My top 12 fitness mistakes - Massive mistakes you should avoid in fitness
I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in the world of exercise, having been at this for over 35 years, so naturally, I battle and work around a lot of injuries that resurface, as a result. I feel like I’m battling more often than not, so I want to give you the benefit of my experience, as prevention of injuries is always the best approach!
Don’t pound your joints repeatedly on a surface that has no give! Concrete is the worst. Do your cardio, aerobics and high intensity activity on a shock absorbent surface that has some give so your joints don’t absorb all that shock and impact, day in, day out! If you’re running, get to a track with a top quality running surface to offset your outdoor runs and save your knees! I did countless hours of high impact aerobics on concrete in my early teens because I was ignorant and my knees paid the price!
Wrong footwear for the activity you’re doing can be costly and disastrous on your joints! - Sneakers with improper support were the wrong choice for aerobic activity back in my teens and as a result, my knees were a mess before I reached my 20’s!
Work with a pro (a coach who has an excellent reputation and a lot of knowledge) to learn correct and proper alignment. - You’ll regret if if you don’t!!! I’m living with a lot of injuries because of this mistake in my past! I often cringe when I see the atrocious form that people have when working out on their own at the gym. The lunge exercise is one of the worst! Invest in the beginning so you won’t have to pay later on… in physio, loss of motivation, inability to train, exercise injury mishap, …. and the list goes on! A few sessions can make a big difference, so take notes as you go, and stick with a good trainer until you have your posture and alignment perfected!
Too much of anything is not a good thing! - Running for example, is a great activity, but do it exclusively and your body will let you know you’re out of balance. In this case; tight hamstrings, lower leg injuries/weaknesses, shin splints, posture problems, lower back injuries… just to name a few. This is why I now highly recommend cross training to avoid repetitive stress injuries! When I overdid pushups and parallel bar dips back in my younger years, I sustained shoulder and joint overuse trauma that still plague me from time to time if I’m not super careful about balanced training. I started water training/aquafit back in my late teens because of knee injuries.
Too much cardio in an effort to lose weight. - This is a common misconception. Have you been at a gym for years and see the same people on the treadmill and cardio machines looking the same, if not worse, in some cases? You lose muscle mass as you age and if you’re not doing some weight/resistance training to counter that, your body composition will cease to change, and this is where the term skinny fat comes from. A person may look slim with clothes on but is actually carrying a lot of body fat, despite all the efforts made with cardio.
Short & Sweet; Less is more! - You don’t have to train for an hour for it to be effective. In many cases, when you have a deadline, you will exercise harder, faster and may even burn more calories, as a result, when compared to a longer, slower paced exercise session. Greater intensity and effort can make a shorter session just as effective as a long one, or even increase the thermogenic effect (what I call ‘body bud’). Don’t discount the power of a short training session. Even 10 minutes is better than nothing; plus it keeps you in the habit of doing it! I learned this principle after I had my two children and I shifted my thinking, as a result, to make it work!
Not locking your core! - It can be dangerous and cause serious back injury. My foundation Ab Core Galore series teaches this principle so you learn it well! CLICK HERE for the preview. I made the mistake of releasing my core at the bottom of leg lifts and yep; there goes a lower back pull. - Live and learn!
Training when you’re ‘REALLY’ fatigued and haven’t slept enough. - Have you ever seen the motivator, “you’ll never regret a workout you did?” I disagree, because I have. The workout that you get injured because you didn’t listen to your body is a workout that you regret! ARRGH! It’s happened to me more times than I want to remember!!! Being stubborn and not listening to your body is not a good combo!
Training incorrectly is costly in more ways than one! - Not only can it cause injury, but it can also give you a look you’re not after! Ask yourself, what type of physique are you after? - Look at what cross-fit women look like, bodybuilders, gymnasts, dancers, etc. - is that what you want to look like? Find out what kind of training you should be doing to get the look you want! Had I been more knowledgeable, I would have made adjustments to my training so I would not have all the muscle I have today. I have made adjustments to my training and I strive to stay lean and maintain what I built.
Does the risk outweigh the benefit? - As you become more mature in your years, the awful fact is that your body simply doesn’t recover as quickly as you once used to. Injuries linger so much longer, ARGH! So, I now ask myself, “does the risk outweigh the benefit” when it comes to higher risk exercises like elaborate, advanced yoga poses and oh, so cool, gymnastics flips, lifting HEAVY weights, and so on…
Avoid Fad Diets! - I loathe high protein diets and they make want to gag and throw up; seriously! The only time I tried one was for a fitness competition and it backfired and I didn’t look my best, as a result! Eat sanely and don’t overly restrict or emphasize any one food group. What you cannot sustain will not work in your favour long term anyway.
Stop continuously complaining about your flaws/fat and dislikes about your body! - Do something about it instead! If you won’t work to do what you can to change it, then you have no right to complain about it. We usually do this with the people closest to us and it’s awful! It’s unattractive and damaging to relationships and reveals insecurities. Zip it and don’t trash talk about yourself! Fun fact: Confidence is one of the top qualities that men and women find most attractive in each other. Thankfully, I have improved a great deal in this area and am much more conscious of it, which is the first step in making changes. When you point out your flaws, it is often something that others often have not even thought about or seen, and it magnifies it and brings it to people’s attention, as a result. Think and pause before you blurt negative stuff out of your mouth.
Desperation to lose weight is disastrous! - We often resort to doing things wrong simply out of frustration and impatience. You figure, eat a lot less and you’ll lose weight… ahem, it’s just not that simple; I wish it was! Nutrition and how the body reacts to a severe calorie restriction is quite scientific. I have resorted to that tactic and it backfired big! Your body makes adjustments that work against you if you make drastic changes and it becomes more efficient at maintaining, or even gaining weight, in response to what it perceives as starvation. I was eating A LOT less and my weight wasn’t budging! Get a pro to help you!
OVERTRAINING! - I must admit, I'm still working on this one. All I can say is it's better to choose to not train and allow your body to recover versus having no choice but to lay off training because you didn't make the right choice and as a result, massacred your body and joints!