Last Updated on January 7, 2021
Your first workout could be your last if you commit these exercise mistakes.
Getting started is the hardest part ever, but believe it or not, the best is yet to come. We all know how it feels to hit the gym for the first time; the busy scene can be quite grim. Not sure what to do next, you decide to walk on the treadmill or try to pump some iron.
Chances are, you’ll spot someone who seems as if they know what they are doing, and you may start doing what they do. Copying may seem like an easy way to cope, but it’s not.
Actually, this way of thinking can get you injured and cause you to overwork certain body parts. You could be doing everything wrong, even if it feels so right!
With advice and guidance from three fitness experts, we could unveil the most common workout mistakes beginners make in the gym. The first step in preventing or avoiding these bad habits is to know what they are. And that’s why we’re writing this article.
But as you read through, don’t sweat it!
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#1 – You’re Over-Enthusiastic
What’s the dumbest mistake you can make when you get your first paycheck? Yes, spending it all! This also applies to the first time you hit the gym. You put all of your energy into one session, bringing on terrible exhaustion, which then may provide you with solid excuses for the next time you should be working out. This could even get worse and lead to injury.
According to Dr. Derek Ochiai, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert, when you push yourself hard and fast from the very beginning you actually increase the risk of overuse tendonitis, which can be a reason or excuse to stop working out. What you should do instead is to ease into your new activity.
#2 – You Compete against the Wrong Person
The gym can easily turn into a self-confidence-destroying space and you should stand against this. Of course, becoming your fittest self takes time and depends on each individual’s set of limits when it comes to the ways and rate at which their bodies can build strength.
Dr. Ochiai suggests that instead of trying to match pace or weights with your workout neighbor, try to compete only against yourself, and gradually increase your personal best. Be your biggest competitor and at the same time, your best supporter!
#3 – You Try To Cram a Workout Routine In
Slow and steady always wins the race, keep this in mind. Like dieting, the most amazing results are those you achieve over time. Fitness experts explain that rushing a workout is one of the worst ideas you can ever have: We are all important and busy but don’t try to cram in extra weight or intensity if you’re under the pressure of time. Your best bet is to take it e-a-s-y.
Create a warm-up time, for instance, on a bike, before starting the rest of your workout routine.
A great tip: Take daily notes of how much time you’ll need per day to achieve your weight loss or body shaping goals.
This way, you give yourself permission to be more satisfied with your workout results at the end of each period as well as you’ll be more likely to actually attain your goals. When you feel the time is crammed you’ll only give yourself more excuses not to work out at all.
#4 – You Don’t Drink Enough Water
Drinking water can get tiresome or boring, but that’s when H2O changes your entire fitness game. When it comes to getting fit, hydration is the key. Besides the fact that consuming the recommended water daily intake (which is 64 ounces) boosts your chances of achieving your weight loss goals, it also helps make your daily workouts at the gym so much easier.
Water helps you increase your energy levels and helps your muscles remain pliable. This essential liquid actually acts as a lubricant for your muscles and joints, and being hydrated will help prevent feelings of stiffness as well as it will make your body stronger and more flexible.
#5 – You Challenge Yourself Too Much
If you think you can complete the same barrel or spin workout as your friend who’s been doing it since like 5 years ago, think again. Instead, Michael Blauner, celebrity trainer, recommends that you begin with something that’s a little bit easier.
I know you want to feel like you’re working but you sure don’t want to be hurt and incapacitated the next day! Unfortunately, there are many people saying that they pushed or were pushed too hard the first time and they never went back to it. Don’t fall into the same trap!
It’s totally normal to walk in the middle of your jog to catch a breather. Actually, it’s better for you because you’ll more likely to feel a sweet satisfaction if you chose to slow down and were able to complete the workout rather than feel like you couldn’t do it at all. In the latter case, just go back and do it again.
#6 – You Don’t Notice Improvement
Change takes time and working out is not excluded from this universal rule. In fact, it will often take you a couple of weeks to notice any visible changes in your body. However, there are other amazing benefits that show up sooner and you may not be giving yourself enough credit for those.
Dr. Ochiai says that people are often discouraged when they start an exercise routine because they didn’t instantly drop 10 pounds! Exercise has other awesome benefits, such as better sleep, improved concentration, and an overall feeling of well-being. So turn to these great changes for positive reinforcement.
To monitor your progress, consider keeping a workout journal, and input what you’re eating, your detailed workout routine, and also how you’re feeling every day. So when you notice an emerging soreness or injury, you can discuss your daily habits with a health professional and try to pinpoint a catalyst.
#7 – You Don’t Fuel Properly
If you were a fancy sports car, would you accept to be filled with the regular gas? Apply this rule to your body. If you’re expecting a premium performance from your body, you have to fuel it properly too. Before going to the gym, it’s highly important to eat a meal that can provide your body with the necessary support and energy so you’ll be able to push yourself.
Remember to steer clear of the unhealthy snacks that will interrupt your weight loss and muscle formation, and also avoid not eating at all! When you don’t eat before a workout, you put yourself at risk of feeling weak mid-way through and that only gives you more excuses to give the whole thing up.
Jennifer Leah Gottlieb, a personal trainer, explains that those who are new to exercise often don’t consider the importance of pre- and post-workout meals. And that’s risky because if they don’t eat a balanced combination of proteins and carbs before and after working out, they wouldn’t be able to maintain energy or recovering properly.
#8 – You Don’t Consult an Expert
When learning something new, be it a language, a sport, or using the treadmill, you should always ask someone who knows best. To get on track, it is best to learn from a qualified instructor. Be open and eager to learn, as there is always more room for advancements and improvements at the gym. You can always do better and get stronger.
According to fitness experts, once you decide on the type of training that is suitable for you and which you know you’d enjoy, read up on it. Check several sources to get the best information. YouTube, for instance, can offer many useful videos of whatever you wish to learn about.
#9 – You Don’t Believe You Can Change
You need to believe deep down yourself that progress takes patience! It’s much easier for your body to fall out of shape than build up into shape, thus you should do your best to stay motivated when you’re just getting back into your workout routines.
Going back to the gym is not as easy as it seems, especially after a long time off, it requires the person to build back up to their previous fitness level, and not simply take it up where they left off, Dr. Ochiai insists.
Be aware that your body might be different compared to how it was the last time you worked out, and be willing to accept that you might have to start at the zero level all over again because guess what? You can, and you will reach your goal! It will just take some time to get there. Meanwhile, never stop believing in yourself and give yourself time to get to where you want to be.
#10 – You Forget To Stretch
It may seem boring, slow, and inefficient when it comes to burning those stubborn calories, but stretching is crucial in helping prepare your body for the exercise it’s about to get as well as cool down fast from the intensity it went through.
As a matter of fact, stretching leads to better results in flexibility, which is one of the most important aspects of exercise. So when you work on increasing your body’s ability to touch your toes, for instance, you will find it easier to pull up, deadlift, squat, and accomplish plenty of different flexibility-related routines (many of which seemed more difficult before.)
Moreover, stretching protects you from getting hurt. You’ll easily suffer from injuries during a workout if you don’t warm up and prepare your body for exercise! You should take at least 10 minutes at the beginning of a workout to improve the blood flow to your muscles and help your body reap the maximum benefits from your workout routine.
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