If you’ve started to hit the gym more frequently, or you’re really getting your claws into healthy living and fitness, it’s easy to feel more experienced than you are.
But even after you’ve ditched the training wheels, you can still make rookie mistakes — mistakes that can sabotage your progress and leave you hurt, exhausted and confused.
Here’s a list of the 6 most common newbie mistakes and how you can avoid them!
Mistake #1: Doing Way Too Much
This is easily the most prevalent and common mistake among beginners and experts alike. Sometimes, it’s impossible for one to imagine working out for less than 5 sets when doing 3 or 4 should be appropriate.
After all, you promised yourself that you’d put on 5 kgs of muscle or lose 10 kgs and you will stop at nothing to get there. Even if it means, working out until you physically can’t anymore.
Building muscle isn’t that complicated. At least not for someone starting out. When you’re just starting out, you don’t have any idea how hard you should push your body. As a result, you often end up overtraining and injuring yourself and then you’re not able to work out for days afterwards, as you are just too sore
As with medicine, with exercise, you would want to find the minimum effective dose that gives results.
Mistake #2: Doing Too Much Of One Thing And Not Enough Of The Other
Whenever we set a goal, we tend to go in that direction only, forgetting about the other little things that aren’t a priority. However, we fail to realize that those little things matter. For example, many guys start doing all manners of presses, flyes, and pushups because they want to build a bigger chest.
But in doing that, they forget about their shoulders and upper backs and how all that extra work is going to affect these body parts. Another very common mistake is skipping leg day.
The Golden Rule of fitness is: Whatever you do on one side of a joint, you need to do an equal amount on the other side as well. If you’re doing 20 sets for your chest on chest day, do at least that many for your back as well.
Try doing equal amounts of push and pull movements so you can always be sure you’ve done enough back work.
Mistake #3: Not Warming Up
We get it! You’re feeling pumped up and you want to workout now. Who’s got time for a warmup?
Every workout, no matter what kind, needs to begin with a warmup. Part of that warmup should include foam rolling and stretching to promote blood flow and loosen tight muscle groups.
Don’t skimp on your warmups — they shouldn’t just be jogging for a couple of minutes on the treadmill and doing some stretches you learnt in Physical Education in school.
Taking a little extra time to warm up will go a long way in bullet-proofing your body against any untoward accidents.
Mistake #4: Not Cooling Down
Cooling down after exercise is often just as important as the workout itself. One of the most important functions of the post-exercise cool down is to prevent dizziness.
Strenuous exercise causes the blood vessels in your legs to expand, bringing more blood into the legs and feet. When you stop exercising suddenly without cooling down, your heart rate slows abruptly and that blood can pool in your lower body, causing dizziness and maybe even fainting.
The harder you workout, the more the chances of this happening to you.
Mistake #5: Not Tracking Your Progress
“What gets measured, gets managed!”
Beginners never make notes, but if you’re not measuring anything, how will you improve anything? Record everything in your workout: what exercises you did, what weight you used, how many reps you did, etc.
This will highlight your successes and failures so you can adjust your exercise program and diet to upgrade your results. For example, if you try a new diet, but your physique stays constant, you need to change something. But if you try a new workout and your body fat drops while you gain more muscle, you’re doing great.
Mistake #6: Not Understanding Anatomy
Your body is not a collection of disparate parts, it’s all part of a single whole. Many people think that if they squat on Monday they can still do a full back workout on Tuesday, complete with back extensions or even deadlifts. As if the lower back isn’t getting enough work from squatting.
Just because you don’t happen to be sore in your legs after squatting doesn’t mean your body is ready for some heavy pulls only a day or so later.
Here are some rules to follow:
Rule #1: Never train shoulders the day after a chest session
Rule #2: Limit your direct lower-back training to days you squat and/or deadlift.
Rule #3: Don’t superset exercises that demand a lot of your grip, such as rows and chin-ups.
Well, that’s it from us! Let’s have a safe and injury-free journey towards a healthier and fitter you. If you’re looking to start your fitness journey, do give us a shot! Who knows, maybe it’s exactly what you need!
Fitato is your single access pass to the best gym and fitness studios in your city. We’ve got more than 400 partner gyms in your city a whole host of fun activities like Zumba, MMA, Swimming, etc.
Download the Fitato App.