There will always be someone readily available to tell you how to do something whether you want their advice or not. There will also always be some sort of guide or set of instructions that you can read that will also provide you with the know how information for whatever it is you're trying to do. But above all else, and perhaps the most important way of learning how to do new things, is by making mistakes and then learning from them. We all have to start somewhere and that somewhere in the gym begins with the first weight you pick up. From there it all eventually falls into place and you find your rhythm. Along the way, however, multiple mistakes will be made in your application of the many exercises that exist and that's fantastic in my opinion. As long as you can identify the problem and address the issue to ultimately find the right answer, that initial mistake will be more valuable to you than any other form of communication you could receive in this regard. We have all witnessed someone in the gym performing something we deem to be the exact opposite of what they should be doing but I challenge you to consider the following reasons for allowing them to continue making mistakes before you decide to jump in and lend a helping hand.
It Doesn't Really Matter Right Now
You might be shaking your head after reading that subtitle, but I'm being very serious here. The people you see making all of these mistakes might be in the gym for the very first time in their life and if what they're doing is making them feel better about themselves then I say power to them. It's a hell of a lot better than what they had been doing up to this point, which was probably nothing, so let them have their fun and explore the many new and exciting ways of moving their body while enjoying the rush of endorphins that they will experience while doing so. Hopefully this will engage their interest and compel them to come back for more the next day and the day after that until they're a regular gym goer. And to top it all off, they're going to build some muscle anyway simply because this is a whole new stimulus and we all know that something new will always bring about new muscle.
Possibly one of the greatest by-products of doing something wrong, is all the inadvertent gains that will occur as a result. I know guys who have massive triceps and terrible pecs yet they're always on the bench press. I know for a fact that their triceps size is a direct result of them performing the bench press in the wrong manner for their body type and structure but their desire to improve their overall pec size and bench press total has led them to inadvertently building tremendous triceps. Another great example are all of those people who have huge peaking biceps and terrible backs. They've never quite been able to establish that mind to muscle connection with the muscles of their back and their biceps have always endured much of the resistance during any back exercises leading them to building crazy biceps size. So you see, what I'm getting at here is there's always some good along with the bad and I guess that's better than nothing at all.
Deeper Understanding of Your Physique
In all seriousness, the most important thing to remember about making mistakes is that as long as you can identify what the mistake is that you're making and then take the time to learn how to correct those mistakes, you will have a much deeper understanding of your physique. This means you'll eliminate wasting valuable energy in the gym on movements that are ineffective for you, you'll decrease the risk of injury and you'll grow new muscle at a much faster rate. For the 'hands on' learners out there, trial and error in the gym has no doubt provided the base for everything that you have learned up to this point and many of us would rather jump in feet first than and get right at it versus studying books and films that tell us how to train. We all learn in our own way but the only way to learn your body is to apply the practical side of what you do right and what you do wrong to what you do in the future.
You should never be ashamed or embarrassed about making a mistake. You should only view it as an opportunity to learn and grow. No one is perfect and everybody should aim to keep learning through their successes and failures and always see the upside to whatever has occurred. There is, however, one mistake you should never make and that's what footwear you decide to train in. If it isn't Heyday then that mistake will haunt you for the rest of your life and we can't let that happen now can we?
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.