Rome wasn’t built in a day – and neither were the Roman’s physiques. When you start to workout, it’s normal to want to see results as soon as you leave the gym.
But when you get home and see that beer gut still hanging over your waistband, it can be easy to get discouraged – which can often result in avoiding the gym at all costs.
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times by now but not giving up and consistent exercise is the key to losing weight and staying physically healthy.
However, if you are going to the gym persistently, have incorporated healthy lifestyle habits in your daily routine, and still aren’t seeing any desired outcomes there may be another problem afoot.
A lot of the time people will go into gyms or training centers without actually knowing what they’re doing. If you don’t correct your mistakes in the gym it increases the risk of repeating them. Repeated mistakes obviously mean you aren’t going to be a buff success.
Don’t worry though, you are not alone! Hundreds of people enter gyms everyday with no clue as to what they’re doing. Some mistakes may be bigger than others, but ensuring your workout is done properly is the best way to solidify those gains you are after.
If you are standing on your scale right now sobbing “why me” do not fret just yet. Keep scrolling to find out if you are making one of these rookie or major mistakes and then get back to beasting it up!
Mistake #1 – Unrealistic Goals
This is probably the mistake rookies make the most, even after just spending a few minutes at the gym.
You get awe-struck by all the chiseled bodies using gear effortlessly and you think “perfect, I’ll look like that in no time”…
Although it is important to go into a gym with achievable goals – don’t expect them to happen as soon as you leave. A lot of the pros you see have probably been working on their gains for months, maybe even years. So don’t expect your body to look drastically different after only one session.
This also ties into our next mistake which is a fairly newer one…
Mistake #2 – Using the Gym as an Insta Backdrop
If you’re a frequent social media user you may be entranced by sponsored fitness influencers and think “hey I can do that too – after all they were once an average too…”.
Although this is tempting and looks like a glamorous lifestyle, there’s a lot behind the filter you’re not seeing (one of them probably being a filter).
A lot of the sponsored pros you see on social media have been in the industry for years, or may be affiliated someway with the brand they’re promoting. A good way to see this in action is if they’re constantly doing product placement for the same product or brand, or constantly offering discount codes for the same thing.
Another problem is a lot of the juiceheads or gym babes you see on IG may look really attractive in their expensive workout gear – but don’t actually know what they’re doing. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen someone at my gym take a selfie – while sitting backwards on a weight machine or using a piece of equipment entirely wrong. Doing this is obviously dangerous and can lead to serious injury.
Instagram is great for accountability and inspiration – but don’t believe everything you see when you’re looking at #workoutgoals. Instead find some decently priced workout gear and go to the gym with a friend or trainer who knows what they’re doing from experience, not a phone camera.
Mistake #3 – Not Having a Plan
One thing I will give to the social influencers out there is they at least have some sort of schedule or plan lined out for their methods (even if those methods just involve the number of selfies they plan on editing).
Not having a plan is a basic mistake that many make. It’s partially due to the aforementioned point of not knowing exactly what it is you’re doing when you get to the gym.
Many rookies will go into the gym and use a machine without knowing what it does, or what section of their body they’re working on. This can lead to discouragement and some may think that not seeing results means their routines need to be switched up or changed again, and again, and again…
…do NOT make this mistake. Constantly changing your routine means the parts of your body you’re working on constantly changes as well – which can hinder results.
Lots of gyms offer beginner and intro sessions, or have private training sessions so you can curate a regime based on your fitness desires. However it’s impertinent you stick with your plan without switching it up (there will be variety in your workout plan itself so you won’t be doing the same thing or using the same machines every time). This can make correcting mistake #4 even harder…
Mistake #4 – Not Keeping Track
A lot of rookies don’t know this because they don’t often see anyone do this – but keeping a workout journal is extremely important to achieve those hashtag workout goals mentioned earlier.
If you’re not measuring or keeping track of anything, it’ll be impossible to improve upon. What should you record, you ask? The answer is: everything.
Keep track of the exercises you did and how long you did them for. Also track which weights you used, the amount you used, and how many reps you did.
It’s also important to take photos to track your physique and jot down your body measurements. This is an easy way to see if your diet and exercise are fruitful. It’s also an easy way to determine if what you’re doing isn’t working, so you can make the necessary changes.
Mistake #5 – Thinking Supplements are Superior
If you’ve been anywhere near social media lately you have probably seen scams or worse, multi-level marketing schemes that are selling you supplements that will make you thinner, harder, better, faster, stronger, etc…
Or you may think you have to get on some wild cocktail of steroids and protein powders.
