Getting fit requires patience, consistency and progression, but it also helps to know what not to do.
What was your biggest exercise training mistake?
Share your advice and help others avoid the same exercise training mistakes you made.
Listen to your body
- When I was working out in the gym last month I was doing an exercise for shoulders and I had a small pain, then I stopped for a second but thought... it's nothing and i continued. In the next repetition the pain was very bad. It wasn't something important but kept me back from my training for 2 weeks. Listen to your body & stop when you have pain.
- —Guest Manos
- Every few months I tend to go through a down phase where I don't feel like working out and cut back on things. Usually I do 'maintenance' exercise and try to get motivated and it passes in a week or two. One time I stopped everything and instead of lasting a week or two it lasted a few months. I'm not a real proponent of "mind over matter" stuff, but it's important to keep your head in the game and fight back against negativity instead of giving into it. These days I like to look at motivational videos on youtube if I'm not excited to go work out. It sounds stupid but there's so many out there you're bound to find one that resonates if you look around. One of my personal favorites is "I still have a soul", it's an add for HBO boxing but I think it's pretty great. Check it out if you need a mental boost.
- —Guest ktbiz
Overtraining because of my ego
- I've overtrained - twice. The first time was a mistake, not realising that my new, more intense style of training was taking its toll on my body. I took off a free days from exercising until I felt ok. The second time, my ego got the better of me and I ignored the signals from before: aching in my muscles that feel like I'm getting the flu. It's not so much that my muscles can't take it, but my central nervous system crashes. Now I know to take an extra rest day if I need it, or do some "vanity" workouts on my arms!
Too much too fast
- This article is excellent. It covers many of the "do nots" when starting an exercise regime. I've always been guitar shaped and hate it! So I always start lifting weights and doing cardio every year but I go at it so hard I end up exhausted after a few weeks or worse injure one or more tendons. Now I know it's more important to start slow, work the entire body evenly, not work out more than 45-60 minutes, and be CONSISTENT -> slow and steady wins the race. I'm now five workouts into my new 'easy-does it' plan and I'm not sore, stiff and exhausted at work the next day. I should have been better to my body. In the short run, my Rambo style workouts seemed to indicate dedication, but I was really fooling myself - because it made me quit EVERY TIME. Since I am now turning 40 soon - this is it. I have to adopt a fitness plan that I can stick with, and that is not so GREULING! Muscles can be a bit sore the next day but if you're in PAIN and it lasts for DAYS you've over-exerted and are doing more damage than good. After only five workouts and the new diet mods (low fat, high energy diet) I can actually see a small but very real improvement! My pants are looser and my shoulders and arms are more defined. Why I quit before is I could not workout every other day due to the pain - I would need days to recover from one workout. Now I workout every other day with no serious soreness the next day. Instead of dreading my next workout and putting it off (which leads to QUITTING) I actually LOOK FORWARD to the next time I can work out! I'm really psyched and positive about exercise this time! But I needed to change my "old habits" and ideas about diet and fitness. I too thought "I knew how to eat and work out". But I didn't. I needed to admit that to to myself get past the barrier of ignorance. This is apparently very common!
- —Guest Doughboy
arrive at an event EARLY
- A few years ago I ran an out of town 8K race. I didn't arrive in enough time to properly warm up or hydrate or calm my pre-race jitters. I also worked overtime the day before! As a result I was tired, edgy, crampy and dehydrated during the race. My time wasn't bad but it certainly wasn't an easy go! I realize I needed to have a disastrous race in order to enjoy the many good races I've had since.
- One of the biggest training mistakes I made was trying to be stronger than I was in the gym. At my old gym it was male bravado vs. strong girls. Us woman had to fight for a position by the mirror and for pull up bars. So one day in the heat of the struggle I jumped up and started to do pull ups, though I cannot do one, and pull my pec minor, just by trying to stand up for girls in the gym. Silly move! And painful.
- —Guest chelsea paul
Exercise Training Mistake
- I made a mistake having the wrong form when sqatting 315 pounds and injured my back. I was comming up and rounded my back and felt a pain and it got worst as the days went on, I had to take some time off from working out and let it rest. It eventually went away and I got back to working out. Keep the proper form when you are working out.
- —Guest Kevin
The Terrible Too's ! ! !
- My past training mistake w/running would be what I read appropriately titled 'the terrible too's meaning that I did too much too soon, too much too far, too much too fast and expecting quicker results way too soon. I have had to learn the hard way by injuring myself w/my left knee which landed my up with a visit w/an orthopedic surgeon. He said there was tendinitis plus water in the knee. He recommended physical therapy & stopping of all running of course for months. I couldn't go up/down stairs. I have learned that I need to have patience, consistency, perservence and a positive outlook about my training program. With working it that way in conjunction w/diet change, 100 lbs have now come off in a year. When I can't get out there & run, I can't beat myself up for it. I have to say to myself that it is ok & I will have plenty of other days to get out there You have to cut yourself some slack. A mistake I am currently making is by not incoporating strength training w/in my program
Not Patient After Injury
- I sustained a dramatic hamstring pull playing ultimate frisbee. I returned to play as soon as it felt better, and re-tore it... three times. I don't like standing on the sidelines.
Lengthy Training Sessions
- My biggest mistake was thinking that in order to get a good workout, I had to be in the gym for hours at a time. Anything less & I wasn't dedicated! We now know that taking much more than an hour for a strength workout increases catabolism. Ideal strength workouts should be from 45-60 minutes. If you're regularly taking longer than this, your workout needs to be re-designed.
- —Guest Steve Zawrotny, MS, CSCS
- Hi my mistake was that i was doing squats without a weight belt and i wore fitted jeans just because i was to lazy to change clothes and get my weight belt.I would knot do that again.
- —Guest Leon Stephens
- not training the whole body evenly and ignoring injuries. Ignoring achilles tendon pain for 3 years led to me having surgery.
- —Guest Indifference
- Twice I've bonked on long bike rides because I didn't bring any food. Now I try to plan ahead and bring a snack - nuts, energy bar, or just a basic PB&J works if I remember to pack it.
- —Guest jillian
Not a Full Body Workout
- I was one of those guys that focused more on bench strength and was not consistent in working my back or shoulders. That philosophy, which isn't mine alone, caused me to have a problem with my right rotator cuff. Now I know that I do need to work the entire frame of my body, and have improved my overall health and fitness.
- —Guest Bill
Doing what they do
- Biggest workout mistake was copying someone else's workout that wan't right for me. I like coming up with my own training plan based upon how I feel and what I need on a given day. An off-the-shelf training plan is not the way to go. A great training plan needs to be customized.
- —Guest BrianSoccerDude