1. Learning curve
Just like babies grow and learn fast, you will learn and gain very fast as a beginner lifting weights into the gym. However, babies must learn to crawl and walk before they can run. The same goes for the strength training learning curve. Start with machines, which are easier to control and require less coordination. Although you will still gain joint strength, stability, and control, you can slowly transfer to barbells and free weights after a few months.
2. Rest as hard as you train
If there is one piece of advice I took lightly and still regret, it’s not maximizing my sleep and rest days. I’m not saying you should train less or spend your weekends sleeping. One tip says it all: “After two consecutive days of workouts, you must have a rest day”. Speaking of rest days, it doesn’t mean to stay put and sit on the couch. Active recovery can go a long way. Seek ways to lower your cortisol and stress levels. Go out for a walk, read a book, go for a swim or just chill dude.
3. A workout unbeaten is a lost workout
Always try to beat your previous workout. Meaning that if you lift a given weight, try to beat that score by increasing the weight or by doing a few more reps in total.
4. Dude, you need to eat
The common knowledge of eating 6 meals a day is obsolete. In fact, it could impair your results. You must maximize your everyday rest and digest phases that are both filled with stress. Working is good stress, eating every 2-3 hours for extended periods of time is also a stress on the digestive system, which controls parts of your immune system. An impaired immune system is a no go for gaining lean muscle mass and obviously for your general health. Three to four meals a day is plenty.
What about proteins? There are as much researches proving that high protein VS baseline protein intake will keep the gains coming. My advice? As long as you eat your baseline daily intake, while following points 1, 2 and 3, you’ll gain muscle slowly, but most importantly, you will maximize your chances of maintaining those gains.