Many times people walk into the gym without a programme or plan and end up doing a few exercises all over the place, depending on they are feeling or what mood they are in. Now I’m not disputing this approach entirely as it may work for some people, but mostly the more advanced gym goers. And even then most of the time these more advanced guys already have some sort of outline of what they want to accomplish on that day in the gym or wherever or however they train. They may just decide what exact exercises they are going to do once in their training environment.
The point here is that many new people starting their weight loss journey (or muscle gain) just get themselves to the gym and do some sort of activity, not really thinking much about it and just deciding to do what they feel like once they get there. Basically just going through the motion for the sake of it. This in turn results in them not being able to achieve their desired results, or taking twice as long for them to see any changes.
You should not mistake ACTIVITY for ACHIEVEMENT.
SO, what should you do? Have a plan. Have a programme. Know exactly what you want to do before you do it. Know what exercises and what body parts you want to train before you even set foot in the gym. This will ensure you do not waste time in the gym and will ensure that you keep your intensity level as high as possible as you will know what exercises you should be doing, for how long and how many sets and reps etc.
Now granted many new people may not be sure of what are the best exercises to do, but that’s where you have to take the initiative and research what you should do, and do not be afraid to ASK! A lot of people are more than willing to help out.
Another good way is trial and error; you just have to try it and see what works and what doesn’t.