What did it take you a year to learn?

Wasted a year! When I first starting working, I did all these things:

  • Failed bench press as I did learn to keep tight
  • Thought dips would build a massive back
  • Swinging on bicep curls which resulted in zero gains
  • Did no side delt work
  • Going overkill on squats twice a week and being tired mentally every workout
  • Forcing myself to eat as I was skinny but didn’t realize I was 29% bodyfat until dexa scan
  • Wired on coffee
  • Thinking linear progression would last forever on OHP and kept pushing the same weights falling


  • Chin ups blown up from 1 chin up to 5x5
  • Back has finally grown I do lat pulldown, chin ups and barbell rows
  • Biceps have grown no swinging and I now do direct tricep work
  • Not skipped or missed a workout in 12 weeks
  • Enjoying the gym as I’m not dreading hard squats twice a week which gives me energy to push rdls and other exercises

Why did it take a year for me to change things up for the better?

Have you guys made any mistakes or can you give me advice?


A year spent learning is never a year wasted.


My question is how have you been educating yourself on the subject?

1 year is not bad

Many people spend years doing things the wrong way and spinning their wheels

Unless you have someone to show you what to do on day 1 or have a good coach or trainer most people start off training suboptimally

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Do you suppose that all your mistakes are behind you?

The more you progress, the more you realize how little the first year corrected your mistakes. Stay aware and you will likely find that there more mistakes ahead of you than you have put behind.


Went high carb/low fat to reduce BF%
Trained like enhanced BBers
Didn’t do compound lifts
Tried HIIT for weight loss
Waited two years to get my blood checked
Ego lifted
High reps to get toned
Read Men’s Health
Believed Joe Weider

All I can remember right now.


You learned by doing it and making mistakes. And that first year probably got some beginner gains, so not wasted time at all. The first step at being good at anything is sucking at it.

About a kapajillion. In no particular order -

Prioritizing ab work to get “toned.”
Drinking too much and sleeping too little.
Thinking machines were magic, so didn’t focus on mind-muscle connection.
Did treadmill sprints, fell down, and split my lip.
Taking way too many supplements, especially stimulants, and not eating enough real food.
Got stuck under a 95 lb bench press and a female trainer had to come save me.
Thinking I had to have a perfect program to progress.

But it was a learning phase - the gym culture, anatomy, exercise programming, nutrition, are not intuitive. Then layer on things like contest prep, powerlifting, strongman, CrossFit, etc. - it gets to be a lot.

So the best thing you can do the first year is learn as much as you can and not be afraid to fall on your face.

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Ego lifting. More effort on getting a PR than the body I wanted or the health and athleticism I desired. Sorta thought if I got the PR the other things would fall in to place.

Trained really hard and not really smart. I think most of us fell in to this in one way or another. Our hearts were in it to do the best we could, while in actuality we often did too much work on some body parts and thus went beyond our abilities to recover and progress. For example, lots of hard pressing followed with too much direct tricep work. Or failing to understand that the programs listed in many of the popular muscle magazines of the 90s were basing the protocols on geared and very experienced lifters with great genetics. I started making better gains when I dialed down my volume. At the very least, I made the same gains with less effort. This is talked about on here a lot and is great advice for new lifters. Even TRT doesn’t give one the recovery ability of 500mg weekly of testosterone and a few other ingredients tossed in the stack. Know your capacity for recovery and line up the total amount of work appropriately.

And another big mistake, lack of consistency. I’ve found that a few good workouts a week for almost every week of the year is way better than balls to the wall all most everyday and then taking months at a time off because I’d just get tired of doing nothing but hitting the gym all the time. Results may come faster with more frequency and training in the most optimal total weekly amount, but it can be hard when one has other priorities to balance and puts the lifting beyond all else. Sure, if competition is a goal then this is a must. For the rest of us, balancing lifting with the rest of our lifestyle is a better way to continue long term. But that’s my opinion, some may feel differently and that’s cool too.

We have all messed up and will continue to make mistakes. Learn and move on. That’s how we succeed and survive in every aspect of life.


Yeah I would go for a week feel Dom’s in .y legs and not go for a week lol

Not sure it’s just mad how now my back in growing when in a year I had minimal change

All is good. At least you found some knowledge to get your back to respond. What about the other body parts? You have to look at all of them in the mirror as a reminder.

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You can swing the curls Up, but you can’t them swing Down.


New idea to add to dumb exercises I come up with - overhead swing curls. You swing it up and throw it over your head behind you, pick it up from wherever it lands and do another rep.

Edit - I’m not as creative as I thought. I just remembered working out with a guy who tried to do curls in the smith machine and try to throw it up, release it, and catch it on each rep, but the hooks kept catching and staff yelled at him.

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I’m kinda learning this right now but it’s because of being forced to build from the ground up again for the sake of managing a chronic injury. I have been squatting 3x12 twice a week increasing by 5lbs each time. I have no long-term goals to ever squat less than 10 reps again. This has worked for a bit but now I am starting to feel the fatigue slip into my general day to day life. Currently trying to figure out how to squat twice a week whilst using higher reps ranges on both days. Normal programming would just have us do a lighter variation (leg press/front squats) on the second day - but I feel like I have lots to gain from frequency and nailing the traditional squat down.

Intensity > volume

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IMO, that is an good choice.

If I had it to do again, I would try the second leg workout being a light leg day, where I was doing 2 sets of squats for 20 reps. The weight needs to be light enough that you could do both sets with the same weight, though the second set would be difficult to feel that stopping at 20 reps was “good enough.”

The problem with a second hard leg day is that you need your lower back recovered enough to have a strong back day.

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So keep the first workout 3x10-12, make a second workout 2x20 with a super light weight where the first set I feel I could have done quite a few more, the second set to where the bar starts to slow quite a lot and stop there, not go for a 21st rep if I feel like it? What would be the best way to progress these?

Yeah, I do squats and rdls on my heavy days possibly finishing up with some leg curls. The second day is squats and then all isolation machine work. I don’t actually have any lower back intensive back exercises in my routine right now. I hit RDLs heavy and then squatting 2x/week feels like enough.

Appreciate the advice.

Yes. The problem with high rep squats is that you seem to be able to do another rep, only to find that you might be able to get yet another rep. It is difficult to estimate RIR. So, I believe when the bar “slows” is a good place to stop. Maybe add weight the next week if the 20th rep of the second set doesn’t slow noticeably.

I wouldn’t call it “super” light weight. It should still be a reasonable effort.

Then that is reasonable. I put a major effort into back day, with very heavy bent over barbell rows followed by deadlifts. It was a priority to thicken my back.

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I was swinging like a monkey lol now im strict and my arms.have blown up.

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You could tie them back with a little biggie, right? Then throw curls to your heart’s content!