Working in the fitness industry every single day, I see the same mistakes over and over especially those that are new to the gym or haven't made it past the "occasional gym-goer" status. Going to the gym can be confusing and intimidating if you are not familiar with what you should be doing. Too often I see people immediately go on the treadmill then they hit a couple random isolation machines that are all at random with reps and sets. Not having a plan or goal in mind makes your progress a lot harder to identify and track for future results.
Here are some of the common workout mistakes and easy fixes to correct them.
1- Not following a program. Why are you not seeing results? You are not following a program that leads you in the direction of the goal you want to see. Losing weight and getting healthy is great and all but not having a specific plan of execution can leave you feeling defeated and frustrated when the results take longer to happen.
2-I didn't see results in 2 weeks, it must be the program. Being a program hopper is the fastest way to not see results. You need to be on a program, specifically if you are bodybuilding, to stay on the same program for at least a month. Consistency and progressively overloading how much you lift are the keys to making progress in your fitness journey. You need to keep overloading your muscles while following a solid training program. Assess your program at the one month point, if you see visible changes you know the program is working.
3-Being honest with yourself. Are you really putting int the work? A lot of times I hear clients saying they just are seeing changes yet when they check in with me the update is lacking consistency in training and nutrition. If you are not putting in the work to eat healthy and make time for the gym, the results will not happen as fast as you want them to. But, if you are doing all the things you should and not seeing changes, have an open conversation with your coach and discuss what is going on. Are you stressed? Are you not sleeping well? Are you having a hard time in other areas of your life? All of these can stall progress.
4-You are not going to see instant changes. It took many years to build the physique you have now, fad diets and things that offer immediate drastic changes do nothing but strip your water weight and make you develop bad eating habits.The fitness models you are trying to look like have spent years and years on their physique. They've learned what works for them and how to manipulate their macros for their goals. Plus they are taking the gym and nutrition seriously.
5-Mindset is everything. Are you looking at the gym with resentment or are you seeing it as something positive in your life. Too many people are making the decision use the gym as punishment which it should be your outlet for stress. If going to the gym makes you cringe, find other ways to get in shape. Try hiking or finding a sport you can participate in.f you want to lift but don't have the drive or self-esteem to go by yourself, find a training partner. Bring your partner, your friend, or even your siblings. Whatever it takes to get you into the gym and confidently workout, do it.
6- Cardio is a tool. I wish I can stress this more to my female clients. Do not waste your energy doing endless hours of cardio first then trying to lift a little to "tone up". Use weight training like cardio first. Super set your exercises by doing one movement and immediately going into the next one without rest. This will help you burn more calories and keep your training intense. Then at the end of your training session, use the energy you have left for cardio. Cardio does not build muscle, it helps you create a deficit for the day overall.
Everyone has made one or more of the above mistakes, myself included. I can remember the days of cardio in college that I wasted instead of just putting my head down and lifting. However, these are lessons to learn from and change. Making small changes is quite easy. Choose consistency and progressively overloading as the key to success. This isn't an overnight process.Spend the time to work with a trainer or get programming to know exactly why you are doing each movement.Patience and persistence equal progress. You can't just take a magical pill to get rid of that extra weight.