The 5 Most Common Mistakes People Make In Fitness
The 5 most common mistakes people make in their fitness comes from observations made from a vast cross section of different people over nearly 12 years in the industry helping thousands of clients . Do you know what the surprising thing is? A lot of the time it’s the “experienced” guys who make the mistakes.
Don’t get me wrong, newbies to the whole thing can as well but when the newbies reach out to their trainers at the gym for help and guidance on day one and learn how to do things properly from the start they are more likely to not make these mistakes.
It’s not just exercise techniques that people make mistakes on but an overall approach to their fitness in general.
This is a video we originally filmed live on our facebook page so you can check that out below as well…
1. Sacrificing Technique
One of the most common mistakes people make and particularly fellas, is sacrificing technique to either lift more weight or perform more reps. If you watch the video above an example of this is a bicep curl where you try to swing the weight up in momentum instead of letting the biceps do the work. Whats happen in this swinging momentum is it takes the focus off the biceps and because you arch at the top when swinging you are at a very high risk of lower back injury
Another very common one is for people to strap on a weight lifting belt and go deadlifting. Sometimes their technique is ok at the beginning when the weight is light but there is often a hard-to-understand logic that you need to lift like a power lifter and try and drag 200kg up your legs in order to be classed as “fit”.
The only two reasons you should need a weight belt is if you have an underlying weakness or back issue in which case you probably shouldn’t be deadlifting or if you are competitively lifting super heavy. Other than that using a weight belt is actually going to make your trunk weaker as you are relying on the stability of the belt and not your own core muscles to support you as you lift. Even wearing the belt as people start to lift heavy on the deadlift form goes out the window and instead of keeping their back flat it rouonds out like a stretching cat and this is going to mess you up. DO NOT sacrifice technique to lift weight or do more reps.
Unknowing to the newbies who join a gym their technique can often go askew as well but more so because they are starting out, things are new, learning exercises, positions of hands and feet, breathing, how machines work, how to adjust seats. It’s a lot to take in and sometimes some of the teaching points they were shown can be understandably let slip. If that happens just keep asking the trainer for help until you are comfortable it is being done right. They are there to look after you, it’s not annoying them, you are paying them.
2. No warm up
Too often people will just walk into the gym and go straight into lifting weights without any care for the load that’s about to be put on the muscles. Cold muscles are shortened and contracted and need to be more elastic before putting them to work but only become elastic when they are heated up. Because of this you are more likely to pull a muscle without a proper warm up.
Commonly people will see strained or pulled muscles in their shoulder blades, rotator cuffs or across the chest from poor warm up and poor flexibility. But the type of warm up is also important. Often people will do what’s called static stretching where you just hold a stretch in one position. These are more ideally suited for after your workout as your muscles have been warmed up and worked. To do them before a work out when the muscles are cold is more inclined to lead to pulling a muscle as they are not ready for that big stretch.
A more prudent approach would be to use dynamic stretching where you gradually warm up the muscles by dynamically increasing the stretch. So for example a dynamic stretch for the chest may be to cross your arms over and back in front of you gradually bringing the arms back as far as you can getting that stretch on the chest muscles but never just holding it. This technique gives your muscles time to warm up and get ready for the workout
3. Thinking cardio is the best way for fat loss
A lot of misinformation out there touts only doing cardio along with calorie restriction to get rid of fat, especially in these slimmiing clubs that became so popular over the years and not to do strength training because it will only make you bulky and so on when the exact opposite is true. Let’s break it down and you will see what I mean.
Strength training is to help you get stronger, fairly straight forward right but some people, particularly women don’t like the idea of lifting weights. Doing strength training develops your lean muscle to give you that toning and definition in the body. Women will find it very difficult to get any bit bulky because they don’t produce the hormones to put on that size but still need that muscle
Lean muslce requires a lot of calories to get there and needs a lot to stay there, Lean muscle is constantly burning calories so it leads to having a much higher metabolism, by having that lean muscle you will keep fat off long term. You still need to control the calories over all while you include strength training in your over all plan but focusing on cardio only will only lead to muscle loss and when you start losing your results this will be why. Don’t just focus on one form of training, add some cardio but have a signifcant part of your training regime in strength training
4. I just want to lose fat from my belly – spot reduction
Bad news! There is no such thing as pin pointing a place on the body and try to shift fat from there. So many people come looking to lose it from their belly or their arms or hips. The body stores it where it wants to store it, more often than not in the mid section. The reason it stores it wherever it does the most is because that’s its safe place and should it need energy in times of emergency it knows where to go. And yes because of that where you store it will be the last place you lose it from. The only way to condition one spot is to train the whole body. Whole body workouts that require a lot of moving muscles and so a lot of calories mean the body will use up these fat stores quicker. The main thing is to just keep going, it will shoft from other places first but when it realises there is no fat anywhere else to get it from it turns to that problem area.
5. Not having a balance
The only way people can stick to something long term is if it fits into their lifestyle, they enjoy doing it and they see results off it. Sometimes people start off with such great intentions that they become so enthusiastic about the whole thing they burn out before they ever really get going.
That comes firstly in the form of over training. Instead of giving your body a chance to adapt you feel the need for quick results and dramatic results so you train 7 days a week. The body has no time for recovery and while you probably feel amazing starting out it soon catches up with you and you start crashing. You realize you can’t keep it up and think what’s the point. You don’t enjoy it, you find it hard to commit to so many days a week now, excuses start creeping in and that’s it the wheels on your wagon have fallen off.
The other way a lack of balance comes into play is in food. Like over training people want quick results and they know that eating well will help them get there but a lot of people go from eating takeaways once or twice per week and few bgs of crisps and a few drinks at weekends to super clean living and dieting on rabbit food. Again, you may find short term results off this but long term you will find it hard to avoid some of the simple tasstes out there and you don’t have to give it all up.
Strike a balance – in your training, take two days off but just reduce the activity on those other 2 days. Recovery is a huge part of it all. In your diet, yeah calorie deficit is important but if you allow for a small indulgence every so often you won’t feel like it’s impossible to stick to. Long term your results will be great, you will stick to the whole lifestyle a lot better and you will sustain it for long as you want to not as long as you feel you need to
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