We’re all guilty of gym fails, even the Lean Machines boys. Here, they reveal their six biggest mistakes and what they learned (SO YOU CAN TOO!)
Both of us were on very low-carb diets for a long time. We weren’t doing it for any other reason than we felt it was the right thing to do to get lean! Yes, we got lean, but it had nothing to do with reducing carbs, it was because we were reducing the amount of calories in our diet. And it was a really miserable experience! Every single diet works because of a calorie deficit, no matter how it’s manifested. It’s easy to get confused by this kind of stuff, and we clearly did.
Everyone needs a plan. And when you have one, stick to it! I remember going to the gym and seeing what others were doing and then copying them, ditching my plan – which was tailored for me, my body and my needs – for something else because I thought it looked good. I’m sure we’re all guilty of this one, right? Yet you need to give your plan time to work, then analyse the merits and the downfalls before you move onto something else. If you stick to a plan and it’s terrible and doesn’t work for you, then it can still be a success because you’ve learned what doesn’t work for your body.
I used to think that my way was the only way. I used to stick my head in the sand and believe I knew the best ways to train but I soon found there are lots of different ways to do it. I used to be surrounded by a bodybuilding culture and so that’s what I knew, but now I like Crossfit stuff too, and indoor climbing, and gymnastics, yoga… I used to be so one-dimensional and not open to trying new things. Big mistake!
Nobody aims to make mistakes, obviously, but everything I’ve learned has come from making one. If things are going well for you, you’ll stay on that path. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right path. Somebody might have spent their whole life doing something the same way and they might have had a degree of success doing it like that, but someone else might have failed a few times and had more success. Failure isn’t something to seek, but it’s sometimes the only way to learn.
I went to a commercial gym for the first time the other week and I forgot how those places can sometimes make you feel insecure. But they shouldn’t! I was using the bench press and I had two huge dudes watching over me, whether it was because they were waiting to use it or they were checking out my form, I don’t know. I’m sure they didn’t care what I was doing, and I didn’t really care what they thought, but there was a small part of me that wondered what they were thinking. I’m sure people don’t judge, but it can feel like that… so it’s important to switch off those self-conscious thoughts!
When I first got into training, I based all of my motivation and my training on someone I saw in a magazine who looked absolutely amazing. You see it all the time now; celebrity or pro workouts or ways to train, and you copy those sessions. I’ve been lucky enough to meet a lot of people in those said magazines and one thing I’ve learned is that some people are genetic freaks, others might use substances, or they might not live the same sort of lifestyle as we do, i.e. they might have all the money and time in the world to train. You simply cannot compare your situation to others because you don’t know the back story, or their situation.