Most Common Mistakes - Doing too much too soon

People starting a new fitness regime often go from doing nothing, to following a crazy, unsustainable routine that leaves them exhausted.


The truth is, you just need to increase what you’re doing a little bit at a time.


So if you’ve been doing nothing, it’s sensible to start small - maybe even just walking, adding a couple of thousand steps to your current activity levels and building up over a few weeks.


As far as training goes, again, start small. A good warm-up followed by a half-hour session with moderate weights, a couple of times per week is a great starting point.


As you get fitter and stronger, and more accustomed to working out, you can increase the length of the workout to 45 minutes (plus the warm-up) - this is actually all most people really need anyway and anything in excess of this is likely too long.


Then you can add a third workout to the week, whilst maintaining the higher step count every day.


Next, you can start to increase the intensity of the workouts, gradually increasing weights, sets or reps.


When it comes to increasing weights, this is another area where people tend to do too much too soon and increase by large amounts each workout (or even each set) until they’re very soon at their maximum working weights. They then work at these top weights all of the time, rarely, if ever, giving their body and muscles a break with some lighter work.


The common trend is for people to join a gym and then attempt to get there 3, 4, 5 times a week - it’s a HUGE task for someone who’s not used to doing anything.


The initial enthusiasm is great but often short-lived as the overwhelming task of suddenly getting yourself to the gym 4 times a week becomes too much and you’re feeling more tired than before you started exercising!


The same goes for diet - going from a terrible, all-you-can-eat, anything goes diet, to trying to follow a strict eating plan with reduced calories and a set menu of foods you don’t really enjoy, and eliminating the foods you do really enjoy.


As with the exercise plan, this often falls apart very quickly, with rapid return to your old eating habits.

The key to long-term success is to take a long-term approach.


Little by little, everything improves. It may feel like a snail’s pace, but before you know it 6 months have passed and your exercise and diet habits have changed completely, with very little effort or stress.


Losing 1lb a week may feel slow, but in a year, that’s 52lbs! That’s huge! If you’re very large, you could even lose more than this (it’s all relative).


The same goes for lifting weights. Adding 1kg to the bar might not be as impressive or satisfying as adding 10kg, but you’ll only go a few weeks adding 10kg before you stop progressing and your technique will likely be getting worse and worse as you add the weight.


Adding 1kg will ensure you’re always progressing, as well as getting your body used to the sets, reps and weights you’re lifting, so adding the next 1kg is barely noticeable, but again, over the course of a year, that’s a huge increase.


As tempting as it is to do everything at once, it rarely works. Be patient and don’t be sold into thinking 6-week “transformations” are the norm - they’re possible but come with a huge trade-off.


Take your time.


Focus on the important things (enjoying training, enjoying your food, not getting injured…)


Patience is key.


The big, muscley guys (or girls) in the gym didn’t get there overnight, don’t think you can. They put in the work, for years (barring those who used drugs to do it).


The slim, toned people in the gym also didn’t likely get like that overnight, but rather over a lifetime of sensible eating and training.


DON’T TRY AND SHORTCUT IT.


Get yourself set up with a sensible training and nutrition plan and get to work.


Don’t expect it to be easy going if you’re trying to change your habits and lifestyle, but the more patient you are, the easier it will be.


If you want to work with me personally on training, nutrition, accountability and lifestyle, get in touch and fill out the Online Coaching Application Form (on my website www.MBonlinePT.com).


Mark


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