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5 Fitness Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

5 Fitness Mistakes That Are Holding You Back

Trying to live a healthier lifestyle and getting fit is a long process, especially if you’re not a very active person to begin with. Sometimes you hit a point where you just want to quit because you haven’t gotten the results you wanted yet, or because it seems like nothing is working. Looking back at some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past that have hindered my progress towards a healthy lifestyle, I can pinpoint exact issues or problems I had that were holding me back. There’s a good chance that you too have made at least one or more of these mistakes, but you probably didn’t realize how much they were holding you back.

With that said, here are 5 fitness mistakes that may be holding you back and stopping you from getting the results you want.

1: Spending Too Much Money

Loading up on all the latest gadgets, equipment, and workout apparel you can find won’t help you lose weight or get fit any more quickly. In fact, the only thing that will be getting lighter is you wallet. A few late night infomercials and that new Ab Blaster 3000 starts to look like the solution to all your fitness problems. Seeing ripped fitness models using that great new equipment might give you some temporary motivation but after you’ve bought the Iron Gym, Perfect Pushup, and whatever else is the newest craze, and you haven’t actually used any of it, you’ll start to realize it was just a waste.

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Instead of buying more and more equipment, focus on just using whatever resources you already have available. All you have to do is start putting in the work and the results will come.

2: Over-Planning

Planning ahead and scheduling is great, but when something throws your schedule off it can ruin your entire journey. Don’t stress over being exact and getting everything down to the tee so much. I think having a schedule as far as what areas you want to focus on is great, but breaking it down to the exact exercise you want to do and limiting yourself to just those is over-planning. Get a general idea going and then go with what feels natural.

Let’s say you have a schedule of going to the gym Monday-Friday. You create the schedule down to the hour of when you’re going to go, but something comes up on Monday and you have to go a little later than you planned. So you miss that day and say you’ll just go Tuesday morning. But then you don’t wake up on time and end up missing that workout. Before you know it, it’s Friday and you haven’t been to the gym once. This is the damage that over-planning can do and why you should try to avoid it.

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3: Socializing Too Much At the Gym

The gym is not a nightclub or a hang-out spot. You should be going to the gym with one thing on your mind, so give it all you have. Standing around socializing will severely hold you back in your fitness journey. Going to the gym with a friend is a great way to keep you motivated and get you through the workout, but you shouldn’t be spending more  time talking than working.

If you leave the gym without a drop of sweat on you but you somehow managed to plan out your entire weekend while you were there, you’re socializing way too much. A great tip to avoid this is to wear headphones while you’re there to keep your mind on your workout and block out everything else.

4: Being Inconsistent

Consistency is key when you’re trying to get fit, and working out one week but going M.I.A the next is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. You have to get some sort of consistency going in order to make sure you get great results and don’t end up giving up. The longer you go without working out, the less likely you will be to return.

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This is probably one of the reasons I like the idea of paying for a gym membership so much—you’re much more motivated to consistently go to the gym if you’re paying for it. Otherwise it’s like you’re throwing money away each month. Once you start going regularly, you’ll start to feel weird when you miss a day. That’s because you’ve made the gym a part of your regular routine and you almost need to go in order to function properly.

5: Being Too Scared

Fear is probably one of the biggest things holding you back. You might be scared of:

  • Being judged
  • Giving up
  • Failing
  • Not getting the results you want quick enough

You have to overcome these fears if you ever want to reach your full fitness potential. You have to keep your eyes on the prize and just keep working. Fear not only stops you from going to the gym, but  it can also prevent you from giving it your all while you’re there.

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What’s stopping you from getting the body you want?

 

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

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    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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