3 Common fitness mistakes and what you can do to fix them!

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Chasing soreness

A common misconception is that being sore is the outcome of a great workout. As a result, many push themselves harder and further, looking for more soreness.

Unfortunately, soreness only means you did more than your body is currently used to. A long walk might make your legs sore, but not many would call that a great or effective workout. Taking this approach will likely lead to an injury or burnout, but rarely the end results you’re looking for.

Instead of chasing soreness, remember that you're working to be more fit, leaner, stronger, faster, or some combination of these. Soreness is part of the picture at some point, but are your clothes fitting better? Are you getting stronger? Can you do more reps of that exercise you’ve been working hard at? Focus on things related to your goal to judge the effectiveness of your workouts.

Program “hopping”

No matter what fitness or nutrition approach you take, amazing results don’t come overnight. Yes, I’ve had clients see visible progress in one week, but this does not happen with everyone. Expecting a completely different body or big changes in strength in a week or less is unrealistic and guaranteed to bring frustration.

Instead of jumping from program to program looking for the “perfect workout”, give any program (assuming it isn’t dangerous or unhealthy) a minimum of 4-6 weeks before changing to something else.

This allows you to mentally and physically adjust and get the early mistakes out of the way. This is enough time to figure out if you can sustain this approach long term. It takes more than a week or two to figure these things out and get settled, so be patient! If the program is solid, it will work and you’ll get results. If not, go ahead with Plan B.

The “trick” to getting results is simple – be consistent. That’s it. You don’t need to do anything extreme or complicated! Whether it’s getting stronger in the weight room or losing inches through better nutrition, consistent effort over time brings success.  Make this your focus instead of looking for a different approach.

The ”No pain, no gain” approach

While this popular saying has been around for a long time, I urge you not to take it literally! 

Yes, there is some discomfort that comes with exercise, stepping out of your comfort zone, and working towards improving yourself in any area. 

But getting fit is not a toughness competition, and beating yourself into the ground is counterproductive.

Certain things like the “burn”, muscle soreness, heavy breathing, and shaking muscles are part of exercising. They aren’t pleasant, but they go away pretty quickly. 

This uncomfortable stuff is good! As you continue to exercise, grow stronger, and more fit, you’ll learn to manage and work through them. 

Pain while exercising, under any circumstances, is bad. Pain that lingers or gets worse with exercise is a sign that something is not right.

Pushing through “bad” pain often leads to injury, and if you’re injured you can’t workout at all. This means taking time off to recover and zero progress towards your goals!

Learn to tell the difference. Muscle fatigue, heavy breathing, and occasional soreness after a workout are fine. Pain that causes you to change the way you move or doesn’t go away is not ok. Work through the uncomfortable stuff, but stop when you encounter pain and get checked by a medical professional.

If you’re looking for assistance beginning a strength training program, visit JH Training for more information. You can find us online on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or we’re located at 40 Main Street, 2nd Floor. Madison.

Life is better when you train.