Do you remember the first time you ever played your favorite sport?
Maybe it was basketball and you completely traveled in your first practice – you were new and a little unsure of all the ins and outs.
We all start out as a beginner at some point.
But, of course, you did not continue to make little mistakes like that forever. Eventually, you got better and better and stopped making beginner mistakes.
However, little mistakes like those are ones that could easily be avoided when you are properly informed.
And, when it comes to your workout it is no different. There are several workout mistakes that beginners make…
And, while you will learn from them, you can also avoid some frustration and possibly even an injury if you are properly informed on some of the major mistakes beginners make from the beginning.
Some of these mistakes to avoid can even easily be learned through review of other’s people’s experience with the equipment.
So, while you are learning how to use the machines at your home gym, proper gym etiquette, and what workout gear suits you best, let me give you a little insight as to some of the common workout mistakes to avoid:
Setting the bar too high.I think just about every health and fitness enthusiast can attest to doing this… In fact, just about anyone who has ever gone on a diet can probably attest to doing this – setting the bar far too high. People get caught up in the idea of success – you want to lose the weight, you want to establish a new routine, and you are feeling motivated. But, one of the worst things you can do is set the bar too high – you are setting yourself up for failure from the beginning. Rather than starting your workouts with saying you want to lose 50 lbs. and you are going to work out 6 days per week, start out with something small and achievable. Then, build on it as you see success. Which leads me to the next common mistake beginners make…
Not seeking a professional evaluation. Of course, everyone can come up with a goal they would like to reach – their ideal workout schedule, their picture-perfect body, and so on. But, you should base everything on what is achievable, reasonable, and healthy. So, one of the best ways to avoid mistake No. 1 is to consciously avoid mistake No. 2. Start by seeking a professional evaluation so you know where you stand and set your goals based on that.
Not keeping track of anything. Let’s say you weren’t a total newb and you did get a professional evaluation, you set reasonable goals, and you started full force on your way to your new life… But, three months down the road, someone asks you how much weight you’ve lost – you panic because you have no idea. You haven’t been tracking anything. Big mistake. Seeing success is one of the best motivators there is to keep pushing toward that goal. But, how can you see success if you are not tracking your progress? Tracking your progress, tracking what you eat, and tracking your workouts will also help you see what does and doesn’t work for your body.
Lacking a plan. Every solid business started with a plan, right? Well, so should every good fitness journey. Make a plan that details everything you need to know – why you are doing what you are doing, what is maintainable, what the end result will be, and whatever else you think you might need to plan out. But, it is much easier to stay on track when you have a plan to follow.
Not warming up. When I played sports in high school, warming up used to be my favorite part of practice for two reasons: First, it was the easiest part of practice. And, second, it just felt so good. Your body needs to warm up to avoid an injury, so never miss warming up – you will regret it later. This can also help lessen the soreness after a workout and is a great way to ease your body into whatever it is you are doing that day. I also found that stretching and warming up allowed me time to mentally prepare for the workout ahead of time.
Training too hard. Especially when you first get started, it can be tempting to just go full speed ahead in hopes that training hard will boost your drive. But, it can just lead to a miserable next few days… Gauge what your body can handle and slowly increase over time. And, don’t train too hard. Hurting yourself will only set you back.
Missing workouts. I know how tempting it can be to hit snooze one more time on Monday morning after a long weekend, rather than hitting the gym. Or, snuggling up and staying in for a movie on Friday night after making it to the gym all week. But, missing that one workout could be a major mistake. I have found that once I fall off track once, it is a million times harder to get back on. I feel better if I just get it over with because I never regret it. And, missing a workout can turn back the clock on the progress you’ve made so far.
Focusing only on cardio. Cardio is important – don’t get me wrong. But, cardio isn’t everything. You should also focus on other aspects of working out such as lifting weights and stretching. To get the most out of your workouts, you need to be well-rounded and do more than just cardio.
We are all beginners at some point. And, we all make mistakes, too.
But, the more you can avoid upfront, the better off you are.
So, have you already made one of these mistakes? If so, it is okay, you can recover from it and now you know!
Or, what mistakes did you make as a beginner at the gym that you warn others about now?