1. You’re overthinking your workouts
There is so much advise out there, and you will always find that one will go against the other – so it’s very easy to get overwhelmed. But in stead of stressing over it, focus on being consistent and finding exercises that align with your goals and preferences. Overthinking it will prevent actual action, meaning you may find yourself not working out and working enough for the results you want.
2. You’re doing exercises you don’t enjoy
The main tip for doing workouts is don’t force yourself into doing workouts you don’t like, this will instantly take away any motivation you had and you will never enjoy working out – making you never want to continue doing it. To avoid this, explore different activities until you find the one you enjoy.
3. You’re working out fasted
Some will disagree with this and swear by a fasted exercise, however it is only ideal for a handful of individuals. Fuelling your body with some food before an exercise may be the difference between a good performance and a good one. For many, having a snack before a workout will help you get the most out of a session.
4. You’re not prioritizing recovery
Not having a rest in between workouts can lead to burnout and fatigue. Embrace the rest days and quality sleep to ensure your body will repair and grow stronger – this includes stretching! If you neglect to recover properly, then you can develop overtraining syndrome, whereby you receive adverse effects like a decline in performance.
5. You’re not fuelling before and after workouts
Do not skip your pre and post-workout nutrition! This can lead you to feel sluggish and frustrated. Instead, try eating snacks before and after workouts to energize and support muscle recovery. Good foods to eat before and after training are; complex carbohydrates for restored energy like nuts or yogurts, and protein for muscle repair and recovery.
6. You’re not staying hydrated
Dehydration will further affect your performance and recovery, so make sure you always have a water bottle to hand! Drink water throughout the day and during your workouts to ensure you are refreshed and at your best so you can train to the best of your ability. This also helps the body to cool down and avoid overheating, which is essential.
7. You’re comparing yourself to others
Remember that working out is like running a marathon – you must go at your own pace! Comparing yourself to others will lead to frustration and will always demotivate you, because everyone will always seem like they know what they’re doing at the gym! Instead, celebrate your achievements, big or small, and give yourself credit to keep you motivate.
8. You’re overtraining
In todays society, its seen that if you go to the gym then you should give your all or nothing, this leads to many people overtraining and overdoing it. People will try and go into a half-marathon so often without doing much training, and this just shouldn’t be done. If you power through an exercise, you will most likely receive an injury or an inability to do everyday things.
9. Not keeping proper form
Whether you are running, lifting weights or doing some yoga – your form matters! Using a proper form is key to ensuring you get the results you want. This is because, if you do not perform an exercise properly, then you may be working the wrong part of your body without realising, for example – if you perform squats wrong, then you may not see any difference in your glutes.
10. Not warming up or cooling down
Warming up acts as a primer for your bodies exercises and will prevent injury, skipped heartbeats and premature fatigue. Warming up is especially crucial if you’re performing high-intensity activities. On the other hand, cooling down prevents soreness and promotes recovery. Therefore, doing this is crucial!
11. Not watching your nutrition
Training is only a part of the process, and will not be anywhere near as effective without applying the correct nutritional steps. Your body requires fuel to energize it, as well as to enhance metabolism, but it is also essential for allowing you to recover quicker between workouts.
12. Trying to do too much too quickly
One of the most common mistakes gym newbies make is diving in and trying to do too much too soon. Instead of pushing your body (and mind) to breaking point for a month and then throwing in the towel, start off with smaller and more achievable goals and focus on consistency.
13. Not doing enough
Reading and watching loads of advice about workouts without actually physically doing any yourself is a common trap that a lot of gym newbies tend to fall into. You have to do enough to trigger positive changes in your body, and this means pushing yourself past your comfort zone.
14. Only cardio
There is a common trend, even among more seasoned gym-goers, of focusing solely on cardio. Whilst this is an important part of the workout routine, you need a mix of cardio and resistance training if you’re going to build endurance, burn fat, and keep your heart strong and healthy.
15. Not making progress
Not making progress can be very demoralizing, and is the fastest way to give up. This is why you need to keep pushing yourself to make progress, and challenge your body by upping your workout regimen. Increase the weight you’re lifting, the distance you’re running, and the gradient you’re cycling to help with this.
16. Not listening to your body
Your body will tell you when it is struggling, and it is the best measure of what works and what doesn’t. The tips and recommendations you’re given are simply guidelines, and you have to adapt them to what your body specifically requires. Ignoring the warning signs your body gives you is the best way to pick up an injury.
17. You don’t have a clear goal
When you start hitting the gym and working out, it is important to make sure you have a clear goal in mind. Vague objectives can make it more challenging to create an effective fitness program. Instead, you need to set specific, measurable goals to work toward.
18. Inconsistent training
One of the biggest mistakes that’s holding you back is inconsistent training. Skipping workouts, not having a structured schedule, and taking too much time away can make achievements really tricky. This is why you need to build a training routine that fits around your lifestyle.
19. Lack of variety
Variety, as they say, is the spice of life, and the same is true when it comes to your fitness and workout routines. When things get boring, it’s going to become much more difficult to remain motivated, and this is why you need to introduce variety and diversity into your workout routine.
20. Lack of sleep
Sleep is such an important element in all facets of life, and lack of sleep can hold you back considerably from achieving fitness goals. If you are tired and lethargic, you’re going to lack the energy needed to work out effectively, and your metabolism will not be working to the highest possible level.
