The basic premise behind going to the gym every day is to give yourself an opportunity to grow and become a better version of your current self. We train with weights, hit the cardio, do our stretching and take time for ourselves, so that when we emerge from the depths of the gym floor, we’ve given ourselves a fighting chance at improvement; at least we hope so. In saying all of this, there may be a chance that what you think you’re doing right, is counterproductive to your gains and even though your intentions are good, your actions are misguided and potentially stalling your gains. So, what could possibly be holding you back from attaining your goals and moving you into a new category for size and strength or health and fitness? Well, read on to find out.
Mistake #1: Thinking You Can Out-train a Bad Diet
There is no way around this, none whatsoever. If you think that your training will positively counteract all of the poor dieting and nutritional choices that you’re currently making, think again. Even if you aren’t experiencing the effects of bad eating habits yet, it will eventually catch up with you; I can guarantee that. No matter how intense your weight training sessions are, no matter how many hours of cardio you are performing and regardless of the fact that you train eight days a week, all of those ‘cheat meals’ will wreak havoc on your fitness goals. Rather than trying to overdo it in the gym to balance out your poor nutrition habits, fix the food and keep training hard. If you do that, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what happens next. You may think in your current state of eating bad and training hard, that things are looking good. Well, when you fix your nutrition, things will go from looking good to looking great.
Mistake #2: More isn’t Always Better
We are always going to be guilty of wanting to do more, especially when we think that more is better. Typically speaking, this does hold some truth but, in our world, it’s not necessarily that way. There will be times when our body just does not want to oblige and give us the results we are forcing and willing upon it. In many of those instances, we continue to force the issue thinking that if we just go a little harder or do just a little bit more, we’ll break through that plateau when the truth of the matter is, we just simply need to back off. When you reach the point of no return on effort, that’s your body telling you it’s tired, needs a break, maybe a change from the norm or maybe a total and complete shutdown from training. You may see this as weakness at first or more reason to punch the gas pedal even further but resist that temptation and take a step back. You will find in doing so, your body will respond by growing again, you’ll feel refreshed and energized, you’ll want to train again and have fun doing so and you’ll break through that plateau that’s been holding you back.
Mistake #3: Maintaining Your Comfort Zone
You will never grow and realize your potential if you consistently stay in your comfort zone. What does this mean? Well, if you never test yourself or ever put yourself in uncomfortable positions where you have to figure something out that’s new to you, you’ll always be the same. This could mean a change in gyms, it could mean a change in training partners that will see you tested each session more so than you’re used to. It may require you to change up your entire plan to something you are unaccustomed to such as a new dieting strategy, new training philosophy or an entirely new approach to everything you’ve been doing. When deciding to venture outside of your comfort zone, prepare to have feelings of stress or anxiety and uneasiness. If you feel those things, then you’re in the right spot and don’t be afraid. Instead, be excited about the future and when those feelings dissipate while still doing the same uncomfortable things. When that happens, you’ve successfully grown, have become better and more equipped to deal with whatever comes next.
Keep in mind here, there are many things you are doing right for yourself and to that, well done. You also have to be open to the fact that you’re probably making some mistakes along the way too and if you weren’t, you’d be alone in that endeavour. As much as we try to be perfect with everything we do, it’s just not always a feasible option and the three mistakes I’ve pointed out here in this article, may be some of the reasons you aren’t gaining the way you’d like. So, it’s simple from here; fix the mistakes you’re now aware of, be better next week, next month and next year, realize your potential as a result of fixing your mistakes and share what you’ve learned with anyone who will listen so that they don’t waste the time that you did in your own journey. By doing that, you’re adding to our industry in a positive way and that will never be looked at as a mistake in any way shape or form.
Author: Dana Bushell
Dana Bushell, a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University (BAHK, B.Ed) is an Educator, Writer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Nutrition Advisor, Contest Prep/Lifestyle Coach and former competitive bodybuilder, who has been involved in the Fitness Industry for over 25 years. He has worked and written for major fitness publications and many popular bodybuilding sites, is a Gym Star Team member and works hard at teaching and promoting a fitness-based lifestyle in his career as a Physical Education Specialist.