If you’re making time for working out a few times a week, it can be frustrating when you don’t see the progress you’re hoping for. Being aware of the most common workout mistakes will help make your fitness time more purposeful and productive. Below I’d like to share 7 fitness mistakes you should avoid to keep from undermining your success.
There are so many ways we can undermine ourselves in the pursuit of physical perfection. When it comes to working out, we assume that a couple of long workout sessions twice or three times a week will do the trick and we will end up getting the body of our dreams. The trouble is it doesn’t really work like that. Here are some common fitness mistakes that have probably gotten in your way at some point.
You Do The Same Workout Every Day
Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut. Your body is smart, and one thing it’s good at is finding ways to reserve calories, which is why you plateau. So, if you’re still lifting the same weights and performing the same exercises week in week out, you’re not going to see results. Try and aim to do one completely different workout a week. If you usually do a load of cardio, have one day a week where you concentrate on weight lifting. If you do a lot of yoga, spend one evening a week at a spin class. Switch it up!
You Don’t Work Out Correctly
Don’t cheat yourself. It’s incredibly important to get your technique right when working out. I’ve made this mistake before by hurting my neck attempting improper sit-ups. Also, just as reading a book while using the elliptical won’t really help, neither will flogging yourself on the rowing machine until you pull a back muscle because your technique is poor. When starting a new fitness program, I highly recommend seeking advice from the experts. This may be through a fitness trainer or by watching a YouTube video tutorial on proper technique. The extra time you put in now to do it right will save you so much trouble down the road.
You’re Doing Too Much…Too Soon
When I first got back to the gym, I immediately looked for ways to do more: more sets, more cardio, more goals, etc. Personal Trainer Matt Weik from Weik Fitness says that when you’re just starting out, it’s natural to want to do more. After all, your body will respond positively to just about any stimulus. But if you try to force it to adapt to too much at once, you’ll hit a wall or injure yourself in no time. Your body, your schedule, and your attention span can only handle so much right now. Respect all three! Rather than more, slow down and choose quality over quantity.
You’re Working Out…But Indulging in a Bad Diet
Abs start in the kitchen — not the gym. Every magazine cover model has nutrition at the start of their six-pack plan. Ben Wilson, personal trainer and Coach blog contributor, says that when it comes to muscle gain, you can undo all your work in the gym by not giving your body the foods it needs to maximize muscle growth. Focus instead on protein, quality fats, and greens.
You’re Not Warming Up
There’s a reason why some of the most ripped and toned fitness professionals always incorporate a dynamic warm-up into their routine. It’s because warming up increases blood flow, which raises the temperature of your muscles and gets them prepared for the higher-intensity activities ahead. If you want to focus on injury prevention, be sure to warm up before working out.
You Bail Out Too Much
I’m completely guilty of this sometimes. However, skipping workouts “just because” can set you back, especially if you’re on an exercise program. Not only does it make it harder for you to reach your goals, but you can also lose some of the progress you’ve made. Don’t short yourself!
You Forget To Make Working Out Fun
If you’re bored with your routine, stop making it a workout. Instead, make it a “play-out”. Find something that inspires you. Have you tried yoga before? Or, how about running? Now is also the time to reach out to friends and family to help keep you accountable. Share your successes and make working out fun and rewarding to avoid any burnout.
Did any of the above fitness mistakes strike a chord with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts at email@example.com. Also, please be sure to subscribe to my newsletter to receive more great blog tips straight to your inbox each Friday.