8 Mistakes I’ve Made In My First Years Of Training (And How To Avoid It)

When it comes to lifting weights and training hard, mistakes can always be made alot in your first years of training. And when you do so, you’ve wasted lots of opportunity; then feel regrets.

I know, I’ve been there, done that.

Hence why unlike few serious lifters at the beginning that made solid gains; I didn’t, and also gave myself a ticket to “slower progress”.

Becuase I’ve made some big, stupid mistakes in my first years of training. That took me lots of time to re-corrected my mistakes, and finally got jacked.

And here, therefore, boys!

These flying golden times were wasted and could never got backed again, the opportunities that I could have possibly made some good shits were shiv because of these fad shits. I’ve not fully maximized my potential during my beginning years; and for now, it will take me some more arduous times.

But it is better to spot them on sooner and stop, rather than never, right?

So okay, enough talking dammit.

I am going to compile the list of all my mistakes I’ve made at my first training years; so that when you spot the signs, you can avoid them. I hope that if you are beginners and have read this, so you will not make the same mistakes and cost you some good opportunities; like I did.

Let’s get started.

1… 2… 3… GO!

1. I Trained With A Shitty Bro Split Routine

Ah yes, the notorious muthafuckin’ bro-split! The not-uncommon, over-saturated indoctrination of the fitness industry’s mainstream. And yet the almost inevitable mistake of many beginners during their first years of training. Now ain’t that a bitch?

Carefully read what I just have said; so you know that I am not one in millions guy was caught on this fad shit. But many beginners also did.

Those who begin their lifting periods, usually have no clues and knowledge about training; so they have to research and most usually stumble firstly on the mainstream websites like Bodybuilding.com, Men’s Health & Fitness for advice.

Most of their programs are promoting bro-splits. And they get caught on and make that damn mistake in their first years of training. But what they do not know is that: bro-split routine are mostly designed for those who are using drugs; and drug-free lifters have no shit with it.

Why? For myriad reasons:

  • Bro-split routines are designed to hit each muscle group only once a week (low frequency)
  • They are easier to focused on isolating muscles and increasing volume to stimulate higher protein synthesis and growth process.
  • Because of those who are using drugs/steroids; have elevated protein synthesis and recovery through out the whole fucking week; so bro-split makes them train like a monster to maximize the catabolic effect and hypertrophy of their muscle groups, therefore making more gains.

And drug-free lifters? Handing on this shit doesn’t benefit them anything. So if you commit to your “natty” status, don’t make this mistake during your first years of training.

How To Avoid Bro-Split Routine: Training Each Muscle 2x/Week Or Full Body Training

In order to not make that shitty mistake during your first years of training, by going balls to walls with bro-split; you must be able to spot it.

Bro-split is typically a program that is splitted in 5 to 6 days training a week; and each day, you have to train hard as hell in a single muscle group, to creates more damages in the muscle tissues to build them bigger.

The most common type I usually see is like this:

  • Monday: Chest.
  • Tuesday: Arm.
  • Wednesday: Back.
  • Thursday: Shoulders.
  • Friday: Legs.
  • Saturday: Abs.

And just like that, boom! And you are having the bro-split program; but essentially useless for natty trainers. Hell, I’ve caught on this in my first years of training., and fucking made this mistake by doing this shit.

Because natural lifters don’t have the enhanced recovery and protein synthesis duration, as we only have 24-72 hours of elevated protein synthesis then after that goes down to 0. So, how the fuck can we benefit from this training? None.

I didn’t.

Instead of that, I’d recommended you to train a routine with higher frequency on every single muscle group; at least twice a week. And to get the best gains from it by implementing concurrent periodization method; which is one day strength (high intensity), one day high volume for muscle hypertrophy.

For example: in Monday you trains the entire upper body (chest/shoulders/back/arm) with heavy weights to build strength with 90% RPM weight; but in Thursday, you trains it with higher sets and volumes with 45-65% RPM, to promote hypertrophy.

These are routines I suggest you to train with in your first years of training for best gains possible; and not to make that stupid mistake and waste the golden opportunity:

2. I Created My Own Program

The second biggest mistake I’ve made during my first years of training was trying to be a smart-ass; and build my own training program, turned out to be a trash.

