We are going to have a chat you and I. So pull up a chair. Let’s spend time together talking about the 5 most common fitness mistakes I made when I started training and which are most probably slowing your progress and how to fix them. I have done some if not all of these over the years, both training and nutrition wise and I’m not ashamed to admit that. As a good coach, I think sometimes we have to resort to lessons from our own experiences when directing our clients so that they don’t make the same mistakes. After all, the biggest mistake is not making one but rather not learn from it! hopefully, with this article, you can start avoiding them and start seeing real progress.
1.Avoiding dietary fats
In the last decade, fat has been portrayed as a major villain in nutrition. This is one of the mistakes I also did when I was still a newbie. It was all protein and carbs and that was it! Fats would make me fat! I considered fat as evil and stayed away from even healthy fat. I must tell you, this reduced my performance to a crawl. According to science, a low-fat diet eaten over a long time or avoiding healthy fats actually deprives you of the nutrients you need to regenerate healthy cells which can lead to disease and even death. With time, I have radically changed how I think about nutrition and health. No longer do I believe that fat is evil and makes you fat and carbs are the best. From my own research with myself, clients and also studies done on the subject, I now have a better understanding of the subject and teach my clients how to balance their meals instead of avoiding healthy fats. The secret to fat loss and maintenance lies in controlling what you eat.
2. Avoiding particular exercises you don’t like/exophobia
Yes, exophobia is actually a word in my dictionary. Most people always avoid particular exercises for something that is easier to do. Why? Because they are the most uncomfortable? Because they require the most effort? Because they hurt big time when you perform them? If this is you, you should know that these particular exercises are the ones that give the most results so you are holding back your progress. You can get over the fear by doing them using light weights before becoming more aggressive. In my time as a newbie, I used to hate weighted squats or just squats in general. In fact, I used to hate leg day altogether so I would do everything minus legs and triceps. However, knowing what I know today, my appreciation for leg day is ever increasing. Do not run away from an exercise just because you find it hard to perform for one that you can do more comfortably! these are always the most beneficial!
3.No respect for the process
Most of us focus much on the number of reps or sets and finishing rather than the whole process step by step. You just want to do a certain number of reps or sets and finish. It”s a little embarrassing to admit here that I was also a victim to this but hey, we’ve all been there some time, yeah? You can’t focus on finishing as a merit for your entire workout. It doesn’t matter what it is you are training for, if you do, you will not see the progress that you are looking for. I used to be like”I just have to finish 10 reps” even if I compromise my form in the process. God forbid if I fail at 6 or 7 reps because it will feel like the entire workout, day or even week was unsuccessful. Wrong. If this is you, you need to change your mindset. Devote every single ounce you are capable of to every single rep. Make sure you concentrate on the quality rather than quantity such that tension will be going to the muscles you are working on. If you manage 8 reps with good form/technique, it is way better than the magic 10 reps or 12 reps where you did like 2 good ones and compromised the rest. Make every rep productive and if that means you being uncomfortable, then make it as uncomfortable as possible and the gains will start coming I promise you!
4.Relying too heavily on supplements
As a matter of fact, most people think that supplements can overcome bad nutrition and training. You think hey, as long as I’m doing the right supps I’m good! So you pop down your pills or puff your powders. No. That’s not how it works. Be invested in the actual work. Supps will not take care of you or do the work for you. They will only supplement your hard training and good nutrition. Not act as a substitute. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying supplementation doesn’t work. It does, but only if you are willing to put in the work. Only a combination of supps, correct training and nutrition will give you the results you are looking for.
I have to say, for a long time, I have been on the wrong side of the intensity/volume scale. I used to go really heavy on the intensity and for like 4-5 hours a day. Since I said goodbye to this, at least now I have a life apart from the gym, where I can actually do something else other than spending so many hours in the gym. And you know what happened when I did this? I’ll tell you. I started seeing results and stopped getting burnouts. My advice to you is, if you go heavy on intensity, then go light on volume and vice versa. I have trained long enough to realize that you can’t train as hard as you possibly can for a very very very long time in one session. If you do, your effort is going to diminish before you finish and your workout would be half productive. Then your capacity to recover will decrease, burnouts set in and your ability to execute high-quality workouts will go down. So give up the half volumes and invest more in the intensity of your workouts and you will see much more results.
That said, I hope you found this article helpful. The faster you can avoid mistakes, the faster you can put yourself in the right direction to shoot your progress. Leave a comment below and tell me how many of these you are making or how many others you are making. Share this to your friends who are banging their heads on the wall making the same mistakes again and again so you can educate them too.