Mistake #1- Focusing Too Heavily on Cardio Machines and Not Using Weights
This is a problem for many people, especially women. Hopping on the treadmill or exercise bike seems like the best option when it comes to burning off calories but you may be overlooking the benefits of weights.
The reason why I said this is more of a problem among women than men is because women are more reluctant to pick up weights out of intimidation, and the fear that they will put on too much muscle and become too manly looking as a result.
Not only will you not look more manly by putting on a little muscle through lifting weights, it can help you burn more fat as well. The more muscle mass you have, the more energy you need to maintain it and thus the more calories you burn as a result.
The difference in muscle composition between the average man and women is a large reason why women on average have a more difficult time losing weight than men.
If you are a woman and are afraid that lifting weights too often will put on too much muscle, keep in mind that exercise alone isn’t the only cause of muscle growth, that you need enough testosterone to do so as well. Unless you are taking steroids, this shouldn’t be an area of concern.
Mistake #2- Bad Form or Using Too Much Weight
One is usually the result of the other, in that when we use too much weight our form suffers as a result. It is better to do less weight with proper form, then it is to do more weight without proper form.
When you lift too much weight without proper form, it not only is affecting your posture, but the bones themselves. All of the stress of the weight is transferred on to the skeleton in the case that the muscle can’t do the job which can lead to stress fractures and other injuries.
Not using proper form also targets the wrong muscles during exercise, and limits your range of motion as well which both negatively affect your results.
Worry about getting the correct form down, and making sure your biomechanics are proper before you worry about adding weight.
Mistake #3- Not Planning Your Routine Beforehand
A big mistake many people who are new to the gym make is that they don’t have any plan going in. They don’t know what muscle groups they want to work, and thus don’t know what machines or equipment they’re going to use ahead of time either.
Going to the gym without a plan pretty much guarantees that you aren’t going to have a fulfilling workout. Make a plan and stick to it, it will help you get through your routine faster while seeing better results at the same time.
Many people make the mistake of modifying their programs because they believe that they have progressed far enough to do so, which isn’t the case for many. Small changes in your routine can have a huge effect on your results, so stick to the plan.
Mistake #4- Not Varying Your Routine
Once you start a program and get used to it, it is easy to get to the gym and just go on autopilot to get through the routine. The thing is, if your body is so well adapted to your routine that you can just go through the motions to complete it, you aren’t going to see as good of results as you did when you first started the program.
At this point, you should switch up your routine. Earlier we mentioned that changing your routine is a bad idea, however making small changes within the routine itself can help you progress further.
This means varying the amount of weight you are doing, the amount of repetitions you are doing per set, and the amount of sets themselves. Just slightly modifying one of these things can help you see accelerated growth.
Doing the same weights over and over again in your routine is great for muscle maintenance, but if you are looking for further development and growth you need to switch up your routine to where your body isn’t used to it, where you can’t just cruise through the routine like you normally would.