Most of us who start an exercise routine go into it with the best of intentions, but when we’re not armed with the right information, we can easily find ourselves ready to quit before making any major progress. This is why it’s always worth remembering the biggest mistakes people make with their workout routines. Here are some common fitness mistakes to avoid:
It’s easy to make nutrition mistakes, especially in a world where there’s an abundance of information. For example, undereating can lead to fatigue and hindered muscle growth. One of the most significant issues is inadequate protein intake. The general guideline is to consume one gram of protein per pound of body weight, and when you start to realize you can’t get enough with three square meals, you need to up your protein intake through protein shakes or an extra meal. Additionally, many people reduce their carbohydrate intake, which can impact overall workout performance, especially those undergoing heavy strength training.
We can all feel intimidated by others in the gym who have been lifting hard and heavy for so long, and we feel like we need to catch up. But instead take another look at your workouts. Are you using the correct form? Improper form is a terrible habit that’s hard to break and can increase the risk of injury while also reducing the effectiveness of the exercise. Incorrect form could force you to overcompensate with your shoulder muscles, meaning you’re not placing proper stimulus on the actual muscle itself. (Here’s an article on muscle imbalance.)
Lifting too much
The best type of workout is one that is measurable. Many people start by lifting way too much, and this can result in injury and burnout. It’s important to start within your limits. Typical strength training involves lifting approximately 85% of your one-rep max. To begin, test your one-rep max, have a week off, and then start properly with the right types of sets and reps for your abilities. For strength building, the general rule is three to five sets with three to five reps, three to five times a week, and only three to five exercises. This type of build is why I like working out on the Tonal.
Not warming up or cooling down
Failure to warm up or cool down properly can be very detrimental. The body needs to get warm so you can perform dynamic movements properly, and this will increase the effectiveness of the workout. Likewise, not cooling down properly after a workout can result in potential injury and, of course, increased muscle soreness. It’s vital to ensure that you gradually build up your capabilities, especially if you are planning on strength training, and likewise, cooling down afterward will make a major difference in your abilities to thrive outside the gym.
These are some of the biggest mistakes people make with their workouts, but it’s also important to remember that consistency will always trump intensity, and this will get you the results you need.
Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.