Have you been working out for a while and you aren’t seeing the results you want? Don’t give up, there may be something you can fix and get your self back on track! Many people jump into working out without knowing exactly what they’re doing or how to do it.
If you are learning on your own and need a few pointers but can’t afford a personal trainer, the basics are what you need to equip yourself properly before stepping into the gym. Start here and make a plan before you tackle an intense self-programmed workout routine.
Mistakes are made all the time. It’s ok to make mistakes but learning from them is the important part. Here are the top 10 mistakes that new gym-goers make and how to fix these problems:
1. not learning proper technique
problem: Often a new lifter looks at a few diagrams and maybe watches some other people lift and then they think that they know what they are doing. This is false. Lifting, especially olympic lifting such as power cleans, overhead squats, and snatches, can be extremely difficult and requires excellent technique to avoid injuring yourself.
solution: Take the time to educate yourself on how to lift. There are some great videos on YouTube by professional lifters that can walk you through the lift and help keep you from injury. Try this one that explains the dead lift technique: Dead Lift Tutorial
2. not getting enough rest
problem: Many people are busy and fitting exercise into their daily life is just another thing on the list. Often people do not get enough sleep and are stringing their body out on exhaustion. Another common problem with rest is not resting your muscles enough between workouts. A lot of gym junkies workout a couple times a day every day with no break. This is not only dangerous but actually creates diminishing returns on fitness.
solution: Take a nap! Your body is the best judge of how much rest you need. If you feel tired it is likely that you are not getting enough rest. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that an average adult should have 7-8 hours of sleep per night to function at their highest level. Also, don’t feel guilty about skipping a day at the gym. If your body is tired you will not get a good workout in the first place and this will put you at a higher risk of injury if you are not focused and well rested.
problem: If you aren’t eating right then you aren’t getting everything you could be out of your workout. There are so many fad diets out there and the options at the grocery store filled with sugary ingredients are always tempting. It is hard to know what to believe when there are so many different beliefs out there.
solution: The best advice: do the research for yourself. Everyone out there is going to tell you how to eat and why but it is up to you to form your own opinions and make up your mind. Here is a good link for the diet that most of the top athletes follow or follow some sort of this regiment: The Paleo Diet
4. trying to keep up with the person next to you
problem: While working out in a public place or with anyone else around it is often tempting to compete with these other athletes. If the guy next to you is lifting heavier than you then you feel like you want to lift the same as them or more. This can lead to serious injury and unproductive work habits.
solution: It is crazy to thing that just because the person next to you is lifting a certain amount that you should be lifting that much as well. Every body is different and is at a different level with their fitness. Push yourself but only do what you feel comfortable and don’t feel pressured to be as good as anyone else in the gym.
5. over training
problem: This problem goes along with not resting enough. If you use the same muscle group over and over again without giving those muscles a proper break, you will get injured and diminish your muscles. This is like driving your car without putting gas in it. You’re will eventually just stop working correctly.
solution: REST! If you want to see results, it is a long term commitment. You wont see immediate results in your legs in one day no matter how long you work out at a time. Just be patient and take care of your body.
6. doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results
problem: When people aren’t seeing the results they desire their solution is often to just do the same things they are already doing more. This will not get you to the results you wish and your body will get bored of doing the same exercises and stop progressing.
solution: Mix it up, try out some new movements and workout regimes. Your fitness should be dynamic and always changing. This website gives you tons of different mobil apps that can help to keep the fitness fresh in your life!
7. not stretching properly/ warming up
problem: Everyone is guilty for this at some point. It can be easy to warm up quickly and get straight to the workout. The reality is that your workout will not be as productive without a proper warm up. A strong warm up and stretching can improve flexibility and help your technique!
solution: Set aside a set chunk of time before and after your workout to foam roll, stretch, and cool down. Try this website for warm up and cool down ideas and techniques!
8. not hydrating enough
problem: Not drinking enough water is common among all types of people. Dehydration can happen quicker with athletes who do not make sure they are hydrating enough. This slows down and cripples all body functions. It slows down your metabolism and your body naturally preserves energy for other bodily functions which takes aways from your work out.
solution: The Mayo Clinic suggests that average, active men should be consuming 13 cups of water a day and 9 cups for women. If you are not getting enough water there are many small tricks that can help you increase your intake. Try having a large glass of water before every meal. This will increase your water intake and help your metabolism improve while eating. Reusable water bottles are great because they help you judge how much water you are drinking and allow you to always have your water with you!
9. addicted to the scale
problem: This occurs in women especially when they are trying to lose weight. If you ware focusing on weigh loss/ gain goal it can be tempting to step on the scale every chance you get but this can be counter productive. If you step on the scale and you don’t see what you want it can be de-motivational.
solution: It is always important to have a goal and to strive to reach it. That being said it is also important to look at the progress in the big picture. Many studies suggest that stepping on the scale once a week for an average athlete may even be too much. Stay away from the scale as mush as you can. When setting up your goals give yourself a time frame and only weigh yourself before and after this time allotment to keep you motivated and positive!
10. setting unrealistic goals
problem: As states, goals are important but setting unrealistic ones can be very discouraging. If you continuously are progressing but not quite reaching the goals you have set out for yourself, you are probably setting yourself for failure by having unrealistic expectations.
solution:Reflect on the progress you have made in the past and be optimistic looking forward. Set a larger goal for a long period of time and then break it into smaller goals. If you have a year long goal it can be daunting so break it into monthly increments or even weekly increments to eventually get you to that goal and to successful!
Be safe and enjoy your fitness!