Most Common Mistakes - Trying to do everything at once
It’s easy to get drawn in to the funky looking exercises, or to watch a Crossfit Games and think you need to do Olympic lifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, running, open-water swimming, calisthenics, strength & conditioning and everything in between.
Having been in the fitness industry for over 16 years now (and training in various forms before that), I also fall victim to this.
I’m pretty competent with freeweights, bodyweight and gymnastic work, rings, kettlebells, clubbells, Animal Flow, strongman, olympic lifting and more…
As a result, I often try to incorporate as many of these elements as I can into my training, both to keep things interesting, and because I struggle to exclude things that I know are beneficial.
However, whilst it’s good to be adaptable and competent in many disciplines, for most people who have specific goals, it’s also important to prioritise.
If you train for the fun of it, because you just enjoy doing it, you can pretty much do whatever you like.
But if you’re training for a certain result, you need to have some restraint and consistency.
Yes, repeating workouts can be a bit boring, but you’re not there for entertainment, you’re there for results; and the fastest results will come from a well devised routine.
You can include some of the exercises you want to do around the elements that you need to do but the basis of your program should be the biggest “bang for your buck” exercises in terms of your desired result.
Personally, I’ve found that having 3-4 set workouts with an extra “free” workout where I can play around with some different kit and exercises is a great way to incorporate more exercise modalities into my training.
I can rest assured knowing I’ve completed the work I need to do in order to progress towards specific goals, but can also play around with stuff that’s not as productive for my specific goal, but is fun and keeps me from losing some of the other skills I’ve developed over the years.
Handstands aren’t particularly relevant to hypertrophy or fitness, but I wouldn’t want to never do them again, because I enjoy the challenge and I don’t want to lose the ability to do them....
Heavy deadlifts aren’t going to help me move better, but I don’t want to avoid them and lose strength...
For most people, wanting muscle gain (hypertrophy) or fat loss, all you need to do is stick to the basics and get as strong as you can with them - working on constantly improving technique, control, sets/reps/weights.
You don’t need to use every new piece of kit the gym gets, or copy what you’ve seen on youtube.
The reason most people chop and change routines is because they want quicker results and they’re constantly searching for the next “best” exercises to do to bring about that change. Looking for ways to change an exercise to make it “better”.
Ironically, every time you change exercises, you almost reset your starting point again as you have to accustom yourself to the new movements, learn the technique and establish the correct working weights… then set about building up again. This actually sets you back a week or two (if not more) - time you could have been steadily progressing with your old exercises.
It could take you 6 months to learn an Olympic lift like the snatch before you can really start progressing with it - whereas that same 6 months spent working on a high-pull or a power clean would undoubtedly do more for your strength and physique.
So, if you’re training because you enjoy it, you have free-reign to do whatever you enjoy the most and change it up as often as you like. As long as you’re working hard and challenging yourself, you should be making progress and getting fitter, stronger, healthier and more mobile.
But if you have a specific goal in mind, or you don’t “enjoy the process”, you’ll get the best results by getting a (probably quite basic) program set up, and sticking to it for as long as it takes to get the results you’re after.
If you really can’t stand to repeat the same workouts over and over, of course you can mix things up and change things as much as you like, but you need to be aware that your results will likely suffer as a result of this - doesn’t mean you won’t get where you want to be, just that it might take a little longer. So decide if it’s worth the trade-off and make your decision in the knowledge of that.
If you want my help getting your training plan and nutrition in line with your goals, or figuring out how to incorporate other stuff into your program without it affecting your end goal too much, get in touch and let’s chat - Online Coaching is the perfect way for me to set your program and monitor it as you progress, as well as help you overcome obstacles on the way and get control over your results.