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6 Mayor Mistakes Limiting Your Fitness Development

Fitness training is all about discipline, not excess. Save yourself months of trouble by avoiding these 6 common mistakes!

Here's a list of what I believe are the 6 biggest mistakes that athletes / trainees make.

Take a look and see how you could be a more efficient athlete / trainee.



NOT HAVING ENOUGH VOLUME AND WORKOUTS

Or in plain words, not training frequently or hard enough. To see gains you need to train. Of course you knew this right… so then, do not expect much results if you are not training more than twice weekly. If you are already fit, 1 to 2 sessions a week (providing your intensity during this sessions is high) will just maintain your current fitness. Yet, if you are fairly detrained, by training 1 to 2 times a week you will notice a progressive gain until plateau.

To see progress you need to train 3 to 4 times weekly. If you train more than 4 times weekly at a high intensity, then you are probably overdoing it. (Next point concentrates on this matter)


ADDING MORE VOLUME AND WORKOUTS

Is it possible to train too hard, too often, and for too long? The answer, I can say from experience, is yes!

The "more is better" mentality that has permeated the fitness industry and specially the crossfit community is not beneficial, especially when it gets applied to the length and frequency of workouts. Why? Because, your body develops after your workouts and not during it. If you train hard enough, the work you perform during training session will cause microscopic tears and trauma to your muscles. The work you do after the session—eating, drinking water, stretching, massaging and especially sleeping—repairs this damage. When you train a muscle hard again before the repair process is complete, you not only rob yourself of growth, but you open yourself up to more injury and unnecessary pain.

If you want your body to grow stronger, you need to allow it to recover. Let your muscles fully heal, and you'll enjoy faster, injury-free gains.


SETTING FOR ELITE EXPECTATIONS

Chances are you have an image in your head of what you'd like your body to eventually look like. Perhaps it's someone you have seen before.

That's how a lot of people communicate their fitness goals: "I'd like to look just like him/her. He/she looks great!"

Maybe it's a “celebrity”, a professional athlete, or just a random picture you saw somewhere. Regardless of whom it is, I bet that person spent years, or even decades, building his or her body.

Please don't think I'm saying you can't achieve what you want. I'm simply recommending that you set realistic expectations about your progress and the timeframe required to achieve it. If you don't, you'll get discouraged, and that can take all the fun out of your lifestyle. Because, don't forget, it's the overall lifestyle—not a certain lift, program, or dietary trick—that creates lasting results.

Enjoy your progress, and take satisfaction in setting and reaching your realistic goals. Then set new ones and get back to work!


POOR EATING HABITS

Yep, I know you know. But I also know that nutrition is a very complex science. So complex in fact, that trying to give you an advice about it in just a few words it would be unprofessional and unwise. So I’m just going to concentrate in 2 mistakes that I get to see very often.

1) Men on a pursuit of hypertrophy (muscle gain) eating far to many badys and stating "It's OK, I'm bulking". Guys, the also called offseason diet does not accelerate your muscle grow! It only ends up blowing your body composition. Not only is the excess weight unhealthy, but you end up spending massive amounts of time dieting away the body fat you put on, and as a result, lose more muscle than if you had just stayed a little leaner. Would you rather take three steps forward and two steps back, or two steps forward and one step back? I'm going to go with the option two, because it's a whole lot less walking—both figuratively and literally—to go the same distance. It'll also feel far better along the way.

2) I’m eating an apple a day and I have lost 5kg in 2 weeks. PLEASE DON”T. When you choose a weight loss diet or nutritional habits guidelines to follow, please think of sustainability. Ask yourself; can I be healthy sustaining these nutritional guidelines for life? If the answer is not, then the guidelines are not good, because as soon as you stop applying then, you will gain the wait back on.


TAKING TOO MANY SUPPLEMENTS

Supplements are called supplements for a reason. They are supposed to fill the gaps in your whole food diet and (arguably) help you get more from your efforts at training. They are not, nor will they ever be, a replacement for a proper diet or hard work.

Time and time again, I've talked to people who blow most of their monthly food budget on overhyped supplements when what they really need basic whole foods.

Make sure that your diet is nailed down before you start adding anything more than those to your routine. You'll get better results by mastering basic nutrition than if you have an average diet with superior supplementation.


PUSHING MORE WEIGHT

When you get to training, leave your ego at the door. Lifting heavier than you should opens up the door to injuries, chronic soreness, and slower progress than if you perform your exercises with an appropriate training weight.

If you find yourself wondering where the line between "enough" and "too much" is in your training schedule I suggest you to seek for professional advice. You will minimize risk of injury and save lots of effort, time and money by seeking the right advice.

Training efficiency is the key for fitness development.


Tomás Würst

Workout Australia’s founder, director and fitness trainer

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