If you’re new to training, the gym can be an intimating place. But it doesn’t have to be. Don’t fumble around from machine to machine, copying exercises from the person next to you. And don’t set out to gain 20 pounds of lean mass in a month, an unrealistic goal at best.

Instead, train smart. Learn how to make the most of your workout, set realistic goals, and avoid common beginner mistakes with advice from Performix athlete Andy Speer.