So you decided to go get a gym membership. Good for you. No seriously, it’s good for you. But before you dive into this world full of wonderful machines and free weights make sure that you do it in an informed and smart way. But what could be easier than just going to the gym, right? Well, if you haven’t trained before it could be overwhelming and an uninformed approach can lead to injuries or simple overtraining. Many of us made these mistakes that lead to all kinds of unpleasant stuff like injury and demotivation. So in order to not create a love/hate relationship with working out here are some things you shouldn’t do when starting your fitness routine.
Fitness Rookie Mistakes
Getting Crazy With Weights
The first important rule of training is preparation. It is especiallyimportant for those who hasn’t trained before and didn’t lead an active lifestyle. Since your muscles are not strong enough to handle the load lifting too much weight at the early stages of training may do you more harm than good. Do exercises that will strengthen your lower back, glutes, and core before going into the free weights zone.
Setting Unrealistic Goals
Setting unrealistic goals and failing at achieving them in time will only get you discouraged from working out. Your first fitness goal should be reasonable. Losing a certain amount of pounds in a certain period can be reasonable but a better approach is to start losing pounds/building muscle. Any visible progress is already a small victory. The most important thing to remember is that weight loss/muscle gain is a process and it takes time.
Rewarding Yourself With Food
This is one of the rookie fitness mistakes that sabotage their results. Rewarding yourself for working out with food defeats the purpose of working out since you replenish the calorie-deficit you’re supposed to be maintaining if you’re trying to lose weight.
Training Too Much, Too Often
Many of us thought once that the harder and more often we train the better results we’d have. This can quickly lead to overtraining and fatique and if you want results overtraining is a no-no. Working out three times a week is great. 90 minute (or longer) sessions should be enough to work out all of the main muscle groups. If you train every day with one or two rest days your workout program should be well thought out to let your body recover between each workout.
Making Your Own Program
Making your own program at the very beginning can be tricky at best and at worst it can be harmful. You don’t know which exercises will get you the results you need and you don’t know the right technique. It is best to consult with a professional and get a workout program written individually for you. Taking a few sessions with a personal trainer to learn proper technique for each exercise in your workout routine would be ideal. You can also have a special diet planned for you to get where you need more efficiently and safely before you learn more about fitness rules and other nuances of fitness.
Ignoring Your Body
Ignoring the signs of overtraining, pain, and injury can throw you off track for weeks and weeks of recovery time, so in order to prevent any of this don’t ignore your body. Pushing yourself is good but to a certain point. Pushing too hard, too often is not a way to go.
Training without focus or concentration is another mistake fitness rookies often make. They don’t know what many of the exercises do, what muscles they target, and why they need to do them. Then there is another aspect to it and it’s not concentrating on what you’re actually doing. Both of these won’t do you good. When performing a movement you need to focus on keeping a proper form and feel the muscles that are at work. And knowing what exercise does what can help you workout without a personal trainer later as you get more familiar with fitness.
Working Out At Same Level of Intensity
When you are working out regularly your body adapts to the load, the intensity. and so the predictability of your unchanging workout regimen simply stops challenging it. When you increase the load, the intensity, mix up the time and duration of your workout then your body reacts and starts adapting to that. This also applies to those who only do cardio and nothing else. So in a nutshell, you should regularly shake things up and keep you body guessing when it comes to workout routine.