And I am being transparent, you’d be a shithead for attempting being creative during that time; when you are a beginner, creating your own program is the worst possible thing you can do, because:

  • You are bullshitting yourself with your “I-already-know” ego.
  • You waste tons of precious time and neurons for nothing.
  • And your program is so ineffective; not only you feel like crap, but you didn’t gain shit!

Many lifters during their first years of training, make this mistakes, too. And it cost them opportunities at the beginning.

Well, at least, it cost me (and I feel regrets).

So it can cost yours.

How To Avoid This Mistake During Your First Training Years

When you are the beginners, you don’t actually know shit; you don’t know what the fuck you are doing and you are struggling up and downs with exercises, learning, being consistent and mental roadblocks during the journey. So, how can you give yourself an advice that actually work for you?

That’s why if you keep doing that, you are making lots of mistakes, and your first years of training will be inefficient and unfulfilled. You will have crap results, muscle definitions and metabolism as if you are trying to build your own programs.

So my advice, if you are trying to be creative: STOP.

Instead, follow the Fibonacci’s rule of all starters: BE HUMBLE, WATCH, LEARN & FOLLOW FIRST.

Never try to craft your own program without the extensive knowledge on the fields; but follow the experts and who’re beyond your game for advice. (but I’d rather recommend you to follow these programs above, nowadays most experts are total bullshits).

3. I Didn’t Take Macro Counting & Timing Seriously

As a first years trainer, it is definitely easy to make this poor mistake.

To be honest with you, most trainers, including me, at our beginning: we usually either get frustrated or don’t even give a serious fuck about managing nutrition and diet. And that being said, nutrition and diet is absolutely important for your building muscle and recovery progress.

And like most trainers at the beginning, I was naive; I thought we build huge muscle by just lift only fucking weights.

But no, not that.

I had tried hard in the gym and lift hard; for the reasons to losing fat and get jacked. So you can say that all the stored energy and calories within the fat will help me recover and build muscle. But then I still made shit gains for yo-yoing my caloric deficit process.

Some day I ate very less; and some day due to the cravings, I straight up jammed my mouth dozen caloric densed foods.

And end up getting fat again, but barely muscle gained.


All of it happened because I didn’t take macro and calories counting seriously. I’ve made serious mistake in my first years of training by eating tons of refined sugars (with lots of simple carbs and fats) and some days lots of proteins and fats.

I guess most beginners also make this same stupid mistake.

How To Avoid This Mistake: Take Your Nutrition Seriously

Ever heard the phrase: “Your abs are 80% made in the kitchen“? I am sure you’re familiar.

To understand a little bit about physiology, your muscles during training will breakdown, tear the tissues from stress which is catabolic state; and these tissues are recovered during resting periods, filling yourself with foods and sleeps also due to decent hormonal profile; which is anabolic.

And your diet already serves the most prominent out of it for physiological recovery. So if you want to build muscle and strength, eat correctly and seriously.

But you don’t want to make the stupid mistake of eating haphazardly without a care for sufficient proportions of macros and essential micronutrients, especially during your first years of training.

Therefore, my advice:

  • Spending some time calculating your caloric intake and macronutrients during the process.
  • Focus most importantly in your macro proportions (read #4)
  • Also pay attentions to minerals and vitamins: you want to get jacked, but also be healthy; not a bulky walking zombie like the fucking Tank from L4D2 (13+)
  • And lastly, time your meals on daily basis which is crucial at the beginning; if you eat 3,4 or even 6 meals, time everthing.

At first, these shits might be willpower-depleting and lots of shits to be done, once you are consistent and natural with it. I guarantee it will be easier later on; at least like that, or you just fuck your opportunity up when you just start.

4. My Over-Obsession With Protein

Ah, fucking irony itself hit me on my goddamn face.

Just like you, I also know that in the bodybuilding’s world: protein is the holy grail when it comes to building muscle; it is the bread and butter. So if you don’t have enough protein, you hardly build muscle.

That’s definitely true, but …

I’ve made the stupid god-shit mistake by being over obsessed with that “word” in my first training year. And guess what?

I completely went to a 205lbs bloated gruesome-fat-fuck-behemoth looks almost exactly like The Boomer In Left 4 Dead, when I was training to losing weight and was on the cusp to looking fit.

All thanks to 4 scoops of chocolate Whey Protein mixed with skimmed milk every single day. (to be honest, it tasted yummy, but such wasted!)

And I also forgot the fact that I was still fat! Some comedy to you.

