10 Common Workout Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

common workout mistakes

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fitness beginner or a seasoned pro, everyone is prone to making workout mistakes.

For example, a novice simply doesn’t yet know what to do or what to avoid, whereas a more experienced person can lapse into poor form or get a little lazy with certain aspects of their workout routine just through sheer repetition.

This article highlights ten common mistakes that anyone can make, what the potential repercussions are, and also offers practical tips on how to avoid them.

1. Skipping the warm-up

Often it’s time constraints or enthusiasm that see you just jumping straight into your exercise routine.  Let’s be clear - skipping the warm-up is not a wise idea at all.

Your muscles start out cold and less flexible. Without gently warming them up and stretching first, you increase the risk of injury during your workout. As you perform your warm-up, blood flow increases, your body temperature rises and muscles become more elastic.

Some of the most effective warm-up routines focus on the type of exercises you’re going to be performing. For example, if a dominant portion of your workout will be squats, try warm-up exercises like forward bends and jumping jacks.

Generally warm-up sessions that are brisk and with a lot of movement work well to get the blood flowing and the muscles warmed up. Most of our members  spend their first ten minutes on a treadmill, elliptical machine, bike or rower.

2. Neglecting the cool-down

Just as the warm-up is important before commencing an exercise routine, so is the cool-down period upon completion of your workout. The cool-down promotes muscle recovery and reduces soreness and stiffness following exercise by removing lactic acid from the muscles.

Do some static stretching exercises, holding each stretch for 20-30 seconds. Focus on the muscle groups that were predominantly used during your workout.

3. Incorrect form

No matter what type of exercise you’re doing, whether it’s going for a morning run or lifting weights in the gym, incorrect form is going to cause problems.

  • Firstly, poor form reduces the effectiveness of the exercise, leading to poor results.
  • Secondly, when performing exercises incorrectly, there’s a higher risk of sustaining an injury.

If you’re working out in Live Fit Gym and you’re uncertain about your technique when lifting weights or using any of the equipment, book a session with one of our personal trainers. They’ll guide you every step of the way, ensuring your form is correct at all times.

4. Overlooking strength training or cardio

To truly enjoy the many benefits of regular exercise, it’s a good idea to have a balanced routine. This involves a mix of both cardio and strength training. One is not better or more important than the other. Both are equally beneficial to your overall health and fitness.

Cardio strengthens the heart and lungs and builds endurance. It’s also great for burning calories and keeping those dreaded fat cells at bay. Strength training builds muscles, increases your strength and shapes your body. As you can see, both have their benefits.

The team is always ready to answer any question you have and offer advice regarding your exercise routine. Sessions with a personal trainer can help you develop a balanced routine. Incorporating both cardio and strength training into your workouts will ultimately lead to better results.

5. Lifting too much, too soon

Although this is a common mistake made by beginners, some more experienced trainers are guilty of it as well. Often, lifting too much too soon is driven by impatience to see results sooner rather than later. Other times it stems from ego.

No matter what the reason, it’s never a good idea to start off with heavy weights, or increase weights too quickly. It will lead to injury and then you won’t be able to train at all until you heal.

If you’re just starting out with weight training, keep everything light. Allow time for your muscles to get used to the exercises and focus on developing good form and proper technique before increasing the weights. As you become stronger over the weeks and months, you can gradually introduce heavier weights into specific exercises.

6. Neglecting rest and recovery

The body needs a chance to recover from exercising, so recovery routines and periodic rest days are important. They are actually a vital component of your overall fitness progress. Overtraining can actually hinder results and also lead to nagging injuries.

If the goal is to increase muscle mass, then resting those muscles is essential. Muscles grow while they’re resting, not while you’re lifting weights. Weight training is the catalyst for muscle growth, but it’s during those rest periods that the muscles repair themselves and build up stronger.

7. Sticking to the same routine

It’s a good idea to regularly change things up in your exercise routine, as the body becomes used to the same old exercises and you’ll reach a plateau. You need to keep your body guessing and results will be more rapid and ongoing.

That aside, your routines will be infinitely more interesting with some variety. Sticking to the same routine month after month will mentally become a chore and you’ll stop enjoying your workouts.

Diversify your exercise routine from time to time. Even if you love going to the gym and weight training, get outdoors on some days.

  • Run or power walk, hike a mountain trail or even do some exercises in the local park.
  • In the gym, try different pieces of exercise equipment, or rearrange the order in which you perform your exercises.

Mixing things up will keep you motivated and ensure exercise is always fun.

8. Ignoring nutrition and hydration

Good nutrition and regular hydration are essential for achieving your fitness goals and for maintaining overall good health. Always have a water bottle with you while exercising, whether that’s in our gym, when going for a run, or even when you walk. Hydrate before you exercise, during your workout, and after you’ve finished.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is always recommended no matter what you’re doing. However, don’t overthink it. You don’t need to search for a magic diet to achieve results. Simply consume a good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats and oils. Eating smaller meals more often helps avoid that heavy and bloated feeling, but be sure not to overeat.

We have a great selection of healthy drink and meal options in reception that you can grab if you’re in a hurry.

 9. Setting unrealistic goals

Develop a game plan to achieve your fitness goals. Talking this over with a personal trainer will definitely be a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, many people set unrealistic goals for themselves, usually expecting specific results in an unrealistic time frame. This ultimately leads to feelings of disappointment and a loss of motivation.

Avoid frustration by setting small and achievable targets as you go. Don’t always look at the big picture, as this can be daunting. Focus on what’s in front of you now and take the next step. Have a main goal in mind, but also create smaller goals along the journey for some easy wins.

10. Avoiding professional guidance when needed

If you’re just starting out or you feel you’ve reached a plateau, it’s wise to consult with a fitness professional to get you on the right track to achieving the desired results. A personal trainer will help you develop a routine that matches your expectations. Your trainer will also help you vary your routine to avoid plateaus.

Need help avoiding these mistakes?

Book a session with one of our personal trainers at Live Fit Gym in Yarrabilba. Your trainer will speak with you first to understand what you desire to achieve and then help you develop the best routine to get results. Personal trainers also keep you accountable and motivated and your workout sessions will actually be more fun. Contact us today for further information.