10 Common Workout Mistakes To Avoid

10 Common Workout Mistakes To Avoid

It can be stressed to no end that working out is an essential tool for your long-term physical and mental health. However, in order to maximize the benefits of working out, you need to make sure you’re avoiding certain mistakes. Here are 10 of the most common ones out there:

1. Selecting the wrong workout for your goals

Rose E. De Marco – Health and Wellness Enthusiast and Nutrition Expert:

Don’t overdo exercise. Be mindful of how it makes you feel and plan rest days to allow your body to heal and recover. Like diet, exercise is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Your workout should be congruent with current health and goals.


2. Lack of understanding or mastery of proper form, especially on the “big lifts”

Peter Ingleton – Strength and Conditioning Coach:

This is a very common mistake – sloppy technique can create big problems. The better your form, the better your results, and the less likely you are to injure yourself.


3. Poor programming (exercise selection, majoring in the minors, program hopping)

Peter Ingleton – Strength and Conditioning Coach:

Designing a program can be a tricky business, so if you are new to working out or even if you are an experienced lifter, working with a professional can save you time and accelerate your progress.

A good trainer will push you harder than you will push yourself but keep you from rushing ahead too quickly. They can also steer towards an alternative exercise if you have difficulty with one or if you have an injury to work around. Sometimes a modified version of an exercise is necessary, depending on your fitness level.


4. Lifting with insufficient intensity

Peter Ingleton – Strength and Conditioning Coach:

You can increase your workout intensity by:

  1. Slowing things down – Take 4 or more seconds to lift and lower the weight;
  2. Make the lowering phase harder – Lift the weight for 1 second and lower the weight for 3-4 seconds;
  3. Change the tempo throughout the set;
  4. Add an isometric hold.


5. Too much weight

Todd Gotlieb – Weekend Warrior and Staying Fit and Healthy Group Member:

Todd hits the nail on the nail on the head, especially for beginners. It’s better to do the exercise correctly with less weight. Fellow colleague and weekend warrior Stephen Hall also shared Todd’s sentiment on using too much weight.


6. Spending much time on your cell phone and not enough time training

This is a compliment of Dr. Mordy Levy who operates Integrative and Functional Medicine and is a walking encyclopedia on most health and wellness matters.


7. Not stretching before and after your workout

Natalie Bean – Nutrition Expert

John Paul Catanzaro – Personal Fitness Guru:

Stretching before and after exercise is essential. It’s the same as fuelling your body before and after you work out with the essential nutrients. Stretching before you exercise reduces muscle tension and improves the range of motion in your joints. Stretching, also known as a warm up, increases blood circulation throughout your body and will give you that surge of energy needed to kill your workout.

You will decrease the chances of injury, improve posture and reduce stress and aches throughout your body.

Stretching after is even more important in my opinion as it enhances flexibility and reduces muscle tension! Many times after a workout as a preventative measure of injury I will bathe in Epson salts and/or have a massage to simply decrease tension! Tight muscles that are not stretched especially 45 and after are injuries waiting to happen! Train safely and effectively!

My personal fitness guru John Paul Catanzaro has also written and spoken extensively on stretching and is certainly an expert on the subject. He goes over the do’s and dont’s of how to stretch properly.


8. Doing Too Much Cardio

Lee Boyce – Strength Coach, Writer and Sought After Speaker

Cardiovascular fitness is essential for endurance and overall health. But this doesn’t mean you should jog or bike for a long duration at a moderate pace. In fact, too much long-duration cardio can actually stall your training gains and inhibit your performance, because your body may begin to break down muscle for fuel — especially if your nutrition plan is imperfect.

A better approach is to implement interval training. To do this, sprint the straightaway of a track and walk the curves for a total of six laps. You will develop your aerobic and anaerobic conditioning at the same time, giving you the endurance you need for the duration of a game. Also, the high-intensity sprints will kickstart your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories even after you finish your workout.


9. Ignoring Compound Movements

Lee Boyce – Strength Coach, Writer and Sought After Speaker

To get better as an athlete, you have to train like one. You can’t expect to get better on the field by sitting on a bench and doing a few bicep curls. You need to perform compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups in a full range of motion to simulate athletic movements.

As a general rule, if the exercise requires you to move more than one joint, it’s a compound movement. Here are a few examples:

  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Pull-Ups
  • Standing Shoulder Press
  • Barbell Rows
  • Lunges or Split Squats
  • Power Clean (advanced).


10. Avoid Ego Lifts

Sean Huddleston – Wellness Coach & Personal Trainer:

Ego lifting does not belong in the gym. Learning the proper technique for all lifts is the fastest way to get to your size and strength goals. When you apply a load you’re not prepared for, you are inviting injury not only to the muscle but also to your ligaments and tendons. Instead, shoot for a full range of motion, enough overload (weight) to stimulate the muscle, and varied rep ranges. You’ll get to your goals faster and save your tendons in the process.

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