As one of some naive beginning lifters, I’ve always thought Whey Protein was a magic cheat code to build a big, jacked badass muscles after I watched this Russian clip; and I was too caught on about “protein”, that combined with my shit training and shit recovery. I looked horrendous, dammit!

And I don’t know if you are on my same boat, but if you do; please do me a favor,….

Give it up.

How To Avoid This Mistake: Focus On Macronutrient Proportions

Many beginner lifts can perpetually complicate themselves about nutrition and diet, and obviously will buy into the notion of ridiculous amount of protein to build muscle; yet completely unnecessary and dipshit.

Most of you don’t even need that much of proteins, even me; and these guys who jammed about 300-400g of protein a day? They are freaking bodybuilders, or mass monsters with loads of juices and train to compete, man! So don’t worry about it.

Ideally, eating 1-1.2g of protein per pounds are best for building muscles and strength; hell, most of you don’t even need that much, 0.8g per pounds are good enough to do the work.

So if you weigh 170lbs, your daily protein intake should range from 136 to 204 grams of protein, that’s it! The rest just focusing on managing your macro proportions.

Therefore, my advice:

  • Discover your current maintenance caloric intake (using this calculator); then two options: if you want to gain weight, eat 100-400 caloric surplus compares to the maintenance; or to losing weight and fat, eat 100-400 caloric surplus.
  • If you are skinny: eat lots moderate fat, high carbs & moderate protein. (20/60/20: proportion)
  • If you are overweight: eat relatively low fat, moderate carbs & protein. (20/40/40: proportion)

From that, you are good to go.

The rest should be lifting consistently, maximizing nutritional values and recovery.

5. I Hired A Personal Trainer For Very Little Results

One of my lifetime’s mistakes in my fitness journey was hiring a personal trainer, and had done virtually nothing good. Now I know some of you might benefit from having a personal trainer; but other some will feel like this is a big mistake that sabotages their first years training’s journey.

But I also blamed myself for unrealistic goal-setting & impatience too; so this is about my 2 personal problems: me and the personal trainer.

Let’s talk about “personal trainer first”.

I basically had a guy hired in my gym for nearly $5000 to train me for losing weight and gaining tons of muscles & strength. He was a competitive bodybuilder, so you’d guess he was the real deal.

Yeah, he was. But did I have a good training experience with him? No.

My experience with him was inconsistent; and in spite of I’ve learned some great things from him about the bodybuilding industry and little bit about juicing, (I didn’t juice) it was seem that his program and diet’s advice weren’t suitable for me during that time.

He was also the reason how I got fat as fuck in the first place because of the shit training and how had I had a “protein talk” with him.

But instead of acting like a scapegoat, most of the problems were also caused directly by me, let me tell you how:

I was a young, naive and egocentric teenage lad who was like 15 at that point, but I didn’t realize that because of me my training results were shits and I tried making lots of excuses also some unrealistic goal setting bullshit.

During that time I cared about getting jacked to get girls in my school; so I basically didn’t give a fuck about my family’s financial status and forced them to afford personal trainer, fuck yeah. And due to my unrealistic expectations, my effeminate ass, impatience and completely crap work ethics; even with a personal trainer I didn’t meet my goal.

After all, I was the culprit for my own failures.

How To Avoid This Mistake During Your First Training Years

If you are beginners, I wouldn’t against your intentions to seek a personal trainer or expert. In fact, I might think you should if you are too ADHD or lazy to research shits for yourself; or you are busy with many things.

But getting a personal trainer that actually effective is a flip of Mojo, homie. If you are lucky, or smart enough to get yourself a good guy with integrity; plus your reasonable approaches to your training, there’s no way you’d get good results.

And if you unfortunately get a “trash-quality” trainer, then congratulations, you are getting screwed!

Personally I had done with a personal trainer once, and with my current base of knowledge; I am not getting any guy helping me train any more. So I cannot give you adequate advice on how to find a good personal trainer; other than knowing his/her background:

  • He/she is jacked, or at least in decent shape and maybe have a career in fitness.
  • In your gym, he/she is well-respected by others, especially trainees.

Yeah, that’s how I can think of. Other than that, I‘d recommend you to not being a lazy bitch, and study these shits for yourself.

