Top 10 Mistakes
Here are the most common “mistakes” that we see men & women make in their health and fitness pursuits.
- Don't spend time warming up. When we are young (i.e. 10-25) our bodies are very resilient and full of all the good hormones and heals very quickly. It's easier to get away with not warming up and stretching, but it catches up to you. Warming up, what does it mean? By performing simple movements like rowing, biking, jumping jacks, air squats, bear crawls, and jumping rope, we begin to increase the bodies core temperature, increase blood flow to extremities and joints and begin to prime the central nervous system for activity. Short high intensity workouts and strength training need longer warm ups. 10-20 minutes. While longer, low intensity workouts can get away with shorter warm ups, 5-10 minutes. Take the time, your body will appreciate it!
- Not pushing yourself because you don’t wanna be to Muscular or bulky. This one is mainly the concern of the ladies out there. This is really an image many have seen on the cover of body building magazines or looking at the professional crossfit female athletes. Lifting weights and pushing yourself in a workout will NOT make you big and bulky. What it will do is make you strong and capable and empowered. Not lifting weights will prevent you from reaching your full fitness potential. Don't cherry pick high intensity days.
- Not understanding the benefits of weightlifting. This is related to the previous point, but let me be a bit more specific about why lifting weights is so important for everyone. We all want to burn more calories, when you have more muscle your body uses more energy, theirfore needing more food, burning more calories, making your body more efficient at reducing bodyfat. Lifting weights can build muscle, more muscle, the more resilient our bodies are fighting the common cold and other ailments that arise. Our body uses protiens to fight bacteria and viruses. More muscle equals quicker recovery and less likely to get worse. Lifting weights builds strength. Making us all more capable of "doing" things. No one likes to feel helpless, get stronger and you wont! Have fun with this, our bodies are capable of so much, why not see what it can do.
- “Punishing” & “rewarding” yourself. Raise your hand if you’ve ever used Monday’s WOD as a “punishment” for weekend indulgences? or any day for that matter.... Or maybe it’s the opposite and you’ve used food as a “treat” for breaking your record while doing a benchmark workout. We've all been there before, lets steer away from the "dog" mentality, i.e. treating ourselves with food. Make it a treat at the spa, or massage, etc... Stay consistent in your training, there is a higher purpose for why you do what you do.
- Not Eating Enough.... Lets not get carried away here. Im not saying you want to eat everything under the sun. Ladies, this one is more directed at you, but guys can struggle with this as well. "Comparison" you want to drive to the beach, its 200 miles away, and your car is saying you have a 1/4 tank and its reading you have aproximately 65 miles remaining until empty. Are you going to make it to the beach without refueling?? Do i need to answer this one...lol Short and simple, you need to fuel your body appropriately in order to perform. If you don't, you will never get to where you want to go. Talk with someone who knows how to eat, and Im not talking about your friend that goes to the gym to. Ask a professional.
- Sacrificing Form for Reps... If you are at a competition and money is on the line and this is how you earn your living, we can talk about the best strategy to get those few extra reps that might get you on the podium. BUT, most of you are not in this circumstance, so lets just cut the BS. Your friends or coworkers dont care how much you lifted today or what your metcon score is, neither does anyone else you are working out with. Nobody cares. Now thats clear, if you don't have a coach watching you, this is tough, we think we are doing great especially in the middle of a workout, but generally speaking things fall apart pretty quick, so video yourself and review it after. this is the only way to be objective and fix it later. Progress comes by pushing your threshold, if you don't bump into that wall, progress usually slows and or stops. Spend most of your time in practice and training mode (80%), go for it 10-20% of the time.
- Overtraining... I worked out 7 days this week, I got 5 hours of sleep 4 days in a row, went out one night until 2am and had a few drinks..... Is any of this sounding familiar? When you are really into something, lifting, CrossFit, etc... it's easy to get caught up in it and overtrain. This leads to injury and burnout. So, how do you know if you’re overtraining? Fatigue, anxiety, depression, disturbed sleep, irritability, change in appetite, lack or irregular menstruation (ladies) and loss of motivation can all be potential signs of overtraining. To avoid crossing that line, schedule rest and active recovery days in your week. Proper hydration! Foam rolling, gentle yoga, light bike riding and massages are all great way to spend a recovery day. Listen to your body. You have the freedom to adjust your workout routine to your own needs.
- Not Taking care of your hands... Who among us doesnt like to look polished and put together? We all have our routines, how we dress, taking care of our skin, special hydrating lotions, and facials, etc... Now take a minute and look at your hands, what do you see? Probably raw hands with calluses that tear off. Yuk, definately not sexy at all! It is very important to care for our hands, especially those of us that hang from a bar, climb ropes, and play with barbells and dumbells frequently. Take care of your hands daily, by scrubbing with a pumic stone, shaving calluses, and moisturizing. Eventually you want to have a thin smooth soft layer of calluses that will help your grip and prevent rips, tears and blisters.
- Not keeping track of your work, no training log... You cant measure what you don't track. If you can't measure then what are you doing it for? The fun of it...? Maybe, but still you are putting in the effort and time why not keep a log of sorts. And in this day and age, with all the apps available theirs no excuse. If you are not tracking, you cant make good decisions on what to do in most workouts, or what you should squat when your asked to go at 60% of your 2 rep max. Again limiting your potential. When you hit that platue and your complaining, why cant I get stronger, or faster in a workout, but you can't see what you've done over the last 6 months, you have no where to go, but quit, or just start taking the 2 minutes after your are done for the day and LOG IT. Simple fix.
- Not Getting enough sleep/rest.. This is probably the biggest mistake and hinderance to reaching your fitness goals. We all have solcial lives and kids, and work and ...... whatever it is. Sleep is where the magic of recovery happens. The more stress you are under the more rest you need. This includes work, family, relationships, fitness, life. All of these things put Strain on your body and if you do not get enough sleep and good sound sleep, something breaks. Could be injury at the gym, sickness, fights with your family, miss a deadline at work, etc... What is a good sleep amount? It varys for each of us, but anywhere between 6.5-9 hours of sleep is recommended for optimal recovery. Consistently getting this sleep is also very important, and getting to sleep at the same time each evening. Work on it, start simple, shut off your computer or phone at least 1 hour before bed, dont watch tv, read or work in bed. The bed is for sleeping, and well.... you know.
CONCLUSIONLearning from your mistakes does not happen automatically—it requires thinking and reflection. The truth is that your performance at the gym and in life is the result of small decisions you take in every workout. You are what you do every day. It's those small seemingly insignifacant choices made daily over the years that make huge differences. Create one new habit per month that is positive towards your fitness goals and in 12 months you will have created a new life for yourself that many will wonder how you did it. Simple. Pick one thing, not 2 or 3 or 4, just one and get to work on it.Steve Grant