Top 20 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Training (Part 1)

Volume 1 – 5


1)     To gain muscle you need some extra calories but not as much as you think.  A surplus of 250-500kcal is about as much as you will require to optimise muscle gain whilst preventing fat gain. These 8,000kcal a day diets you see in Men’s fitness magazines are for extreme athletes with crazy training volume, genetic super-freaks and/or those taking performance enhancing drugs. Eating endless calories in a bid to get big and strong whilst regarding any increase in scale weight as a good thing is a quick shortcut to getting fat, unfit and sick!


2)     All the best supplements for muscle gain and fat loss are generally not the ones heavily marketed to us.    Vitamin D, Zinc, Magnesium and Omega 3 fall by the way side and instead we hear about “Ripped Freak”, “Grenade”, “Extreme Mass” or any other of the latest and greatest.  The aforementioned staple nutrients are far more beneficial for your long-term goals than 90% of the trash supplements which are sold today and they are solidly backed by science.


3)     Don’t lift to failure on every set.  This is just a sure fire way to injure yourself and impede recovery from every session. Despite what the magazines say, training to muscular failure is not an essential for hypertrophy, particularly for entry-level athletes.


4)     There is no such thing as a fattening food or fat burning food. These are marketing terms used to lure unsuspecting consumers. What matters is your energy balance – caloric surplus or deficit. Yes, certain foods can promote more fat gain but usually it is because you eat too much of those foods for your calorie requirements and/or disregard other food groups as you are filling up on the wrong ones.


5)     Stop worrying about endless isolation exercises at the end of your workouts. Performing a tonne of curls, Pec flyes and triceps pushdowns whilst disregarding the big compound movements are a big mistake. Yes, multiple sets of varying incline curls, Crucifix curls and preacher curls seem sexy and exciting but nothing yields big time results like pull ups, dips, deadlifts and squats.    Stop posing in the mirror and start pushing yourself with the big, hard lifts.


If you would like any assistance from us in getting stronger, fitter and leaner then please contact us on [email protected].  We have two gyms in Chichester, West Sussex.  We currently help everyone from professional athletes to individuals in their 70s and above and those with disabilities.  Our membership gym is in Oaklands Park and our private personal training gym can be found in the City Business Centre, Basin Road.