Some people come to the gym and want to be the most impressive athlete on the floor on day one. These individuals tend to stack the most plates on the bar or sprint exceedingly fast on the treadmill, trying over and over to snap that perfect post for Instagram. True, sometimes you might find yourself working out next to an actual athlete but their impressive feats are part of a regular routine. Most of us will find ourselves working up to our optimal level of activity, which will vary from person to person, over time rather than all at once. It is important to be slow and steady when building your gym stamina and to remember that the only person you need to impress at the gym is you.
As a personal trainer, I have been a part of many fitness victories. I have also witnessed my fair share of common exercise mistakes. These mistakes can lead to fatigue, injury or overall bad experiences that will only serve to discourage your efforts. Avoid the following exercise mistakes and achieve a positive, injury free journey of health and fitness.
Bad Jogging Form
When embarking on a new fitness journey, jogging and cardio are great places to start. Whether you are running outdoors or on a treadmill, pay very close attention to how your foot stride is landing. Jogging should feel as if you are running on your tiptoes. Most fitness newbies tend to land heel first. Focus on making sure your stride lands primarily on your toes which protects the impact to your knees.
Choosing the Wrong Shoe
The popular belief in training used to be any old shoe would work. Times have changed. There is no shortage of great research on why certain shoes can help with specific routines and terrains. Visit a shoe store or fitness outlet that specializes in shoes. The kind of store that measures your feet, asks you to walk and jog while still in the store, and has well-informed staff available to answer your athletic shoe related questions. Know your training goals and ask for help getting the right shoe for you.
Not Switching It Up
Coming into the gym consistently is something to be proud of. However, if you are consistently doing the same routine, you will quickly see a growth plateau. Make sure you are switching up your routine both in intensity levels and in the exercises you do. The human body becomes more and more efficient every time it goes through an experience. I have the most success with clients who never know what their workouts are going to be. It is my belief as a trainer that keeping the body uncertain of the tasks it will be physically challenged with, forces the individual to become ready for anything. This is a great place to be.
I can’t stress this enough, pace yourself. Don’t judge your results on a short-term scale. Instead, think of your fitness journey as one that will last a lifetime. Even marginal exercises, given enough time and frequency, will eventually lead to a better body and health state. Short term goals will never be as beneficial as long-term hopes. Remember, your workouts are an investment in you and your health, and you are definitely worth the time!
Not Investing In a Personal Trainer
Choosing to do it all on your own is a common exercise mistake. We hire people to do our taxes and other important tasks because we count on professionals with the expertise to guide us and get the job done right. What’s more important than your health? A personal trainer can help you determine a fitness goal, develop a fitness plan, track your progress and motivate you to stick with your routine. A personal trainer can also help ensure you are using the correct equipment and form during your workout, helping to reduce injury, fatigue and burnout.
By Rick Green