I thought it might be a good idea for people to list things that they wish they'd known or been told before they started on their health and fitness training. Can we keep it to health, fitness, nutrition and injury related posts please, as there are a number of threads for martial art specific beginner's questions. I'm not looking for long posts with multiple references, but more of a bullet point summary that gives newbies ideas about the sort of stuff they should be thinking about or looking up on the forum. So does anyone have anything they wish they'd known earlier in their training life? I'll start with some things I wish I'd been told: 1. Buying a 50kg vinyl barbell set from Argos is a false economy as you will rapidly outgrow it. Save your pennies and get a decent Olympic set of at least 100kg (more if you can afford it and with bumper plates, if possible). 2. Free weights are better than machines for building strength as they activate stabiliser muscles, which isolation exercises using machines don't. 3. Women should lift heavy using the same exercises as men - 20 reps with a pink dumbell is not strength training! 4. 3x10 is not the best method to use to build strength. 5. The core/abs should be trained in exactly the same way as the rest of your muscles. If you want to build strength in it do heavy weighted exercises. 6. An awful lot of personal trainers are totally clueless about the best way to train! 7. Diet is the key to weight loss or weight gain. If you're struggling to do either of these then (unless you are sick), you're not eating properly. 8. GPs are not necessarily the best place to go to get sports injuries diagnosed and/or treated. 9. Invest in a foam roller and/or visits to a decent sports massage therapist. Your body will thank you for it in the long run! 10. Training like your favourite UFC star is not a good idea for beginners. These people are professionals who have built up a certain level of strength and conditioning over a number of years. If you try to follow their routines the chances are you will get injured. 11. Bodyweight training can be a good form of strength training, if you do the right exercises (not multiple sets of basic pushups and crunches).