Creating a healthy body with a regular exercise program can improve your mood and overall lifestyle. Therefore, hiring a personal trainer will ensure that you work out properly and make sure you are on track.

However, if mistakes are made during the preparation stage, you could end up missing out on achieving your fitness goals as a result of not taking expert advice.

So, to help you avoid some basic errors that could prove to be costly, KOOP Strength & Wellness has put together a list of the most common mistakes people make when getting into shape.

1. Waiting for the perfect time to get started.

Do I have the right attire?, Do I have the energy at this time of day? Is there something I need to be doing for work or a family member? What type of exercise should I be doing to get fit? As you can see, starting a fitness routine for most can prove a daunting challenge. 

Our bodies love to seek out comfort, and our mind is programmed to conserve energy. We see this time and time again in the form of procrastination and prioritizing other things outside of our own needs and self-care. 

This cycle of thinking leads us to miss our chance to change and reach our full potential. An example would be losing those 10lbs we have been telling ourselves to lose for the last fifteen years or being able to have the energy and confidence to take on a new hobby or sport to enrich our lives. The good news is there is a solution. 

The first step is to set yourself up for success through smaller steps such as setting out your workout clothes in advance and reducing the number of decisions you need to make before working out.

Another would be to consider hiring a coach, which removes a fair amount of, let’s call it, “self push back.” Having a scheduled appointment that you have committed to allows you to prioritize your time. The coach also helps with the right exercises for you based on where you are today in terms of ability and holds you accountable to do your best. 

When just getting started, I highly recommend working with a coach. You will feel supported and confident knowing you are investing your time, money, and effort into bettering yourself, leading to improvements in every aspect of your life. 

2. Loading your body with supplements or cleanses when starting an exercise routine.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for the above, but only when it’s challenging to eat whole foods and well-balanced meals. Supplements come with many additives and are processed foods, leading to an increase in calories that are not getting used up during exercise. 

When food is processed (think UPC labeled food in a box or a container), the original food it came from has already been broken down mechanically and chemically. Some of the original food nutrients have got reduced significantly, and our bodies absorb most if not all the calories due to low fiber.

Cleanses can also be problematic due to the restriction of certain macronutrients (fat, carbs, proteins) from our diets, essential for a healthy body and optimal energy levels. Lastly, jump-starting the system with a cleanse or a calorie-restrictive diet can have devastating effects on your metabolism. It can tank how many calories you can burn at rest during the day. With this in mind, having a well-balanced whole foods diet is the way to go when considering adding fitness to your lifestyle. 

Consequently, for healthy eating, shop on the outside of the grocery store, where most of the whole foods get kept, and only go into the aisles for specific items and get out! (no window shopping). Cooking at home is another excellent way to control how food is prepared, leading to a cleaner and leaner meal for you and your family.

A personal trainer can assist with general guidelines for helping you make the right decisions regarding your nutrition. For further details, your trainer can typically recommend a solid nutritionist if you have any specific concerns or chronic diseases like diabetes.

3. Trying to get in shape before hiring a personal trainer. 

It seems counterintuitive to most, but not as many as you might think. As a personal trainer and performance coach, I’m always recommending getting started with an expert first. Getting started is the most challenging time for everyone, which is why I recommend having support. 

This way, you know exactly where to begin, what program to commit to, what frequency to maintain based on your current fitness level and skill, what reps, sets, loads, time under tension, and rest intervals are needed to produce the desired results.

Benefiting from a coach’s knowledge will lead to seeing changes in your body more quickly, motivating you to stick with your program longer, and changing your behavior for the better for years to come. 

4. Pushing too hard too soon.

We all see the folks at the local fitness spot grunting away and pushing more weight with little to no range of motion and poor form. Let’s put some of those ideas aside and focus mainly on something called overtraining. 

It’s a term we use as personal trainers when the stimulus provided to an individual is either too great, too frequent, or both over the course of a few days with too little recovery between bouts. 

We all want the quick fix and to lose those pesky pounds. We all have been there, but we want to do it safely and sustainably. Losing weight should happen at 1-2 lbs per week. 

For example, working out seven days a week with high intensity can lead to overtraining, leading to improper recovery, reduced output, increased stress hormone in our systems, decreased fat metabolism, and eventually injury. 

So we know we want to avoid this pitfall, but we still want to get results as quickly as possible. So what do we do? One option is to vary workouts, aiming for three to four days of resistance training and placing a day between each (Mon, Wed, Fri) to optimize recovery and adaptation. 

Not possible for your specific schedule where you prefer consecutive days of working out? Another option would be to work with a personal trainer on a Push-Pull program. This way, the major muscle groups are being given a rest every other day. 

It can lead to optimal recovery and gains as well. Intensity should also vary each day, giving your body light, moderate, and high-intensity workout throughout the week. It has been proven to increase adaptation instead of high intensity all week which over-stresses the body. 

There is so much more to share here about this topic, and we only covered the tip of the iceberg. For more information or to find out what program is right for you, please do reach out directly to us for assistance or more information. 

5. Thinking Cardio will address all your fitness needs. 

When it comes to your body, you have various systems of the body that work in concert. It’s essential to continue to train your cardiovascular system for health benefits. The American College Of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends most days of the week for thirty minutes at a moderate intensity level for health benefits. It means a significant reduction in risk factors of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to name a few. 

While we know the benefits, there are some things to be aware of if you want to optimize your body composition (lose body fat) and reduce stress on your body’s systems (namely your joints and stress response). That’s right; I’m talking about the stress hormone cortisol. As we increase the amount of exercise, we are increasing the amount of stress on our bodies. 

Cardiovascular training is typically longer duration than resistance training (weight training) in terms of the time your body is being placed under stress. A set of rows in the gym may last thirty seconds or less. Extrapolate this out to a full one-hour workout, and along with rest intervals, you are only “stressing” your body for thirteen to fourteen minutes (three sets of nine exercises), where a cardiovascular workout can be anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes. 

We also know resistance training leads to maintaining and increasing our metabolic rate- helping us burn more calories at rest over the course of each day. The most sustainable and successful weight loss journeys I have been a part of with my clients have all had resistance training as their bedrock for results. 

6. “You get what you pay for.”

Isn’t that true with most things in life? Sure we can all get an app with a program from a well-known celebrity trainer or have a buddy take you through his high school body-building workout. 

There are also many personal trainers out there who may charge a low fee for their time and services. I encourage you to research and find a personal trainer who has the right credentials and experience to help with your specific needs. 

Avoid the cookie-cutter programs, as each one of our bodies is different with a unique set of quirks and stories of past injuries, bone structures, or tight muscles. A good trainer will sit with you and discuss your specific needs, health history and assess your body. 

From there, they will create a tailored program for you, mapping out and describing how you will obtain your results through the execution of the program while addressing any physical challenges you face. 

You are worth this level of expertise and investment in your program. If you could change your life and your behavior for the better today, would you do it?