Beginners Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

By John Krueger (About the Author)

Every day someone decides to improve their health and fitness, but just as many people give up on their health goals because they ran into commons mistakes. Here is some of the mistakes/issues beginners tend to run into, and some tips on how to avoid them. 


1. Setting an unattainable goal or having too many goals at one time. 

So you made the decision to begin a better healthier lifestyle and to hit the gym, that's great. The issue is you probably also set the goal of eating 100% clean, train 5 times a week, get a 6 pack, and a 300 pound bench press or squat; all at the same time. While all that may sound good, it can cause a few problems. First off, when you are chasing numerous goals at one time your attention and focus is divided. When people set such a high bar with their goals and fall short, or don't see progress as quick as they want they get discouraged or even end up quitting. My advice is to focus in on the goals most important to you and simplify them. Using the previous examples, this could mean eating better than you did previously (before you made the decision to get healthier), and committing to hitting the gym 2-3 times a week. Doing this will allow these things to become more routine or even a habit, and will make increasing your goals or adding new ones easier. 

2. Not being patient

The fitness lifestyle is a marathon, not a sprint. As cliche as that sounds, its true. A lot of people in today's society expect the quick fix, instant results, or magic pills. When it comes to changing your lifestyle, your habits, and transforming your body; it all takes time. You cant expect to see results overnight. It can take weeks or even months for your body to adapt and start to change, so be patient. Many people give up and quit trying before there body has adapted and began to change, don't let it be you. When trying a new workout plan, or a new diet, give it a couple weeks before deciding if it is working or not. 

3. Failing to plan, is planning to fail

Walk into any gym in america, and you will see numerous people aimlessly walking around from machine to machine with no structure or plan to their workouts. This is not to say you must be following a structured routine (if you are interested in a structured plan but can't find the right one for you, allow us to help!) but to say you should have a plan as to what you are working on any given day. Whether its a chest day, back, arms or even legs; it is important to put some thought into your workout for the day. Doing this will not only produce better results, it will cut the time you spend in the gym down as well and let you focus on the task at hand. Another place people fail to plan properly is in the kitchen. Not making a grocery list, not having healthy food on hand to eat or cook, and not prepping meals are all things that can cause your diet to go down the wrong path and quick. By not having the right food available, it makes it easy to justify eating the wrong things. Meal or food prepping is another way to avoid missing meals or eating the wrong thing. I never used to prep meals, or cook food in bulk; and my diet suffered because of it. Once I began to cook foods in advance, or fully prepare meals in tuber ware and have them ready to go for the week; eating nutritiously became simple. 

4. Using the scale as the only way to determine progress

 Almost all fitness journeys begin with a weight goal in mind. The issue with this is people then use the number the scale reads as the only judge of progress. how you look and feel are probably the best measurements of your progress when you're just starting out, hell even the way your clothes fit can tell you a lot about your progress. Your performances during exercise is another way to judge progress: are you getting stronger? Do you have more energy throughout the day? is physical exercise easier to get through? The issue with the scale is that it is simply a number, and doesn't tell the whole story. Muscle mass, water weight, bone mass, and body fat all make up your scale weight but none of those things are shown when you step on the scale. For example; if you lose 5 pounds of body fat and gain 3 pounds of muscle mass, the scale will only read a loss of 2 pounds but the way you look and feel will have changed. Make sure to judge your progress in multiple ways and stay consistent with what you are doing! Being consistent is the key to accomplishing any goal in the gym (as well as most of them outside of it as well).