This is a topic I have had in mind for sometime now but never got around to writing. Then yesterday I stumbled across a video of a trainer posting his terrible squatting technique from 10 years ago. He was pointing out that even trainers and fitness pro’s once didn’t know what they were doing and every gym junkie was a newbie. When I first started training I’m pretty sure I didn’t even train legs or attempt to. This has led me to play catch up in recent years training my legs more often and more intensely than any other body part. This has helped me correct my once tiny chicken legs to match my upper body (bar my calves they just wont listen to me and grow).
When I first started training I had no clue what I was doing, I had no thought on correct form, heck I didn’t even know there was a way to lift correctly. I didn’t know how the body worked or what exercises done what, all I knew was performing an exercise would hurt a certain body part for a couple days after. My lack of knowledge also lead me to also set unrealistic goals and believe that in a year or two id have my dream body…….. I’m
still waiting 5 years later. I had no clue that you had to eat correctly to enhance your training, I was eating super noodles un aware that I was not giving my body what it needed to repair and replenish. Despite all this my body made small improvements and and I became more muscular. However if I knew half of what I know now back then I would have made much better progress, I would be a lot closer to my dream body and I would have less reoccurring injuries due to muscle imbalances. In all honesty if I could go back I would 100% pay for a personal trainer to have taught me correct techniques, nutritional guidance and training regimes. If you are new to starting I would recommend that you do the same you may think you are training correctly and a spitting image of the video you watched on youtube but I can assure you you aren’t. A watchful and trained eye can spot things that you can’t along and can also teach you the correct way.
In this blog I will cover how these mistakes can cause impact on you and your results as well as way to fix them.
Lack of Knowledge
My first mistake was starting my fitness journey without having any knowledge, I would strongly suggest you try to acquire some knowledge before starting. If you don’t know how to train and eat right for your goals nine times out of ten you will probably be exercising and eating incorrectly. This can cause a major issue and even set you further away from goals. Most people tackle weight loss with extreme diets and heavy cardio, this is probably the worth thing you can do. Starving yourself will eventually lead to a lack of energy and muscle wastage, this is the worst thing you can do when trying to lose weight. You burn more calories throughout the rest of the day than you do in the gym. Having a lack of energy will cause you to become less active throughout the day and will also impact your workouts. Although you may be eating less calories you will now be burning even less calories due to this lack of energy.
On top of this your pushing your body through high cardio workouts which will contribute to muscle wastage rather than help maintaining it, having less muscle means less calories burned to. So now you have less energy in the day, less muscle mass than when you started and your gym workouts are near non existent. Following a routine like this is going to burn you out and set you up for failure, you will end up hating which will force you back into eating and you will gain More weight than previously due to the lack of muscle. To avoid this I would seek help and knowledge wether it is your local gym, a personal trainer or by seeking advice online, but be aware as a lot of information on the web is misleading.
Skipping Body Parts
Like I said earlier I skipped legs for a huge chunk of my training in the earlier years, a lot of guys go down this same path. Whether its due to “my legs are never out so no one see’s them” or simply just because training legs is hard work. Not only does this look ridiculous but it can have a huge knock on affect later in life and lead to injuries. Training legs correctly will improve joint stability and strength, without this you are more prone to injury, this applies to other body parts to. Skipping any body part will have a knock on affect, cause muscle imbalances and bad posture, which I know all to well about. I have always had a fairly developed bum and traps so I never really trained them as I did not want them to get any bigger. This has led to a heap of posture problems for me today, these muscles may be big but they aren’t strong. Skipping these muscles has caused them to become weak compared to surrounding ones. This has then led the other muscles to pick up the slack, doing jobs they shouldn’t and have led my posture to become poor. You must always train your whole body failing to do so has a heap of problems waiting in store later down the line.
Unrealistic Goal Setting
I set unrealistic goals by thinking I could get my dream body in such little time and with such a lack of knowledge. For a lot of people not meeting their goals the have set (wether realistic or not) will become disheartened and quit once they don’t meet them. For me I quickly learned how wrong I was which helped me correct my goals. Setting realistic goals can stop you becoming disheartened and quitting too soon, you need to find out what is realistic. If you are heavily over weight you can achieve greater weight loss when starting the right programme, if you are slightly over weight your weight loss is going to be slower. A healthy amount of weight to lose will be 1-2lbs per week you may initially lose more at the start but it will eventually slow down. The quicker you lose weight the more unhealthy it will be and higher chance of burn out. If you are looking to add size this process will be even slower than weight loss, adding muscle size is a lot more difficult than weight loss, you can achieve weight loss by just having the right diet, for gaining muscle you must have the right diet and exercise routine. Again at the start you are likely to see a fair amount of change in shape, but is soon to slow down. Expecting to add look like your idol in a couples years of training is unrealistic you must be in it for the long haul not quick over night results. You need to set one big end goal then start setting small short term goals along the way to help keep you going and motivated.
Inconsistency is another huge mistake to avoid and will never lead you to the results you are seeking. I was always on and off with my training when I first started, I would go through phases of starting and stopping, I don’t even remember why as I have always loved training. Things just came up and I put it to the side to pick back up later, but if you have ever been a serious trainer you know you can lose it all pretty quickly. And let me tell you, you will lose your results in shorter time than it took for you to achieve it. Because of this it seriously slowed down my progress, if I had stuck at it consistently I would be much closer to my end goals. “Long term consistency trumps short term intensity” - Bruce Lee. I love this quote and it is great to apply in everything. If we apply it to fitness a lot of people go all out at the start giving it all they have to give but it becomes too hard too soon and they burn out. Where as if you take a long term approach to it, starting off slow with a routine you can be consistent with, you will achieve greater results in the long run and l enjoy it, due to being less punishing.
Bad Eating Habits
I knew from when I first started training if I wanted to get big I had to eat big, but I ate big in the wrong foods and used it as a chance to be greedy. Luckily for me I have a high NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) in simple terms I’m a fidget, because of this I burn more calories than someone who is less of a fidget. But this still didn’t stop me from putting on unnecessary fat, I massively over ate on carbs, processed food and did not consume enough protein to sustain my training needs. I did add muscle but when it came to getting in shape for summer I had to do a lot of extra work in order to drop body fat. For someone who wants to lose weight you could be doing all the right things in the gym but if you are eating too much and your diet is poor then so will your results and waistline be. You need to compliment your training with a good eating routine making sure at least 80% of your diet is from healthy natural foods. Failing to do so you will fail to see your inches come down which will soon lead you to giving it all up to a lack of results. Seek how many calories you need to achieve your goals then plan your meal accordingly.
At the end of the day it really does all come down to one thing and that is knowledge, you may know you have to eat less or train with weights, but this is only a scratch of the surface. You need to find out how much less you need to eat, what foods you need to eat, what exercises to perform, how hard you need to push yourself in the gym. Knowing these things will set you up to receive the best results possible, this is why I write these blogs and informational posts on social media. I want educate you and give you the knowledge you need to go out their to achieve awesome results in health and body image.
If you have any other questions you can contact me through my facebook page The Lemon Frog Fitness Company, my Instagram @lemon_frog_fitness or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading :)