No one starts their fitness journey knowing what to do or how to do it. You may have a goal in mind, but finding the right path to reaching that goal takes lots of tiral and error.
If you’re lucky, you might have a buddy who can show you the way and help you avoid making mistakes that would make your journey longer and harder than it has to be.
If you’re like me, however, you started this journey on your own with no one to guide you but- well, trial and error!
That’s why I put together this list of 5 potential mistakes you could be making that are stopping you from making the progress you could be making, but aren't.
1.You’re not consistent enough
Consistency is the key to achieving anything. No matter what you’re trying to achieve, fitness related or not, you need to be consistent in order to see results.
And the key to being consistent, is to build sustainable habits.
You want to find a routine that works for you. If working out 5 days a week is sustainable for you, perfect- go for it. But if you find yourself skipping out or not giving it your all, you might want to tweak your schedule!
The same goes for your eating habits. Going on a 1200 calorie diet is not sustainable. That’s a diet meant for a literal child, and it will lead to uncontrollable binging episodes and malnourishment. Trust me, I’ve been there.
But once I finally found a game plan that was sustainable for both my physical and mental health, I was able to be consistent with my work, and I was getting closer and closer to my goals by the day.
You want to make healthy living a way of life. Something that’s going to be as easy as brushing your teeth in the morning.
Gradually building up from a solid foundation will take you further, in less amounts of time, then jumping into the deep end and drowning because you weren’t prepared.
So take your time and find what works for you. Find yourself a workout routine and a meal plan that you can truly stick to- that you can truly sustain. And then stick to it. That’s the first step to having a successful fitness journey.
2.You’re not eating right
The second biggest mistake I ever made, which I recommend you avoid, is believing that I could out train a bad diet.
For the first few months of my fitness journey, I was completely off the roster in regards to my diet. I either wasn’t eating enough, or I was eating too much of the bad things.
And it wasn’t until I was about 6 months into my journey, without having seen any results, and on the verge of giving up, when I finally got the slap in the face I needed.
Eating is about 90% of the journey. Making sure you get all the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients your body requires to operate is essential to making progress in the gym.
Skimping on your nutrition can drastically reduce your ability to perform and puts you at risk of injury, increased recovery time, hormonal problems, fatigue, and even menstrual problems.
But when healthy eating becomes part of your lifestyle, you will not only feel physically healthier and more capable, but you will also feel much, much happier.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs, on top of drinking plenty of water, will have a bigger impact on your fitness journey than working out will.
Making sure your body is properly nourished will also help you stay consistent seeing as your body will always be fueled up and ready to go.
And sooner than later, you’ll find yourself craving healthy foods that make you feel good over the comfort food that brings you temporary joy and a lifetime of regret.
3.You’re not paying attention to your form
Once you’ve got your routine and nutrition on point, you want to focus on mastering your form.
People often get way too excited to start their journey and try to work their way up to heavier weights without having formed a solid foundation.
But just like anything in life, the quality of your workouts is far more important than the quantity.
Perfecting your form will not only help you prevent injury, it will also boost your performance by strengthening the right muscles necessary for each exercise.
The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself because you were performing an exercise with improper form. This will put you out for weeks forcing you to miss out on precious time you could’ve used to advance in your journey.
Proper form helps you work out more efficiently so you can target the right muscles from the start and work your way up, rather than having to go back down to square one after realizing you came all this way, incapable of advancing further, because you didn’t do things right the first time around.
Stick to low weights and low reps while you master your form and learn the proper movement for each exercise before upping your weight. This will save you time and your health in the long run.
4.You’re not truly pushing yourself
Once you’ve mastered your form, you want to start upping the intensity of your workouts every 1.5-2 weeks or so. This is what we call progressive overload.
Progressive overload is the concept of continuously challenging more of your body, forcing it to adapt and change rapidly.
After training, your muscles recover so that they’re stronger than they were before training. Without progressive overload, you put yourself at risk of plateauing- reaching a state where there’s little to no change in your progress since your muscles have nothing to recover from and adapt to.
Strength training, weight training, and resistance training are each a form of stimulus that when paired with progressive overload, will continuously challenge your body to adapt. You can do this by:
- Increasing the intensity of your workouts (heavier weight)
- Increasing the volume of your workouts (more reps)
- Increasing the frequency of your workouts (working out a muscle group more often throughout the week)
- Increasing the tension exuded on your muscles (performing exercises with a lower speed adds tension to your muscles making them harder to perform)
Manipulating one of these factors during your workouts is enough to help you increase your workload and get you closer to reaching your goals.
We have a more detailed article on progressive overload which you can access right here.
5.You don’t add pineapple to your pizza
... #bootykingmademedoit ? 😅
Okay fine, maybe I only had four reasons why you’re not seeing the results that you want. But I promise you if you follow these four tips, you’ll be surprised by how much the smallest tweaks in your routine can make a world of difference in your journey.
If you're having a hard time figuring out where to start, try out this workout program that helped me get on the right track and acted as my guide throughout the beginning of my fitness journey. It helped me figure out which workouts I should be doing, what and how much I should be eating, and it costs less than hiring a personal trainer!
It also has instructional videos for every workout so you can make sure you have good form and it gets gradually harder and harder so you never hit a plateau. And the best part is there's a home and a gym edition so you can pick and choose according to which one fits your lifestyle best ☺️