11 Workout Mistakes That Hurt Your Fitness Goals

Last updated on : June 26 2021

fitness mistakes

Article Summary

If you're like most of us, you're probably making mistakes with your workout routine that undermine your efforts. These erratic behaviors may have a negative impact on your achievements, but you can quickly correct them with some effort.

Click on the links below to learn more. 

Common Workout Mistakes


Common Workout Mistakes

A healthy and toned body is what we all aim for when putting on our sexy bandage dresses and clothes. Overcoming procrastination and laziness to make it to the gym regularly takes guts and focus. 

However, getting into the habit of working out gets you only halfway toward achieving your fitness goals. Reaching your desired weight and consistently maintaining your fitness levels requires a broader focus. 

If you're like most of us, you're probably making mistakes with your workout routine that undermine your efforts. These erratic behaviors may have a negative impact on your achievements, but you can quickly correct them with some effort.

Being aware of the most common workout mistakes will help you make your gym time purposeful and productive. Here are 11 that you need to avoid.

Skipping Your Stretching

If you're all for intense workouts with strength training, you should be aware that a higher heart rate and warmed up body is optimal for these exercises. For this reason, do not skip your warming up session before your workout. 

Adequate amounts of stretching before your workout help prepare your body for the intensity to come, and also reduce the chances of injury.

Similarly, do not undermine the importance of cooling down post your workout.

Your muscles tighten up while exercising, so it is best to stretch them to relax and release the tension. Stretching not only improves blood circulation and relieves soreness in your muscles, but also helps you to maintain a better posture.

Ignoring Your Form

If you are hitting the gym mindlessly and not paying attention to how you exercise then you are likely undermining the effectiveness of your workout.  

The correct form is essential; it gets the most out of each exercise, and significantly reduces the risk of injury.

Additionally, vary your routine, so you are not performing the same exercises time after time.  

To get it right, ask the help of an experienced trainer and do your research. Doing the same workout for months will not get you closer to your fitness goals. So, ensure you have a balanced and varied workout regime and perform each exercise with the correct form. 

Not Altering Gym Machines To Your Requirements

Fitness woman doing exercise in gym

Not everybody at your gym has the same type of body and capabilities. So it is vital that after someone has used a machine, you change it to suit your personal needs. Not adjusting equipment is a typical resistance workout mistake especially among women who are beginners.

If you don't alter the equipment, changing the weights or adjusting the seat, you will reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and increase your chance of injury. 

So figure out what adjustments suit you the most, and go ahead with your regime accordingly.

Being Intimidated By Weights

It is true that men often have more capacity when it comes to weight training. But that is no reason to underestimate your strength or endurance levels and not attempt to do them yourself.

Even if you have never lifted weights before, do not let it intimidate you—now is as good a time to start as any.

Strength training has a host of benefits for women, so go ahead and ask an instructor to get you started. And read our article on nine girl reasons to lift weights to give you a better perspective. 

You will be pleasingly surprised at the changes you'll feel after adding strength training to your workout regime.

If the metal-clanging, grunting men in the weight room make you hesitant, remember that you have every right to be there. And you deserve the positive benefits as much as they do.

Over-exercising And Straining Your Body

While it is outstanding to opt for intense workouts, it is essential not to go overboard and risk injury.

A common mistake made by women who are just starting to get into a routine is to put undue strain on their bodies and even cause physical harm.

Understand the limits of your body and take the help of a professional instructor to work out the best exercise regime for you.

Remember that it is better to go slow and let your body adapt than to try everything haphazardly. And then have to sit at home for weeks with an injury or soreness.

Setting Unrealistic Goals

Similar to exercising too much, setting fitness or weight loss goals for yourself that are impossible to achieve does more harm than good.

There is a saying, “No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch.” So set your targets based on your physical capabilities, not what your friend has set for herself. No matter what you do - you are doing something and over time will improve and develop.

Remember that when it comes to working out and fitness, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

Know your body type, what you can achieve, and how much time needed to reach it. Set smaller goals initially so that meeting them will inspire you to push yourself further.

Many times, we set impossible targets and then get discouraged to continue when we don't achieve our goals. Try to avoid this mistake. 

Giving Up Sleep For Exercise

woman stopping alarm clock while ion bed

Not missing out on regular workouts is good, and it is true that the best time to perform physical exercise is in the morning. But do not cut back your sleep to meet a particular workout time.

Getting adequate sleep (7-8 hours) every day is vital for good health, so ensure that you do not compromise on quality sleep. The lack of proper sleep may add to your weight problems.

You do not necessarily have to exercise for an hour every morning to lose weight and stay fit, 20 minutes may be sufficient if you do the right kind of workout.

Also, check out these recommended bedtime routines to help you achieve your weight loss goals.  

Not Refueling Properly After A Workout

When you put your body through rigorous exercise, it's crucial that you feed it to rebuild your muscles and to give it the energy it needs to recover.

To help your muscles recover and to replace their glycogen stores, eat a meal that contains both carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session if possible.

Also, keep yourself hydrated during your workout session (sip water in small quantities) rather than gulping down a lot of water immediately after intense workouts.

Add mint leaves or lemon juice to your drinking water for added benefits.

Most of us tend to ignore this critical requirement, so make it a habit. Keep hydrated during the day and eat the right amount of food to support your exercise regime. 

Thinking You Need To Exercise In Full Every Day

“I do not have much time for a full workout, and exercising for 10 minutes is not going to make a difference anyway”—if you are guilty of having similar thoughts, abolish them immediately.

With their busy schedules and many duties, women often find it difficult to spare an hour or so to work out. However, even 10 minutes of cardio helps and keeps diseases at bay.

So even if you have limited time, do not put off the idea of exercising entirely and instead make the best use of those few minutes.

Mistaking Uneasiness For Pain

Mistaking uneasiness for pain applies particularly to women who are new to exercising.

If you haven't engaged in physical activities for long, there will be some aching and discomfort in your body. However, these aches do not necessarily require putting an end to your workout sessions.

Sore muscles and burning lungs indicate that your workout is working. Keep pushing yourself to achieve more so that your body gets used to it.

The way to differentiate pain/injury from discomfort is to take a few minutes of rest. If it doesn't go away and there is a sharp sensation, you may have injured yourself.

If you are concerned, taking professional help and getting your doubts clarified by a fitness expert is the best way to go.

Ignoring The Role Of Nutrition

healthy food next to some free weights

What you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat plays an integral part in helping you achieve your fitness goals. It's more important than exercising. You can't fitness away a bad diet so be careful what you feed your body.

Remember to plan your foods for both pre- and post-workout times, as exercising on an empty stomach is a major mistake for your health.

Keep away from junk food and instead increase your intake of lean proteins and snacks that are rich in carbs, such as whole grains and bananas. Try consuming these at least half hour before you begin working out.

You will often feel famished after an intense session, but refrain from overeating and turn to water and fruit for an immediate pickup. Consulting a nutritionist is a good idea to develop a meal plan to help you achieve your fitness goals.


If you are not getting the desired results in spite of exercising regularly, the chances are that you are committing one or more of these workout mistakes.

For more effective outcomes from your workout sessions, keep these points in mind and get the maximum benefits out of every minute you hit the gym.


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