Want to Get Fit? Avoid These 5 Common Mistakes
Think long and hard about your first day in high school. Did you skip orientation because you thought you knew everything? And then your first day came and you were wandering around the halls, lost in confusion. Maybe you bumped into a few kids and forgot the combination to your locker. Or you were like me; a total mush mouth that couldn’t complete a sentence.
Fitness is like that first day of school. Most people skip orientation day at the gym too. They think they know what they’re doing, but most are misguided. Their walk around the gym mimics that familiar stride down the hallways of their old high school. Kind of lost but trying to play it cool.
Consider this your orientation. If you’re looking to get fit, then I’m your personal trainer for the moment. No, I’m not going to blow a whistle and command you to do some push-ups. Instead, I offer my insight as the major things to avoid in your quest to get fit.
- Make Sure You Progress– The biggest mistake you’ve probably made is just exercising. You go for a walk. Or you do some sets at the gym. But getting in shape requires a plan. If I asked what your workout would look like in two months, could you tell me? We call this overload – you have to expose your body to slightly more stress than you did last time. So if you’re currently dong 5 x 5, then add a rep to each set. Ran your first mile? Then shave five seconds off your pace next time. If there’s no extra stress there’s no reason for the body to change.
- Avoid Extremes – Can you train in your current style for the next five years? 10? 20? What about your current diet? If not, then ditch your plan. Remember, you want to be able to progress your workouts and improve your diet over time. If anything you’re doing is extreme then it may work in the short term but cause long term setbacks. I see this all the time with crazy detox’s and juice diets. Which leads to my next point….
- Think Long Term – We all want success and we want it now. But what about a year from now? Losing 20 pounds is awesome, but if you can’t keep the weight off, you didn’t think long term. Here at UEFP my personal training clients focus on the 2% rule. Each week, we want a 2% improvement. Maybe rowing an extra 25 meters doesn’t seem like much, but 52 weeks of progress at that rate leads to huge improvements years later.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – It can be tempting to see someone who’s really in shape and want that now. For some it can be a bit of a bummer. But it shouldn’t. They may have just been working out longer. Or had models for parents. The point being is that the only competition you have is yourself. Challenge yourself, stay focused, and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.
- Set Clear Goals – Losing weight isn’t a goal. It’s a desire. “I want to lose 10 pounds of bodyfat in 10 weeks” is a goal. Those who are new to fitness avoid goals. But they’re great for motivation and developing a specific plan. If you speak in vague terms then you’re going to get vague results.
Believe it or not, these tips will do more for you than talking about calories, protein, or squats. The clients that focus on these five things come out of the blocks strong. If you’re serious about getting fit, this is where to start.