These are the mistakes I see most people make when they start to workout for the first time in a long time.
Mistake #1 – Doing too much, too soon.
Exercise needs to become a habit, don’t get burned out. Consistency beats intensity. Repeat this to yourself daily, consistency beats intensity. Remember, consistency beats intensity.
Mistake #2 – Only doing cardio.
The treadmill or stationary bike is not the primary training tool among the fit. If cardio is all your doing, you’re not likely to get results. You need to build muscle, which burns fat. Building muscle requires strength training. Cardio has its benefits, but there are exercises with a bigger payoff. Cardio can be a part of your training, but it shouldn’t be all you do.
Mistake #3 – You don’t know gym etiquette.
Check with your gym to learn a few rules that will help everyone get along nicely in the gym. The gym will become a place you visit often so make friends. A few tips for etiquette:
- Put your stuff in a locker, out of the way of others.
- Wipe away your sweat.
- Use equipment in it’s designated area.
- Don’t hoard or hog equipment.
- Use racks for lifting heavy.
- Don’t linger without a purpose (rest between sets is the only purpose I can think of).
- Stay off your phone unless it’s part of your training. You’ll waste your time with distractions that can also affect other people’s workouts.
- Put equipment back, even if you found it somewhere it didn’t belong.
- If you don’t know, ask a trainer or staff member.
- Try not to interrupt someone’s workout unless they are receptive. Keep your workout going too.
Mistake #4 – You don’t have a plan.
Not having a plan is like looking for an address without knowing directions. The purpose of training is to make progress and get results. A plan gives you a roadmap for staying on track and achieving results.
Mistake #5 – You don’t have a coach.
Learn from experienced professionals. You’ll fast track your results when you have an expert who educates you and holds you accountable. Elite athletes who have decades of training behind them have coaches so you can never be too good to have a coach. At the least, get a coach for a few sessions to learn proper form, then find yourself a workout partner.