Today is my six year anniversary as a personal trainer. And I have been exercising and creating workouts since long before that. I am telling you this so you that I have a lot of experience with fitness. Today, I will be using that experience to share with you the top 10 exercise mistakes I see people making.
These mistakes will put your body at risk for injury. Making these fitness errors will also prevent you from reaching your goals! If you want to lose weight, build muscle, and just feel really good – avoid doing these ten things.
Top 10 Exercise Mistakes >
1. Skipping the weights
Your body burns fat more efficiently when it has more muscle. So why would you want to avoid the weight room? Sure, running on a treadmill seems less intimidating than picking up those big weights. But, adding resistance training to your routine will transform your body and increase your metabolic rate. These are all good things!
2. Lifting too much too soon
When you learn a new exercise, try it without weights first. Once you feel confident with your form, add five pounds of resistance. Gradually add weight in as your muscles get stronger. If your form breaks, you are lifting too much weight. You need to be able to do all reps with perfect form. Lifting too much, too soon can lead to serious injuries.
3. Learning by copying other exercisers
If you aren’t sure how a machine works or how to do a particular exercise, ask a certified personal trainer. If you are afraid to do that – watch a video produced by qualified fitness professionals. Look at yourself in a mirror to make sure you are doing the exercises the same way they are. Do NOT learn how to do an exercise by watching a fellow gym goer. That person could very easily be doing an exercise wrong him or herself. It’s important for your safety to know what you are doing is being done with correct form.
4. “I exercised so I can eat this”
You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It’s that simple. Yes, working out means you can eat a little bit more, but it doesn’t mean you can eat like crap. Abs are made in the gym but seen in the kitchen. You are still allowed to treat yourself, but do not justify your meal with, “but I worked out.”
5. Believing crunches will give you a 6-pack
Crunches need to be paired with many other exercises to give you good looking abs. To get a toned stomach you need to burn the fat off with cardio (steady state, HIIT, plyometrics), build strength in your whole body and do isolated core training. If getting a 6-pack is your goal, you should consider doing my 4-Week Flat Abs Plan. It is structured to give you the best results in just a month, and trust me – it works!
6. Doing super long workouts
Just because you worked out for a long time does not mean you had a good workout. If you are spending hours at the gym every time you go, try shortening your workouts and pushing yourself a little harder in the time you have.
7. Expecting immediate results
Real results don’t happen overnight. Give it time. If you want real progress that you can maintain, it’s actually better to have slow and consistent progress.
8. Skipping a warm-up
Whether or not you warm-up is the difference between a good and a bad workout. So many people rush through or skip warming up, and that’s not okay. Read THIS blog post of mine for more information on why you need to warm-up and how you should warm-up.
9. Never switching up your routine
Your body gets used to exercises. If you start feeling too comfortable with an exercise routine, your body will stop progressing. Continuously switch up your workouts to constantly keep your body challenged.
10. Focusing too much on calorie burn
Yes, if your goal is to lose weight, it is important to burn calories. But if you work hard and get your heart rate up – results will happen. If you obsess over the calories, you will go crazy. Give it your all and don’t worry so much!