Starting a fitness routine can feel fantastic, and you as a beginner are likely to be excited by the
rapid progress that accompanies the start of a routine. Doing things the right way can take your
progress farther and help avoid plateaus down the road.
Conversely, the beginning of any fitness routine is usually accompanied by some kind of pain or another, but that pain shouldn’t result from doing things in the wrong way. Listed here are some common fitness mistakes that hamper progress, as well as how you should avoid them.
1. Having bad form
Form is defined as the way you go about performing an exercise, from your stance to your range of
motion. Bending your back when you should straighten it and enlisting body parts thought
shouldn’t be involved during isolation workouts are examples of having bad form. If you are using
your shoulders during a bicep curl, for example, than you’re not getting the full effect of a curl and
will not progress as fast. Moreover, bad form can strain your muscles and skeleton, leading to
injury and putting you out of the scene for a while.
We practice bad form because it makes workouts easier and allows us to run farther or lift more
weight. The consequence is that these extra reps or miles don’t help us, but hurt us.
When lifting weights, don’t lift at a ‘heavy’ or ‘max’ weight, but focus on keeping the back straight,
and any appendages not responsible for the exercise immobile. Stay at a steady, measured pace
and stop the set when you can no longer maintain it. When running, avoid heel-striking and
2. Eating too much, or too little
Eating too much up to an hour before a workout means you’re still digesting when you walk into
the gym. Since you need blood to bring nutrients to your muscles, you’re going to be less effective
when all that blood is routed to your stomach instead. After a workout, however, you’ll want to
load up on protein and calories to make up for the deficit you just sweated away, and to help you
rebuild your muscles. Ignoring the post-workout meal can cause your body to produce stress
It’s best to have a light snack roughly half an hour before a workout, and to keep that whole hour
window before the gym free of fatty or calorie-dense foods. You’ll need fuel to exercise and you
should get it earlier in the day. After you finish, make sure to chow down, privileging muscle-
building protein and fiber to help you absorb it.
It’s easy to get worked into a frenzy when first starting out with your fitness routine. Results begin
to show, and an obvious way to get more results seems to be spending more time exercising.
Though top athletes can spend up to 2 or 3 hours a day with exercise, it is important to remember
that they often have years of conditioning and have readied their bodies for such an experience. As
someone new to the fitness world, you’re far likelier to see negative results instead of positive ones
if you frequent the gym too often, meaning more than six times a week or for more than an hour
and a half at a time.
Some signs of pushing too hard include sleeplessness, unusual bodily fatigue, appetite shifts, pain
in the joints, and even muscle loss. Luckily, a beginner can avoid this simple mistake by scaling
back their routine. If a muscle is sore, wait 2 days for it to recover and focus on other muscles in
the meantime. If you’re aching anywhere but your muscles, take a day off. Finally, slowly build up
the intensity and frequency of your workouts, giving the body ample time to adjust.
4. Ignoring the basics
A fitness routine doesn’t end when you walk out of the gym. To see consistent results, you need to
structure other elements of your life around making the exercise effective. Dehydration is a
consistent problem for many people, as well as an insomnia that is often caused by irregular
working and sleeping schedules and a host of before-bed stimuli.
Water is the medium that your body uses to function, and you need to be hydrated for your
muscles to repair themselves post-workout. Moreover, most of this repairing happens when we’re
asleep, meaning a lack of sleep doesn’t allow for maximum results to be seen from workouts. Cut
out the phone before bed and buy a bigger water bottle, all the while tracking how much you drink
and sleep. Adding a little of each every day will allow you to find your sweet spot.
5. Being inconsistent
One of the best ways to shock your previously stationary body into progress is with a consistent
routine. When your bodily systems know what to expect, your hormones are regulated in a way
that doesn’t cause the irregularities that can affect your progress. Gradual increases in intensity
minimize ‘shocks’ to your system, which can lead to injury and de-motivate you. Consistency, in
other words, is preparation, the training that prepares you to train.
Find the times of the week that you’re sure you can devote to training, and stick to them. Don’t run
a marathon a week and then take 5 days off. Instead, spread that exercise over a few days, taking
no longer than three days off at a time while being careful not to over-train. There’s a balance in
any fitness program, and consistency will help you find it.