There are definitely supplements that professionals get from trusted sources to get their gains for personal use or for a competition. However keep in mind that these are pros and understand how their body works and how it works in tandem with the foods they eat.
Keep in mind the best way to see results is continual exercise and a healthy diet. Once you know what you’re doing and what you’re eating then you can think about using supplements for further gains.
Mistake #6 – No Form Focus
One of the biggest misconceptions about working out is that you overlook the details and still get ripped. A lot of newbies still think what they learned in P.E. class in highschool still applies to their adult physique.
Wrong again. As you grow your body requires different kinds of workouts depending on the area you want to work out. A big component of this is paying attention to your form! This means making sure your back is flat and straight and that your joints aren’t sticking out in all directions when you’re working out.
A good way to notice this is to exercise in front of a mirror to master your movement patterns for particular exercises. Then turn away from the mirror with your proper form to target the muscles you’re working out.
If you don’t pay attention to the details, your body won’t get detailed either.
Mistake # 7 – Ignoring Leg Day
So you’ve probably seen the viral social posts of gym bros and babes who have skipped leg day. You know – the photos where someone’s torso and arms are huge and it looks like they’re standing on pipe cleaners? Leg day should for sure be a priority.
Some people will believe that because they run, jog, bike, or play some sort of running sport that they’re working out their legs enough and don’t have to when they hit the gym.
Incorrect again! Competitive sports are great exercise, but playing a few soccer matches isn’t going to build leg strength, increase size, or enhance endurance the same way barbell exercises can. Weight lifting also helps to strengthen joints and bones for stronger and shapelier legs.
Over time stronger legs can actually lead to better gains throughout the rest of your body because it activates growth hormones. Every temple needs to start with a solid base – and so do you.
Mistake #8 – Running on Empty
A lot of beginners who want to lose weight and gain muscle fast think they should do so on an empty stomach. Or they want to limit their calorie intake on workout days to get awesome after photos for social media.
This is not only an incorrect way to think about health, but can also be dangerous as well. It’s a common misconception that calories = bad, when reality calories help you with energy intake and expelling.
Like with machinery – your body won’t work properly if it’s not properly fuelled, especially before a workout. If you really want to crush workouts you should be eating proper quantities of the proper foods. A light protein-rich snack a couple of hours before your workout is ideal for training efficiently and even enhances recovery after.
If losing weight is your goal then using a calorie counter and food journal can help determine diets and intake to accomplish it.
Mistake #9 – Missing Workouts
If you’re new to gym life and working out it’s a given that your body is going to feel sore and tired afterwards.
Sometimes after a long day it might be tempting to just crash on the couch and binge watch something to turn your brain off and take care of your lazy body.
This approach obviously won’t help you see any results. It’s easy to think about the pain associated with your post-workout to avoid it altogether. However the key to consistent physical results is to consistently be working on them.
If you find yourself too tired after work to workout try going in the morning or during lunch. If you’re body is incredibly sore for long periods of time try hitting the gym fewer times during the week. The key here is to honor your commitments and to never give up.
Mistake #10 – Working Out Too Often
Some rookies may be incredibly determined to meet their weightloss goals or follow through hard with their New Year’s resolutions. Sometimes this results in not only sessions with a personal trainer, but doing reps on their own time or spending their entire weekend at the gym with buddies along with their weekly routine.
If this sounds like it’s exhausting it’s because it is. Overtraining can be just as bad as not training at all. Because most social influencers will post updates every single day and seemingly every single minute, it can be easy to think you too need to be at the gym all the time.
However working out your shoulders, abs, arms, legs, back, chest, and doing cardio on top can lead to serious fatigue – which can seriously slow your progress.
Don’t overdo it. No one gets results over night and you’re not an exception to the rule. Pace yourself accordingly and listen to your body when it’s telling you to take a break.
Everyone wants to see huge gains and lose weight fast. However, so few beginners who want to work on their physique know that it takes time, effort, and consistency to get that smoking bod to share all over the gram.
There are a lot of scams and cons companies out there selling supplements and pills that will claim they can help you lose weight and gain muscle faster. Although there are legit supplements the pro’s use to get their gains, if you’re just a beginner you should ask a professional about them first.
Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable with and don’t push your body too hard too quickly. Pace yourself, control your diet, and stick to your plans. The best part about achieving your goals is working towards them and seeing your success measured over time.
So get your gear and start beasting it up!