Here are the top 10 mistakes that everyone makes when they start working out. How many of these are you guilty of making?
1. Doing too much at once. Often people start to workout and make diet changes all at the same time. They are sore, on a diet that’s not giving them enough nutrients because they are not sure what clean eating actually looks like, and they are just setting themselves up to fail. Making one change at a time is key: you don’t want to stress your body to the extreme. You have the rest of your life ahead of you so pace yourself. Start with the workout and when this has become habitual, you can move on to the next step.
2. Not having a support group. The more you surround yourself with like minded individuals, the more likely you are to stick to it in the long run. The first few days are generally pretty easy – everyone is excited to start. But soon enough life starts getting in the way, you start skipping a workout here, one there and before you know it you are back to your old pattern. Reach out to your best friend, your partner and bounce feelings, thoughts and experiences off each other. As a trainer I always encourage my clients to reach out to me and use me as their accountability resource. I want to hear about successes, but also their struggles because together, we are a team!
3. Giving up too soon. Here is the reality: results take time. Mine didn’t happen overnight and neither will yours. Each person is different so each person’s fitness transformation will be different too and will happen at a different pace. Genetics, metabolism, age, body shape, past dieting and your time commitment are only a few of the things that can impact your road to results. So keep that in mind and keep going!
4. Not getting help. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are training properly is to get someone else to program your workout for you! Yup – this is the part where I boast about how great it is to hire a personal trainer! We can do the legwork for you – figure out the right weights and the right exercises to get you to where you want to be. That way you no longer need to think about what you need to do when you work out – you just follow the program we give you and focus on doing. To add to that, some trainers such as myself are mobile – I come to you so you don’t even need a gym membership or need to leave your home! 5 or 10 sessions are often all you need to set yourself on the path to success.
5. Thinking 1hr workouts are the norm. If you don’t have a full hour for your workouts, it’s very easy to feel like all is lost. But that is simply not true. With the right exercises in the right order, even half an hour can allow you to get a good workout in. There are lots of days when I only have 30 or 45 minutes. You just have to make the best of it. A shorter workout is better than nothing at all.
6. Thinking your workout is the only time you should be moving. A recent study showed that prolonged sitting can lead to heart disease even in people who are active. (Yes, I was pretty bummed out too). So get moving and grooving. Take the stairs, stand up and walk every hour if you have a desk job (go talk to someone instead of calling or emailing them) go for a walk in the evening – get creative! Your body will be thankful for it!
7. Comparing ourselves to others. For some reason we are just wired to do this. Yes, there are people who are stronger, faster and more powerful than you. There always will be. The important thing is to compare your progress to yourself only. The goal is to improve on your strength, power and speed, not match someone else’s. Here’s what I mean: I recently ran the Sun Run which is the largest 10k race here in Vancouver. I am not a runner and for me 10k is pretty much the longest I train myself to run. Last year I finished the race in 1hr1min. This year my goal was to finish in under 1hr. My time was 57min25s. Did I reach my goal! Hell YES! Was I excited? OMG YES! Were there others faster than me? Absolutely! People older than me got a better time than me. But as far as I was concerned I shaved 4 whole minutes off my race time which is a lot! I reached my goal and I improved from last year. Awesome! No comparison to others required!
8. Expecting sudden changes. Here’s the typical expectation: “I worked out once. Where are my abs and sculpted muscles?” Unfortunately changes don’t happen like that. It takes about 1 month before your body even understands what’s going on and starts to adapt. But along the way you are learning, growing and understanding how to listen to your body. I’ve been working out for a number of years now and I’m still learning and perfecting my technique with certain exercises.
9. Not pushing hard enough when it comes to weight training. Us women are notorious for this. We’re so afraid of picking up that heavy weight. But here’s the thing: some muscles are bigger (such as the chest and back muscles) which means you need a heavier weight to challenge them, while others (like the deltoid muscles of your shoulder) are smaller so they need smaller weights. For example I need 25lb for my back and only 7.5lb for my shoulders. You need a variety of weights and exercises to appropriately challenge yourself. So don’t be scared to pick up that heavy weight!
Related: Types of training to get you results
10. Jumping straight into the workout. The first 5min of your workout are for getting your mind and body ready for the task at hand and are also super important to avoid injury! I like to start with running on the spot and a few other light cardio exercises to get the blood flowing. Then, depending in what muscles I am working up that day I use some super light weights to warm them up. After the workout don’t forget to stretch. It not only helps with the post workout soreness but helps you work on flexibility, which is super important to maintain as you get older.
Related: Structure of a workout
So there you go! These are the top 10 mistakes that everyone makes when they work out – but now you won’t make them, right? 😉
After being skinny unfit for the majority of my life, I discovered fitness by accident after having my daughter. A couple of years later, I started Tone Every Zone out of an overwhelming desire to help other busy individuals juggle a hectic lifestyle while staying active. My mission is to teach people about fitness and work with them as a team to make long lasting lifestyle changes. My personal values include being professional, honest and transparent in all of my doings but also being funny and silly because that’s what makes life (and your training sessions) fun! To learn about how I can help you reach your fitness goals, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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