1. Training too Hard
Being fit is not that hard. Walk or jog a few miles a few times a week, or ride a bike. Lift some weights. Do some squats, planks, push-ups, and sit ups. Be active and find a sport or hobby. If you are training for a specific competition, then yeah you may need to push it more and use a specific training protocol. But many people train way too hard.
2. Not Training Hard Enough
Alright, I know I am contradicting number one. But some people never push it beyond the routine. I even saw someone eating peanuts and drinking coke while doing leg extensions one day. What’s the use? To get fit, you must push yourself beyond what you’re accustomed to.
3. Working Out Too Long
There is no need to be in the gym longer than 45-60 minutes. 30 minutes is ideal. Anything beyond an hour is a waste of time, unless you’re an athlete training for a competition. Even then, you shouldn’t need much more exercise time than that. And you don’t even have to go to a gym. Try exercising outside.
4. Not Warming Up
Most injuries happen because people don’t warm up. Stretching can help too, but warming up is what prevents injuries.
5. Doing Too Many Exercises
The hard exercises- squats, cleans, push-ups, lunges, sprints, hanging leg raises, & planks- are the ones no one does, because they’re the hardest. Pick out a few basic exercises and work on them. I’ve been doing squats since I was 14 and I’ve never had a leg injury. Do different types, 1 leg squats, heavy squats, light squats, squat jumps, split squats, squat stretches, front squats, squats with pauses for example, but focus on the basics.
6. Using Terrible Technique
About half of the people I see training use terrible form. Too much jerking, poor posture, too much weight and holding the breath too much. Slow down a little bit and get into good habits.
7. Not Breathing
Many people have not learned how to breathe properly, so they are artificially making their workouts harder by hyperventilating. Breathe slowly in and out through the diaphragm and don’t hold your breath.
8. Not Enjoying It
I’m amazed when I see people who hate working out. Working out can be a type of play, which is done for its own sake, and is fun. It doesn’t have to be drudgery or overly structured. It’s good to have some goals, and that can be motivating. But it can also suck all the fun out of it. Play sometimes. Just show up and have a good time, and work hard. Enjoy it and celebrate the fact that you are alive and can still move.
9. Relying on Loud Distracting Music
I love some good workout music, and it can be motivational. But if you require loud blasting music to do something, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. It might be healthier for your hearing, and for you, to slow down, turn the music down and concentrate on what you’re doing. Rock out, but only if it doesn’t distract you from what you’re doing.
10. Too Many Goals or No Goals at All
This is self-explanatory. Some people set too many goals: 1) Lose 20 pounds 2) Do the Peachtree road race 3) Stop eating French fries 4) Work Out Every day 5) Take Spinning 3 days per week 6) Stop Drinking Diet Coke 7) Take Yoga 8) Walk to work 9) Get rid of cellulite 10) Eat organic. And on and on.
How about one goal? Lose 20 pounds. One or two goals is plenty.
11. Not Working Out in the Morning When Possible
We all know this one is true. If you procrastinate, it won’t get done. If you can do it early, then knock it out. It will also give you more energy and focus for the rest of the day, and elevate your mood.
12. Not Doing Something Every Day
In this frantic place called America, where people try to distract themselves to death, so they won’t ever have to do any self-introspection, simply going for a quiet walk every day would be healthier than an hour of CrossFit 3 days per week. I love lifting and training hard, but mentally and physically it’s much more important to just be active every day than anything else.
Keep it simple. Have one goal. Do something every day. Sweat a little bit, and have fun.
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