Also no, you don’t need to be a complete intellectual and barge down to every single fucking thing; just do enough researches that are sufficient for your current levels and then focusing on training, you might need only basic knowledge and terminologies when you are starting.

And be sure to study from credible sources of knowledge also.

That way you can make progress on your own in your first training years while avoiding major mistakes.

6. I Didn’t Train Correctly Consistently

Greatness is always built by consistency; especially in bodybuilding.

You either train consistently and make progress, or being inconsistent and be a wimp forever.

Quite sad that I didn’t know about that when I was started, damn.

For my first few years of lifting; I was like being ADHD, I had been hoping programs to programs, various type of trainings and skipped lots of days and backtracked the progress I’ve made half-way. I was completely inconsistent in training my nutrition, and it translated to other areas in my life.

No wonder why I had shit results in my first training years, because of this mistake. But I also see most people have the same problem.

Most trainers in beginners don’t take their shit serious enough, they have clear motivation in the beginning but notice: that after few weeks, it dampens down like a hydraulic press crushing stuffs.

I notice that most people are inconsistent in their training and their shits are mostly similar to me:

  • I programmed hops because I didn’t felt like making gains, and was constantly leaning back and forth from training methods to methods. So are many people.
  • I yo-yoed my diet because I frustrated about the whole counting stuffs; so are many people.
  • I skipped workout because shits were tough, and I couldn’t endure pain; and soooo are many other people!
  • And I was a bitch; but I don’t think people are any different than my past self ….

Now you know that a big fuck up of not being consistent, right?

How To Avoid This Mistake During Your First Training Years

If you don’t want to mess up with your progress during your golden first years, then please do one thing.

Be consistent, be goddamn consistent with everything.

Training to gain great results is all about consistency & hard work: you gotta be consistent with your current program; your current meal plan and macros; your recovery regimen; and your days needed to be shown up at the gym and crank shits up.

Yeah I know it will not be easy.

For you will be lacking motivation, be tired and be painful someday; but sometimes you just gotta man up and fuck some shits up at your best.

In some instances, you might not give yourself completely 90-100% effort in your worst days; give it 50-60% effort in the gym and push with mental fortitude and that’s it, just apply the Slight Edge’s principle.

Sometimes in your bad days, you might give yourself a cheat day because you are probably under-recovered the last day. But next day, you gotta get back on track and be consistent with the nutrition plan. You want abs and big arms? There you have it, not without good nutrition.

And lastly, never jump from current program to different program!

Because when you start getting into your training program, you will not see results within the first few weeks or a month, and that’s when people usually give up. Stay consistent with it for at least 3-6 months; you will notice significant gains, that’s my word.

Any program will work if you are being consistent enough, except shitty over-calculated programs and bro-split.

7. I Didn’t Sleep Enough

Ah, yes! The “high school” period is probably the most notorious moments in any teenagers life.

I recalled myself had to cranked my shit with mountain of schoolwork while feeling bored, lazy, lost in the forest combined with lack of work ethics.

If you are a guy who come from an Asian country, or families that regard stupid amount of prestige within academic performance or being authoritative; you’d have known how this shit feels like.

And if you are a Vietnamese, you’d also understand the insanity of Vietnamese’s education system: bombards with fuck tons of difficult works for redundant bunches of subjects. And the stress of works, along with the stress of family’s expectation on you was …. speechless.

By doing so, I had to sacrificed lots of sleep for these irrelevant shits that had nothing to do with my future.

Or even if I didn’t have to study and work on school stuffs; I still deprived myself to sleep!

Why? After all the torturous weekdays of schoolwork, and eventually weekends were the most gracious days ever; I spent these days to had fun and escaped myself from a living mess by binged myself hours on Internet, masturbated and played video games that were way past my bedtimes. And went to bed soulless with annoying insomnia and boogerhead of thoughts.

I had probably slept like 4-5 hours a night during these days. The results: I kept getting fatter and wimpier due to unbalanced hormonal ratio with “significantly dominant levels of estrogen”; I had severe acne in my bloated face and body; I felt weaker day by day, and was mentally ill. Jeez …

That shit alone was enough to impaired my training results, my growth, my brain and my overall health.

Glad I’ve got that fixed until age 16.

How To Avoid This Mistake: Optimize Your Sleep Immediately

You’ve read my story, know you should know it; don’t let your stupid sleep quality impairs your growth process.

