. Leo March 10, 2014 at 3:08 am #

    What Cities have you been to that had the biggest tit and booty white girls?

  3. eric March 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    hey, saw your african road trip on youtube. Ain´t u afraid of getting hiv when you fuck in africa? I mean even if you use condom u can still get it.

    And i can just say that your book is my bibel, funny as fuck and really good stories.
    Just keep up the good work jack sparrow
    // your swedish disciple

  4. Darius March 13, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    Naughty Nomad,
    Since you’re from Europe and have traveled extensively-

    Where are the biggest breasted white girls at in Europe that are 5’4-5’6 I hate tall amazon women but live stacked average height girls???????

  5. Tyler March 14, 2014 at 7:31 pm #

    So true. It’s amazing how quickly progress can be lost. Do you ever experiment with bodyweight exercises?

  6. Ryan Kuchel March 28, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    Under eating is soo damaging to progress.

    I do a CKD (cyclical keto diet) and when I go half assed on refeed days I feel my progress stalling and I lift worse in the gym the following week. People think its counter productive to stuff your face, but when done properly, it’s essential.

    Good post dude.

  7. Ironthumb March 29, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I completely agree especially with


    Some newbs these days try to lift sissy machines and eat sissy meal

    damn even lifting community has been feminized!

    whereas if you ask me I’d eat like a PIG!
    Its ok as long as you train like a monster

  8. Albie March 31, 2014 at 3:37 am #

    Love your blog first of all. I’m not a weed connoisseur such as yourself… What countries would you call Coke friendly? Outside of S. America, I’ve already traveled there extensively.


  1. The Year in Review 2014 | Naughty Nomad - January 1, 2015

    […] I fall in love with NYC so much, I intermediately return to Ireland for six weeks to get apply for my US graduate visa. During the six weeks back, I keep sane by going to the gym and release a video detailing my strength results after 1 year in the gym. And talk 5 lifting mistakes to avoid for beginners. […]

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