Have your mind right, the rest will follow
When people start weight training, they come in with a lot of pre-conceived notions. For the average raw newbie with the common if ill-defined motivation of “looking better”, most of these notions can be anticipated.
For men, they want a 6-pack set of abs. Women need to tone up the legs and firm up the butt.
Neither the average man or woman wants to get “too bulky, like the guys/girls in the magazines”.
In logic, it’s generally considered that if you start with a false premise, you will invariably end up with a false conclusion. If you’re in the gym busting ass and watching your diet like a hawk week in, week out, under the wrong idea, you’re probably not ending up where you want to be. A false premise has created the expectation of an outcome that doesn’t follow from what you’re doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m completely aware that the subjects of exercise and nutrition can get complex at times. Your job, be you beginning gym rat trying to figure things out or trainer trying to figure things out for people, is to reduce that complexity down to simple terms. It can seem like a daunting task.
The very fortunate reality of the matter is that, at the end of the day, it’s not that hard. While you’re being actively discouraged from learning and improving on your own by a fitness industry that needs your ignorance in order to profit, you can still make headway in this area.
Then we have the other side of the matter: how realistic is any given goal for you? As a newbie starting out, are you even asking the right questions? If your knowledge base is fundamentally skewed, how can you be?