Do You Make These 6 Common Mistakes Working Out?

Key Points:

  1. Build success by learning to do things the right way.

  2. Set a goal, but make sure it’s a good one.

  3. Don’t be afraid to have a free day and throw the plan out the window.

Being Active is Fun Right? Except When You’re getting nowhere...

You probably have fun just being able to exercise. If that’s all you care about then you might want to skip this article.

This article is for those past just becoming active. You want to start getting a little more return on your investment.

We’ve all been guilty of at least one of these mistakes at one time or another.

I’ve made all of them.

Here are 6 mistakes to avoid to get better results from your fitness routines.

1. Setting Unrealistic, Lofty Goals

We start here because this alone can determine your success. Set a goal of losing 30 pounds in 30 days. I promise, fanciest equipment and the best personal trainer, won’t happen. Worse, you’ll get discouraged when you don’t get there.

Side note: Any trainer who would smile and let you set those expectations, just wants the check you handed over.

You only have 5 hours a week to exercise? You probably won’t win the next Boston marathon. Jay Johnson, collegiate and U.S. national championship running coach, recommends beginner and intermediates train 5 days a week manageable goals.

2. Not Learning How to Exercise, The Right Way.

Some sort of activity is better than doing nothing at all, but you are setting yourself up for failure when you skip steps. There will always be points in your active life where you reach a plateau. Not learning how to do things the right way ensures that you not only spend more time spinning your wheels, but you have a greater chance of getting hurt.

3. Doing The Same Routine, Over and Over.

They say “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten“. This is not true for fitness.

You’ll get some diminishing returns the truth is somewhere between.

Another version of this is working out and doing whatever seems cool for the day. That’s cool some days, but not every day.

Black Nike Alpha Talon Cleat on turf at Stankowski field

4. Lifting or Cardio, Instead of Lifting and Cardio.

I’ve been guilty of this before. You don’t like cardio, can’t blame you. Problem is you need both, it boosts your metabolism burns more calories and takes half as long.

I just ride my bike, jump rope and sprint. Is it easy on my football battered knees? Not every day, but it’s fun so I can still make myself do it.

5. Measuring The Wrong Results.

You’ve been seeing phenomenal progress. You hired a trainer to get you into shape faster and learned how to do all the exercises correctly. You have more energy, lost 20 pounds in 3 months, and bought new clothes because the old ones fall off!

But you don’t have a six pack yet…so you start changing things. Now you’ve fallen back into your old habits and dropped your trainer. Sounds ridiculous right? Honestly, it’s not completely your fault.

Expect to get a six pack, hired a trainer specifically for that reason, and they promised one? As a professional, It is your trainers job to deliver on a promise. Likely, they did not do a good enough job at step #1. Set up some realistic goals. Great progress means little if you aren’t watching the right things. You might not have been super far from those abs.

6. Forgetting to have fun.

Rolling out of bed every morning to go sweat isn’t always going to be easy. You have a little less motivation to run that mile when your legs feel like they’re still in bed.

If you work out 3 days a week you can afford to miss a day. Use that time to play with the kids. Try random exercises that seem cool. Lay in bed for an extra 30 minutes. One workout is not going to make or break you. Besides who’s ever turned down some quality me time?

What to do now?

  1. Learn from my failures. Do yourself a favor and learn how to set some realistic goals.

  2. Everyone can’t do everything, all the time. Plan to take some breaks and free days. If you work with a trainer, mention you want some of this in your routine.

  3. Find something you like to do. Being active is a lot easier when it doesn’t seem miserable.