Very little is more discouraging than putting all your heart into working out and getting healthy and not seeing the results you are striving so hard for. You are not alone in this situation! Even veteran workout aficionados have fallen into these exercise traps. I know I have! So don’t give up just yet. Instead, let’s go over in no specific order the Top 10 Exercise Errors That Are Killing Your Results and how to avoid them.
1.) Too Much Aerobic Exercise
If all or most of your workout routine consists of running, cycling with low or no resistance, the stairmaster, or the elliptical machine you NEED to mix up your workout. These long sessions of cardiovascular training workouts just don’t build the muscle necessary to burn fat long-term. You need a combination of BOTH aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (strength training) exercises to produce long-term health and weight loss. Combining both into an exercise regime that you love will be the key to a life-long and sustainable workout regime. Bonus Tip: spending just half the time you do on a treadmill doing HIIT instead will yield greater results plus let you spend that time doing something else!
Interested in finding out more about how to create an exercise program you LOVE doing (don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you anything)? Check out my article How To Not Quit Another Workout Regime
2.) Not Lifting/Strength Training
You want to burn fat right? We all do, it is the primary goal for the vast majority of people trying to get fit and lose weight. Well in order to burn fat you need to build muscle mass. How do you do that? By lifting weights and/or strength training. Now there are A LOT of different ways to incorporate strength training into your own personal workout regime and I won’t get into them here and now. Just know that if you aren’t doing it you need to start adding it in TODAY!
3.) Doing The Same Routine Over And Over
Doing the same exercises over and over and over has two big results that are killing your progress. Number one: you get bored with the routine which results in you putting in less and less effort into the workout and eventually quitting all together. This obviously kills your results!
Number two: the repetitive exercise develops muscle memory, which in turn allows the muscles to work less hard to get the same job done. While this may make the workout feel easier it is the constant work that your muscles are doing that help you build muscle and burn fat! A great way to keep those muscles working hard is to incorporate some HIIT elements into your regime. Believe me, your muscles won’t get bored if you do!
4.) Expecting Target Specific Workouts To Actually Work
This is a BIG TIME MISCONCEPTION and one I wrote a whole article on explaining more in-depth; for that version read Why Target Specific Workouts Don’t Work . The short and sweet of it is as follows. Our bodies are not designed to lose fat in any one particular area just because you work the muscles in that area. Example: Doing lots of abdominal crunches, planks, and sit ups WILL NOT result in you losing those love handles. In order to lose fat you must eat the right foods and do exercises that will result in a total body workout including both aerobic and anaerobic components… my spider senses are picking up on a theme here.
5.) Ignoring The Importance Of Pre and Post Workout Eating
Another big misconception is that you should or should not eat certain things before and/or after a workout to lose weight. Or, even worse, that you shouldn’t be eating ANYTHING before and after in order to maximize your results. Noooo! You must fuel your body properly in order for it to perform at its peak ability which allows you to work out longer and harder. This in turn yields better results. For a more information check out my article The Key To Maximizing Your Workout … Pre and Post Workout Eating.
6.) Expecting Dramatic Results Too Quickly
We’ve all seen the infomercials promising dramatic results in two or three weeks time (I’ve even seen some claiming results in 10 days!). But, when we’re honest, most people know deep down that those are a short-term band-aid whose results either never happen or don’t last long-term. Nothing worth having ever comes easy (except SALVATION woot woot!). If you want to achieve lasting results that will give you a lifetime of better health it will take both time and hard work. Lots and lots of both as a matter of fact. Lifestyle changes are a marathon not a sprint. If it was easy the majority of Americans wouldn’t be overweight or obese at this very moment. But they are, and those infomercial people are rolling in money because a whole stinking lot of people will try every quick fix they can find before they actually change their poor diets and lifestyles of inactivity.
7.) Overestimating Your Current Physical Capabilities
This one is for the overzealous overachiever who might not quite realize that the body you have today is 1.)not the body you had at 16 and 2.)not the body you will have after 6 months of proper diet and exercise. Basically, if you haven’t worked out in long enough that you can’t name the physical date of your last workout … you really shouldn’t expect to just go out and run 5 miles, bench your high school football season max, or compete in a triathlon.
Your enthusiasm will serve to keep you motivated and pushing through those coming workouts… but remember to properly gauge your current fitness level first. If at all possible, seek the advise of a professional or personal trainer in the beginning to get you going strong while not overdoing it. All that will happen if you go to hard to fast is you will get injured, burnt out, frustrated, or all three. None of which are good for your long-term goals.
8.) Underestimating Your Current Physical Capabilities (you should be sweating and out of breath!)
On the flip side, you may be tempted to baby yourself into a new workout. DON’T DO IT! In order to see results you must sweat and push yourself to achieve new goals. This is something us ladies are especially prone to do. We say we want to start light because we don’t want to get too bulky or masculine. Well ladies, I hate to burst our collective excuse bubble but it is quite literally NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE for a woman to build the bulk of muscle a man does. For her to do it, she must literally invest years of strict diet and strict workouts to achieve it. Believe me when I say that you adding an extra 10-20 lbs to your squat rack at the gym won’t do it to you … and you might actually start seeing the results you want!
9.) Not Prioritizing Your Workouts
Your workouts are important on so many levels. They are what make the difference in just losing weight and actually being healthy. If you don’t prioritize them and treat them as such they will, inevitably, take a back seat to life. Life happens guys. It seems to be happening faster and faster each year. If we don’t take the time to make room for the important things now (not just talking about workouts here) the time will fly by and before we know it we’ll be looking back and wondering how we even got here. So treat the important things as un-skippable appointments. These are the things that you schedule OTHER things around. Make the time or regret it later.
10.) Letting A Plateau Kill You
If you workout consistently for a while you will eventually hit a plateau. It’s just going to happen as a natural part of your body adapting to this lifestyle. And guess what? If you keep on working out and push through you will eventually see progress again. You might have to mix up your workout routine and add in or take away elements to get that upward climb back, but you can do it! Hitting that stagnant place can be discouraging but don’t give up. It’s all just part of the process!
If you can overcome the hurdle of getting a workout regime started you can defeat these 10 result killers. Don’t feel bad if you’ve fallen into one or more of these traps in the past, these buggers are sneaky and trap a lot of us! But now that you know what they are you have the ability to overcome them. So get to work and avoid the Top 10 Exercise Errors That Are Killing Your Results !