Sleep is the most anabolic thing you have, especially if you are a “natty” lifter; don’t make this fucking mistake in your first years of training by sacrificing it.

Just because you are having tons of stresses in life doesn’t mean you should waste it like throwing ashes to river.

Having good sleep quality is the key to full recovery, during sleep your muscle fiber damages will be recovered and start building more lean tissues; and making your muscle stronger and bigger. You will also re-balance your hormones, and increase your testosterone; the better you sleep, the higher T levels you have.

So that’s it, get it checked man.

Here are my tips for sleep:

  • Ideally range from 7.5 – 9 hours which contains 5-6 cycles of sleep every night (each cycle is about 90 minutes; and you make most recovery from deep sleep stage and REM stage).
  • Go to bed/wake up at the same time range every day.
  • Keep your room cold (but not too cold, you’d rather feel comfortable).
  • Drink lot of water in the day, and restrict fluid intake before bed 2-3 hours if you don’t want your bladder to fuck with your sleep in the midnight.
  • Reduce blue light by either abstaining from screen time or use F.lux to change blue light to warm orange light which produces melatonin (sleep hormone) before bed 2-3 hours.
  • Keep your room at darkest.
  • Meditate every day to calm your mind.
  • Take 2-5mg Melatonin before bed if you have severe sleep problems; or use Gorilla Dream (best sleep supplement ever in the market).

8. And I Made Lots Of Excuses During The Process

Finally, everything should circled back to the mindset & attitude during training; this is probably the overarching perpetrator of all these mistakes most first years trainers can make. And I have to confess I was the one of those who brought “shitty” mindset to the weight room.

I also confess that most of my problems and mistakes I’ve made when I began training, are reflections of my core problem …

I was being a little bitch.

Because I was being a bitch for not adapting a good mindset to change myself; I was being a bitch by did not take my nutrition and program in check, indulged myself in unnecessary pleasures that cost me my precious life, my precious sleep and precious muscle gaining opportunity.

I was constantly making excuses to not to go hard because I felt pain and discomfort, or I felt like not accepting my flaws and weakness; and just being a little bitch making excuses like that then paid a high price for nothing.

So, that lack of mindset made my life hell and thus my training progress a wasted potential.

When I was being a bitch in training; I became a bitch in life, and life hit me with lots of cruelty until I’ve knocked that bitch out of me, and start getting serious at the moment. And here I am, therefore being more serious and committed to strengthening and bettering my mind and body every living moment.

At the end of the day, it is about having a strong MINDSET and our reality matters when our mindset matters.

How To Avoid This Mistake During Your First Years Of Training: Adapt A “Warrior Mindset”

No doubt, when it comes to exercising, we have lots of mental roadblocks on our ways. But the different between winners and losers? The winners overcome it, while losers let it dominate them.

The winner has just one clear vision in front of him, and he will do whatever it needs to accomplish his goal: he thinks, he fights, he suffers, he fails then gets back up again; but most importantly, he never gives up. In contrast to the loser that never lasts long when he hits the tough road and decides to quit.

Fuck the loser, be the WINNER.

And the way to do it is to cultivate a “warrior mindset”.

Next time, carry that warrior mindset with you in all endeavors toward your purposes; and when you are struggling, use that mindset and continue exerting your efforts, no matters hardship and difficulties.

Lifting process is a long journey with hardship and pains throwing towards you, you’ll eventually encounter days of pains and burning out; injuries and plateaus that will make you feel like hell. Those who’ve made greatness in it already have a strong mindset, discipline, consistency and work ethics.

I’d recommend you to start your training process seriously with that warrior mindset; once you are adapted to it, it will not only translate great results in your training, but also your life and career.

If you feel like you want to give up, remember about how Navy SEALS conquer their challenges. It is time to stop being a bitch, man the hell up and fuck shits up!


Hope you enjoy this long ass article and also have learned something from this.

Keep in mind that you will make a lots of mistakes during your first training years, and my guess most of you will encounter the same mistakes like I used to make; my mistakes are not uncommon among most beginners.

I hope this article will somehow elaborate you and give you a more solid approach to training; while increasing your chances to prevent unnecessary bullshits to deal with that can cost you the golden opportunity at the beginning.

So bury that in your mind.


and LIFT HARD, LIVE STRONG like a lion, okay? Good.

With that being said, I am done talking.

I wish you a good luck.

Talk to you soon,


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