I’m an educator at heart. I find enjoyment in teaching people how to become monsters in the gym, and to ultimately live better lives. I spend time, effort, and money to continually improve my service. It’s for that very reason I don’t just work with anybody who walks in through the door inquiring about training.
I always come across people who know what they want with regards to getting in shape and becoming stronger, but when I look at what they do there’s no congruency. For instance, if you’re asking me for advice on how to lose X amount of weight, and then the next day I see you eating junk and drinking alcohol — it’s clear to me you really don’t care about your health. You have to understand that there’s a give and take if you want to improve the way you look.
I’m all for giving tips and advice, but it’s pointless if you’re not willing to make a change.
On many occasions, I’ve interacted with a lot people wanting to shed some weight hoping to gain an advantage in life and to ultimately look better. Not surprisingly though, is that they all make the same mistakes over and over again. They place far too much emphasis on different protocols and methods of training when all they should be adhering to are the basics. And you know what, chances are that you’re making the same mistakes as well.
1. Jumping From One Boat To The Next
Improving your health isn’t rocket science. Get enough sleep, eat a sufficient amount of food, go for a walk, and drink more water. But in that same token, most people have no concept of how long it takes to see progress. They always seem to be flummoxed that getting stronger and improving the way you look takes time.
2. Not Eating Enough
Most people go to the extremes when it comes to fat loss by restricting their caloric intake. It’s as if starting a training and nutrition program is akin to starving and killing yourself in the gym. In other words, their mindset is fixed on working harder and eating less. If you’re into digging deep holes that’s hard to climb out of, by all means.
The pertinent issue here is that your basically starving yourself and while it may work short-term, you will inevitably gain back what you have worked so hard to lose. We have to appreciate the role our metabolism plays. True, you need to create a caloric deficit to drive fat loss (if that is your goal). But, going too far down the rabbit hole will wreak havoc on your metabolism.
Remember, food is fuel. You still need calories in order to burn them.
3. Excessive Cardio
There’s a time and place for aerobic and circuit style workouts — there’s no denying that. But in order to build muscle and get “toned”, you need to lift weights.
Don’t get me wrong or misconstrue what I’m trying to convey, cardiovascular work is a vital component for fat loss — especially if coupled with strength training. But, you don’t need to beat yourself up by doing it everyday.
4. No Focus On Strength Work
As I’ve alluded to in the past, a big mistake a lot of people make (whether their goal is get lean or build muscle) is not placing a premium on strength. Muscle is metabolically expensive in the body. Meaning, the more muscle you have, the more calories you are able to burn. That is why I’m still dumbfounded by the fact that there are still men and women out there who think that lifting weights is going to make you “bulky and muscular.”
You have to lift an appreciable amount of weight that provides enough stimulus for your body to adapt and grow. Who doesn’t want to get stronger? Being able to do a chin-up(s), deadlift 1-2x your bodyweight, or move without pain — the confidence that comes with that is advantageous to your overall health.
5. You’re Not Invincible
Look, I get it — you want to get to your goal as fast as humanly possible. As much as I appreciate people who work hard and bust their balls to achieve the physique they want, you’re not invincible. The fact of the matter is, is that a lot of people are under the impression that training to failure or to the point of exhaustion is indicative of a stellar workout — far from it. Take a day off.