Don’t Be a Fitness Failure: Avoid These 7 Common Workout Mistakes

Yfitness mistakes, workout mistakesou’ve made the decision to start working out. But before you step up to the challenge, take a step back and familiarize yourself with these seven common workout mistakes that could sabotage your success.

1. Poor Cardio Posture

Whether you’re toiling on the treadmill or sweating on the stair stepper, it’s tempting to ease your cardio burden by leaning your weight on the machine’s armrests or gripping the handles too tightly. As a general rule, keep your spine erect while using cardio equipment and do not “cheat” by transferring your weight onto the body of the machine. Poor posture on cardio equipment not only reduces the effectiveness of your workout, it also puts unnecessary strain on your back.

2. Skipping the Strength Training

It may seem counter-intuitive to spend a chunk of your workout time sitting quietly and lifting weights. But you can’t burn fat without muscle, and most adults experience natural muscular atrophy after the age of 30. To make up for muscle loss and maximize your calorie-burning potential, devote 20-30 minutes to strength training several times per week.

3. Forgetting to Focus

Absentminded exercise is not as effective as a purpose-driven workout. Make every minute of your workout count by concentrating on what you’re doing. While doing ab exercises, zero your attention in on your ab muscles. While on the elliptical trainer, think about your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Do not read, watch TV, or hold extensive conversations during your workout. Inattentive exercise makes for a sloppy workout, and poorer results.

4. Rushing In and Out

It’s tempting to skip the warm-up and cool-down portions of your workout in the interest of saving time. Experts agree, however, that you should spend 5-10 minutes warming up and cooling down every time you work out. Warming up prepares your body for strenuous activity by increasing blood flow to your joints and muscles. Skipping a warm-up increases your chance of injury during a workout. Cooling down allows your contracted muscles to relax and your heart rate to gradually return to its normal pace. Skipping a cool-down could result in sore muscles, nausea, or general malaise.

5. Same Old, Same Old

If you follow the same workout routine day in and day out, with no variations, you run the risk of boring yourself and stagnating your physical progress. By doing only one type of exercise, you could easily hit a fitness plateau in which your muscles don’t burn as many calories and your fat-burning rate drops. Keep things interesting by mixing up your exercise routine. Vary the types of exercise you do, as well as the frequency and intensity at which you do them.

6. Overexertion

In your zeal to lose weight and get in shape, you may find yourself conspiring to work out every day, perhaps even several times a day. This is not a healthy approach to fitness. Your body needs time in between workouts to rest and perform muscle repair. Just as you require a certain number of hours of sleep each night to function during the day, your body requires enough rest in between workouts to adequately function.

7. Forgoing the Fuel

If you’re on a mission to exercise and lose weight, it’s tempting to cut back on calories by severely limiting your carb intake. People who work out, however, need to ingest an adequate supply of carbs, protein, and water before every workout session. If you don’t eat and drink enough, your body simply won’t have enough energy to fuel your workout sessions, resulting in minimal muscle growth and weight loss.

I must admit, I’m prone to skipping the warm-up and the only strength training I get is working in the garden. What fitness mistakes do you struggle with?