Like many so many of us in the past, my fitness journey began with a willingness to achieve my goals but with little direction or know-how as to do so. I knew what I want, but I didn’t know how to get it. As such, I’ve spent many years in and out of the gym making progress while also suffering setbacks. As a personal trainer, I made it my goal to spare my clients so many of the setbacks I’ve encountered throughout my journey, and I hope to do the same for you.
As such, I’ve made a list of the top 3 biggest mistakes of my fitness journey. They are as follows:
Pushing My Limits too Far
My tenacity in the gym worked for and against me throughout the beginning of my fitness journey. I started as a thin, mildly athletic individual with a goal of putting on a significant amount of lean muscle mass for the looks and performance. As such, I was willing to do whatever it took to get there. As a result, I would frequently train beyond failure, often times putting my body in precarious situations. From frequently performing joint destroying movements such as the guillotine press, to adopting poor form doing weighted dips, I didn’t respect my limitations and pushed my limits too far. This resulted in various injuries later on in my fitness journey.
Not Delegating My Time Properly
For many of us, fitness quickly becomes an addiction after the first signs of progress. Because of this, I figured that if I spent more time and work in the gym, I’d make more progress. This simply isn’t the case. It took years worth of working out for sessions lasting 2-3 hours long before I realized that it wasn’t helping me make any more progress. As a result, I reduced my workouts to 45-60 min. long (utilizing shorter rest periods and spending less time mingling in the gym). These short but sweet workouts are exactly what I needed, especially considering my busier lifestyle transitioning from academics to a professional work setting.
Adopting an Unhealthy Diet
During the early stages of my fitness career, I took things rather seriously and adopted a new diet. This diet, though healthy, didn’t quite satiate my palate in terms of flavor or satisfaction. Many of my meals consisted of plain chicken, brown rice, and broccoli. As you can imagine, I grew tired of this over time. As such, I turned to several other options, including cheat meals and a style of dieting termed If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM). The concept of IIFYM focuses moreso on the numbers you’re hitting with your diet (calories, protein, carbs, fats) as opposed to the nutritional content of each meal. This proved to be a poor choice as my diet quickly became unhealthy and I noticed a significant amount of setbacks with my overall physique and performance.
Though I’ve made many mistakes in my fitness journey, I quickly learned from them and used them as lessons for the future. I hope by sharing my experiences with you, you’re able to avoid making the same mistakes I did in the past. As long you’re able to learn from your mistakes, it’s not a total loss. This concept is something you can carry with you throughout all walks of life, so don’t fret on your mistakes. What kinds of things have you learned as a result of your setbacks in the gym? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.