Seven training mistakes to avoid

No fitness plan means no hope

Most people love a plan. Many don’t. However, sometimes in life you have to accept getting lost without a roadmap and this is especially true when it comes to getting fit. If you have a training plan, purpose, or goal, then you have a template for success. If you stick to it, you will likely achieve your goal. If you don’t, you won’t, and while it sounds good to just hit the gym and catch up on it over time, this strategy just won’t produce results.

A plan will help you track your progress, challenge your training, and help you develop and progress. Think of it like shopping. If you go shopping aimlessly, you will likely spend hours browsing aimlessly. But if you go out with a list, you’ll be using your time effectively and only getting the things on the list that leaves you plenty of time to hit the gym afterward.

Exercise too soon

Those of you with a plan are probably feeling a little complacent right now, and rightly so. But how many of you have rushed headlong into this plan like the proverbial cop in a china shop? Come on now. Be honest. It’s a simple mistake. The problem is, too much exercise too soon can lead to injuries, boredom, a lack of motivation, and a fitness program that fizzles out a month after starting. Your body needs time to rest and recover between workouts, and remember that healing, muscle repair, and fitness development and adaptation happen when you let your body rest. The best plan is always to train smart rather than torment yourself, and that includes everything from proper warm-up and proper stretches to proper cool-down.

Too little variety in training

Don’t get stuck in a fitness rut. It’s something easy to fall into, especially after you’ve seen a personal trainer and designed your own bespoke workout for you. This is great, but it needs to be evaluated and tweaked on a regular basis. If you continue to do the same exercises, your body will adjust to them and your progress will stabilize. Remember, you are only developing certain muscle groups while leaving other areas pathetically underdeveloped. It’s so important to keep challenging your mind and body if you want to keep getting results.

Not pushing enough

While strolling out of the gym after 20 minutes with barely a bead of sweat on your forehead is sometimes tempting, it really isn’t the way to earn killer abs. Even the most enthusiastic fitness fan has days at the gym / on the go when they’re not actually on the go. Everyone is allowed to have a slight deviation from time to time, but for some people every day is a light workout that really doesn’t burn a lot of calories. If you don’t increase that heart rate you simply won’t burn calories / fat or lose weight / tighten those problem areas. It’s a simple equation. Hard work brings results. That doesn’t mean you will exercise until you pass out, but it does mean that you will work up a sweat and get the endorphins going.

Not working properly

How many times have you seen someone in the gym lean over an elliptical machine and read a book? You can tell by their demeanor that they are not committed to their exercise, and the reality is that they do not burn large amounts of calories while exercising.

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Getting your technique right is so important when using fitness equipment or cardio training. Just as reading a book while doing the step movements doesn’t really help, neither will it help whipping yourself up on the rowing machine until you pull a back muscle because your technique is poor. It is always a good idea to seek advice when starting a fitness program, and the most important piece of advice is technical tips on how to do it properly.

You fill up too much

It is always extremely important to refuel after each training session. Your body uses energy from its glycogen stores when you exercise, and if you want your muscles to recover properly, you need to replenish that energy. That said, some people go too far with refueling. It can be very easy to ingest more calories / kilojoules than you burned by choosing foods full of “empty calories”. This term refers to foods that are full of calories / kilojoules but are low in nutritional value. For example, a cheeseburger is fine as an occasional treat, but it really shouldn’t be your meal of choice after a workout. Eating energy bars and sports drinks that are high in sugar after a workout can also become a habit. Instead, rehydrate with water and eat healthy options like fruits and nuts. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help you meet your fitness goals and improve the quality of your exercise.

Overemphasis on cardio exercise that ignores weights or Pilates exercise

Many people shy away from weights when putting together a fitness program because they are concerned about gaining weight. They tend to think that running or biking for miles than working out in the gym will get them where they want to go. That’s understandable to a point, but if you ignore weight training you are ignoring the huge potential health and fitness benefits. It is important to remember that you are always in control of how much weight you lift and how it affects your body. So, if you want to look like a bodybuilder, you can actually develop that look by lifting heavy weights. However, if you want to tone muscles, increase your calorie / fat burn, and boost your metabolism, then light weight workouts are a fantastic idea.

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