In the words of Albert Einstein: “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new”. Mistakes aren’t something we should be ashamed of, it’s impossible to be a fitness expert from the word go and making errors is important to get to know the nuances of our individual bodies. Nevertheless, continually committing the same errors can be detrimental to your physical progress and as a result your psychological well-being. By delving into 10 of the most common fitness blunders, we'll highlight exactly what you can do to avoid them.
How can you fully appreciate what you’ve achieved if you can’t remember or compare where you started? Recognizing and celebrating progress is a vital part of enjoying your fitness journey. Make sure to note the date, take ‘before’ photos (from many different angles!) and get on the scales before you start (yes, even if it’s a daunting prospect!). We want you to feel proud your development and these simple steps will help you to value each small improvement.
If you're having real difficulty with sustaining motivation, be brave and share your goals with a supportive relative, friend or colleague who's influential and tough enough to not let you quit. We recommend mapping out your ambitions using 12-week timeline periods with clear milestones to help you track progress.
Correct execution of exercises is something that takes practice and mistakes are inevitable. However, working hard to improve the accuracy of your movements is crucial to preventing injuries and accelerating your physical progression. Never shy away from asking a staff member at your gym to demonstrate an exercise or to instruct you on how to use a machine– it’s their job so make use of them!
The "go hard or go home" mentality can see you producing fast but very unsustainable results. It’s a huge misconception that relentless exercise creates unparalleled results. In fact, if you drive your body too hard too quickly, you aren’t going to experience the results you desire or deserve. What it all comes down to is a mindset change and some patience: healthy eating and consistent exercise need to become a sustainable and enjoyable way of life, not a short-term fix that leaves you feeling overworked.
If we don't continuously push our bodies to adapt to new modalities it can stagnate our progress, meaning that improvement plateaus, leaving us feeling demotivated due to limited advancement. So, here is our reminder to get creative and keep switching up your exercises! We recommend modifying your training plan every 4-6 weeks to reap the best benefits.
The excess of articles on exactly what, when, how much and how often to feed ourselves can be extremely overwhelming. It’s been drilled into us that in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you consume and that protein is essential for muscle growth, but despite all the information it’s still so easy to misinterpret nutrition advice. As a starting point, here are some nutrition essentials which can’t be overlooked:
a) Hydration! Water has a wide array of benefits including relieving fatigue, flushing out toxins and even promoting weight loss by reducing hunger pangs and raising metabolism.
b) Up your greens! Vegetables are nutrient dense meaning they pack loads of essential vitamins into minimum calories.
c) High protein intake! Protein is crucial for rebuilding muscle after an intense exercise session. Some great sources include: eggs, chicken, yoghurt, legumes, tofu and many more!
Supplements are exactly what they say on the box, supplementary! Therefore, they should only be used to complement a healthy diet, not replace it. E.g. Iron, calcium and B12 are great for vegans who are lacking certain vitamins, but they cannot substitute good, healthy food.
Why is it that recovery is so undervalued? Doesn’t everyone crave a rest day where they’re forced to put their feet up? Start accepting that sleep is your best friend. Fatigue is an awful thing. It increases sugar cravings and doesn’t allow your muscles time to restore themselves, leaving you unenergised, drained and unable to physically perform at your best.
Nowadays, social media and reality are too often confused. Don’t fall victim to being deceived by heavily edited and misleading photos, exaggerated progress stories and inaccurate facts posted for self-promotion or advertisement purposes. If you follow a fantastically inspirational Instagram or Twitter account, that’s great, share it with everyone! But make sure you don’t unfairly compare yourself or your progress to possibly artificial and false images, which will only serve to lower your self-esteem, and negatively warp your attitude towards your success so far.
Everyone’s fitness journey is different; we have diverse body types, varying schedules and contrasting goals. Fitness is a very personal endeavor which cannot be condensed into a ‘one fits all’ solution. We all know someone who appears to not spend a second exercising but is always eating and looks like a supermodel… However, this is rarity and there’s no point getting overly caught up in others peoples’ lives, instead, focus on your health and your happiness. Fitness and being social can come hand in hand in a positive way, but we must focus more on supporting and sharing with one another, rather than comparing and trying to imitate each other.