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How To Avoid 6 Common Beginner Fitness Mistakes

by John Rowley

We all have made some common rookie fitness mistakes when starting a fitness journey. After all, we’ve all been beginners once.

You might still be making these fitness mistakes. The good news is they can be stopped with just a few slight changes. Making these small changes will help you not only see results quicker but also prevent you from potential injury. Your body will respond like a Ferrari taking a tight corner: fast and effectively!

fitness mistakes

Beginner Fitness Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Mistake #1: Cardio before weight training

Many people do cardio before their weight training. If you are doing this, stop! Your body needs glycogen (blood sugar) for energy during your weight training, and your body can’t burn fat until the glycogen is depleted. Deplete your glycogen while lifting weights, then do your cardio and torch that fat.

Related: 5 Reasons Burst Training is the Perfect Fat Loss Exercise

Mistake #2: Only using one area of the gym

If you are only using one area of the gym – the treadmill, for example – you’re making a rookie mistake. You need to switch up your workouts to see results and ignite that metabolism!

Metabolism is just a twenty-dollar word that means muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, even at rest. Make resistance training the core of your workout program, then cardio as an addition. This will give you lifelong weight loss success.

Mistake #3: Eating unhealthy, fat-producing carbs

Cutting out unhealthy carbs isn’t necessarily easy until you create healthy habits over time, but it’s worth it. Fat control = carb control. As mentioned previously, your body can’t burn fat as long as your body has glycogen to use as fuel, and those simple carbs give you too much glycogen.

Related: Why Carbs Are Your Ally in the Battle to Gain Muscle

Simple swaps (white to whole wheat, or carb-heavy foods to protein and greens) over time will allow you to see results while gaining energy. The pasta, bread, ice cream, and snacks are preventing you from being able to lose weight, plain and simple.

Mistake #4: Trying to starve the weight off

You have to eat in order to lose weight and fat. Your body needs fuel to rev that metabolism and your workouts; therefore, you have to eat in order to be healthy, lean, vibrant, and energetic. However, what you eat is very important. Eat all the lean protein you want in the form of fish, poultry, etc. Keep in mind, the fewer legs it has, the better the source of protein.

Mistake #5: Not paying attention to your body and how it responds

With all of the diets on the market, it can be easy to get lost and overwhelmed, and you may be tempted to follow a “fad” diet. However, it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds to everything to measure what’s right for you.

Related: 10 Ways to Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

How are you responding to your workouts? Are you working out too much or not enough? When you eat only protein and veggies, how are you responding? When you start adding some good carbs back in like yams, how is your body responding? These questions are essential when you’re trying to get fit and lean.

Mistake #6: Eating healthy and exercising…but inconsistently 

It’s not about diets, but about habits. Make eating and exercising a habit, and your life will change before your very eyes and help you turn these healthy habits into results. Consistency is key.

Related: 8 Things Healthy People Do

The Takeaway

Everyone makes fitness mistakes at first, even if they’re pros now.

Imagine looking in the mirror just a month or two from now and seeing a leaner, thinner “you,” the “you” you always dreamed of. It doesn’t have to just be a dream – it can be reality if you correct these fitness mistakes.

Start today for a better tomorrow!


john rowleyJohn Rowley is a certified personal trainer, best-selling author, and ISSA Director of Wellness.

Photo by Alleh Lindquist

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