The Seven Mistakes Newbies Make When Exercising
Richard Kelly 2nd December 2019
- Spot Training
Spot training is the belief that by training one specific area you can burn body fat there and tone the muscle. The most common spot training site, where people believe this works most, on the body is on the abs. Many people believe that by doing sit ups the fat will melt away and the abs will come through defined in that area. The reality is that this is simply not how the mechanisms of the body work at all. We will discuss this in more detail in a couple of weeks, but you can’t target losing fat in one specific area – the body loses fat generally across the body, not specifically.
- Over-reliance on cardio
Many new exercisers over focus their training on cardio, and most typically in the form of running. Cardio has a place for fitness and is beneficial for heart health and general body function, however it should not form the core of your training unless you are working towards training for a specific event, such as a 10k run or a triathlon. If you have begun exercising for the first time and want to lose weight, get a bit stronger or improve health than cardio training should form no more than a third of your training sessions.
Newbies are often highly motivated. They have a goal and they want to see results, so they tend to come every day. Often you’ll see newbies in the gym four, five, six times a week, and each session is a high intensity, sweat inducing battle. You can’t keep that level of intensity up for long, and levels will start to drop as the accumulation of fatigue kicks in. Long term as well motivation fades and four, five and six sessions a week rapid drops to one or two. It is far better to try to exercise two to three times a week and ensure that they are within the level of difficulty you can handle and sustain long term. That will mean performance won’t drop off and improvement will come.
- Including no resistance training
Very similar to number 2, often newbies don’t include any resistance training in their training whatsoever. Often they only include cardio training, in the mistaken belief that they can do that, strip off the fat and then focus on toning immediately after. The reality is that this simply slows the metabolism down, and makes it even harder to burn off body fat in the long term.
- Following a fad diet
Newbies will often end up picking up the most recent fad diet and following it regardless of signals their body is giving back to them. I have personally come into contact with people following the kiwi diet, the aloe vera diet, juice cleanses, and the coffee diets. All of these diets are designed to cause a dramatic weight loss, but the reality is that they are not sustainable.
- Or, drastically under-eating
The other thing we often see is newbies dramatically under-eating in order to create weight loss. It is very common to come across newbies who have cut down to a single meal a day, and often they consume no more than a few hundred calories per day. This isn’t sustainable in the long term and is certainly not a healthy approach. It is far better to start with a sustainable and healthy diet that you can follow for the long term.
- Expecting quick results
One of the biggest problems newbies have when they begin exercising is the assumption that they can make rapid change in incredibly fast times. Expectations appear to be that in six to twelve weeks they can completely transform their look and have their dream bodies. The reality is that change isn’t rapid. Speak to anyone experienced in the gym and you’ll discover that change takes time. Most experienced exercisers expect some form of change in three months, but most know it could take six months to a year to see any significant progress toward their results. Plan for the long term.
New to fitness and feeling a bit overwhelmed? Then email email@example.com for free advice on what you should do to get started.
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