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The 10 Biggest Mistakes in Fitness

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10. Lack of Specificity and Practice

Exercise should be specific to the goal.  It sounds simple enough but a lot of people waste time doing things that don’t apply.  Also, skill acquisition requires practice, practice, and more practice, this especially applies to exercises or skills that are very complex.  Use specific exercises which pertain to your goal and then keep practicing. 

9. Lack of Intensity and Effort

Often, we just don’t work hard enough, it’s that simple. Workouts should be somewhat challenging and focused, even if you’re going to have a moderate day.

8. Using Poor Technique

Using poor technique cuts into your gains by transferring energy production into momentum, and it also causes an increase in injuries.

7. Not Exercising Daily

You’ll get so much better results by being active every day.  Even on an off day, you can go for a walk or bike ride.

6. Not Working the Posterior Chain (Back of the body)

Because we look into a mirror when grooming and dressing, we tend to focus on the front of the body.  This front-focus carries over into workouts where we work the chest, arms, and abs, and maybe quadriceps, while neglecting the back of the body- the calves, hamstrings, glutes, back, triceps. and shoulders.  Also sitting too much, which we all do, causes a weakening of the muscles down the back of the body and contributes to poor posture.  We should focus on balancing our exercise between the front and the back of the body, or even prioritize the posterior chain, to correct so much time spent sitting.

5. Too Much Downtime During Workouts

Between sets of weight training, we should focus on rotating other exercises such as other weight exercises for other muscle groups, or stretches or power exercises.  In a given workout, we should be engaged and moving constantly in order to get the most out of our time.

4. Too Many Distractions During Workouts

Music and conviviality is a good thing, but staring at a phone or TV for minutes at a time takes away from getting the most out of a session.

3. Too Much Comparison with Others

The focus should be on where you were yesterday and where you’re going to in the future, not on what others are doing.  When you engage with others, compliment and encourage them, don’t tear down others to make yourself feel better. On the other hand, don’t feel discouraged if you aren’t where you want to be, accept what is and make the stoic best out of it while you try to improve.

2. Not Enough Volume of Training

Volume in weight training would be calculated as “weight x sets x reps” for each exercise and then every exercise totaled and added together.  In running, volume is total miles or sprint distances.  Generally speaking, more volume equals better results.  Eventually, the law of diminishing returns sets in, so use volume but don’t go overboard. Knowing how much is enough is as much an art as a science, but usually over an hour a day of exercise is too much.

  1. Exercises are too Isolated and Not Integrative Enough

For overall fitness, and to be more efficient in training, choose exercises that work multiple joints at once, like squats, deadlifts, presses, and rows.  If you work more muscles at one time, you’ll generally be more fit.  There is a place for isolation, but integration is usually more important. 

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