21. Taking your phone with you
It is important to make sure you are focused on your work out, which means no distractions. Taking your phone with you might be important for being able to listen to music, but it can prove to be incredibly distracting, and the urge to keep checking it might hinder your work out sessions.
22. Static stretching before a workout
Static stretching refers to a stretch that lasts for 10 to 30 seconds in a challenging position. It slows down your heart rate and helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and as such should be left until after your workout. Dynamic stretching is ideal pre-workout as it warms up the body.
23. Not stretching after strength training
Saving time by skipping the stretches after a strength workout might seem like a good idea, but it will wind up with you losing a lot of your natural flexibility. What’s more, it could also result in your muscles becoming more susceptible to injury in the future as well.
24. Skipping stretching altogether
Being able to get the most out of your workout regimen is essential, and stretching is one of the key steps that sets you on the right track with this. Some people will need a lot of stretching, others will need minimal, but we all have to stretch before and after working out in order to reduce the risk of injury, and to help replenish the muscles.
25. No pain, no gain
A common phrase you might hear in the gym is ‘No pain, no gain,’ but this is objectively bad advice. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong, and you need to listen. Pushing through the pain could actually make the situation worse long-term.
26. Ignoring the free weights
Free weights need to play a key role in any workout routines that you have, because they help to develop your muscles, which in turn helps with bone density and reduces inflammation. Try to integrate some free weight training into your workout routine, and combine it with cardio for optimal impact.
27. Too many rest days
We all know it is important to take down time after working out, but you also need to make sure you aren’t taking too many rest days. If you want to lose at least 2 stone you’re going to need to be working out 3 times a week, minimum. If you take 3 or 4 days off in a row you risk undoing the hard work you’ve put in.
28. Only using light weights
During strength training it is important to push yourself, and this means you should be looking to add weight as your sessions progress. It can be small amounts that gradually build up, but you need to start challenging yourself, and counting your repetitions is the best way of knowing if you’re lifting enough weight.
29. Trying to lift too heavy
In gym speak, this is sometimes called “ego lifting” – and it is certainly not something that is recommended. Trying to lift weights that are too heavy is the best way of compromising your form, and the fastest way to lead to injuries. This is a common beginner mistake and speaking to more experienced gym-goers can help you avoid this.
We’ve already talked about the issues with comparing yourself to others, but copying other gym-goers is also a big mistake a lot of people make. Stick to your own form, and how you’ve been shown to do things, and try to ignore the way others might be doing things. If you’re ever confused, ask one of the trainers, but don’t just blindly copy others.
31. Exercising too fast
In the same way that overtraining is a problem, so is trying to do things too quickly. Exercises take as long as they do for a reason, and rushing through this is not going to allow you to make the most of it. You won’t get the maximum impact from your muscle group, and you increase injury risk too.
32. Forgetting the Big 5
Every week there are five main exercises that you should be training; squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and row. Now, you don’t have to have the same exercise plan each week, but you need to make sure you complete all five of these each week in one form or another.
33. Working out in the wrong order
Believe it or not, the order in which you work out has a big bearing on how successfully you are able to achieve your goals. When you get a fitness program, it is important to follow the order of the exercises, as this is going to be the optimal way of keeping fit and healthy.
34. Becoming easily distracted
Becoming easily distracted is one of the worst things you can do at the gym because it’s really going to hamper your progression. You are there to work out, and you need to be focused on this, and try to remain disciplined so that you can spend your gym time getting into shape instead of worrying about other things.
35. Not making full use of the gym facilities
A lot of people simply stay in the gym when they are looking to exercise and get fit, but this can be limiting and restrictive. So, the best way of approaching this is to check out the other facilities the gym might have, such as a pool, sports halls, or spin classes. Mixing things up now and again can really help improve your health and fitness.
36. Your routine doesn’t align with your fitness goals
One of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym is that their workout routine doesn’t align with their fitness goals. For instance, if you want to be able to lift more you need to have strong arms, but you also need to work on your back and core, or you aren’t going to be getting any stronger. Speak to a personal trainer if you feel you need to sync things up better.
37. Getting too stressed out
Working out is a mindset as well as a physical act, and if you’re carrying a lot of stress to the gym with you, this can be an issue. Stress causes your muscle-building hormones to drop and muscle damaging hormones to rise, and this is due to the body secreting cortisol and adrenaline when you’re stressed. Relieving stress before working out is the optimal approach.
38. Not using full range of movement
It is important to think about some of the key ideas that are going to help you when improving your workout routine, and you need to ensure you’re using the full range of movement and motion in each exercise. This works the muscles the most, and ensures you get the best results from each exercise.
39. Focusing too much on numbers
It is important to think about some of the best steps to gym success, and one of the key things to avoid here is an obsession with numbers. Since smartwatches became popular everyone seems to want to track their progress in real-time. Workouts are about much more than simply burning calories, so just focus on your routine, and block the rest out.
40. Listening to too much noise
Everyone has their own advice when it comes to fitness and gym sessions, and they basically want to tell you the way they do things. Listening to others can result in a lot of confusion and conflicting information, and this can hamper your progress when working out effectively.