7 most common mistakes that cause clients problems are:
1. One of the most common mistakes I come across are when clients train for a quick fix, or try to take shortcuts in their training. For example, New Year’s resolutions or crash dieting to get ready for summer. When you start with good intentions and dramatically change up your routine it is very difficult to maintain for any length of time. (For example, ‘ I will train twice as often and eat and half as much’). After a couple of weeks you’ll feel the strain and this will increase the chances of failure. This method does work for some people, however for most it does not. When working towards a challenging goal (one that isn’t easy to achieve and could create lasting change) be specific with the goal and allow adequate time and effort to work towards it. You can always build on it and adapt if necessary. There’s no magic wand so it is always best to start with the right mind set and fully commit, remember you get out what you put in!
2. Another common mistake clients make is lacking consistency with training. I often see people working hard to achieve their goals, only to give up and take three months off training. This behaviour is like taking two steps forward and one step back. Being inconsistent is not going to help you to achieve your goals, it will only slow your progress and put you behind schedule, which can lead to you becoming despondent. That is why when you start working towards a new goal or method, I would recommend introducing it gradually into your current schedule, as opposed to replacing what you are currently doing. This helps you to work out if you are in fact able to commit and maintain a new element to your training schedule. Remember you can always make modifications along the way. Getting yourself to the gym regularly is the first step, but you also have to be consistent with the quality and quantity of your sessions. Have your workout plan focused towards your goal and always approach training with the right attitude.
3. Don’t compare yourselves to others. You’ll either get annoyed with or lose faith in your ability, or you might end up with a false sense of security and ease off. It is important not to compare yourself with others as we are all different, we all have different starting points, goals and training capacities. Compare yourself to yourself. Have you improved? Are you getting closer to your goal? Know that you will have good days and bad days. Don’t let the frustration put you off, stay focused on you and keep your eyes on the finish line.
4. Mistake number 4 is setting your goal too far out of reach. This will require a tonne of effort but at the same time feeling like you aren’t making much progress. You will start to get despondent, lose enjoyment and it all becomes pointless! It is therefore important to not overshoot your goals. Yes you should have long term goals, but these should be broken down with short term goals as well. This will allow them to be more digestable and give you a plotted journey to the long term goal. An added benefit is it will allow you to move when the goal posts move. You may be ahead or behind schedule. A short term goal can be put into place to get you back on track, or conversely change the long term goal accordingly to keep up with your progress.
5. Another important thing, I often see being overlooked by clients is taking time to rest and relax. It is important to always take time to relax and reflect on your training sessions, and measure the progress you made and what you gained. This could be straight after the session or at the end of the day. It could be 5 minutes or 60 minutes. It is entirely up to you, but it does need to be done. Progress and personal bests are easily forgotten amongst a busy day, with lots of things to do. Most people hang on to failure, so reflection brings to the fore positives that counter any negative feelings. Reflecting also allows us to put things into perspective and place context around any doubt. This is a good habit to get into as patting yourself on the back could be the difference in giving up or trying again.
6. I often see clients progress hindered by not taking time to reflect. Reflecting will help keep you in the zone throughout the day and not just when in a training session. When people are out of the gym it is easier for them to get distracted and harder to stay disciplined (depending if you are a half full or half empty type of person). Staying on task is important. Try not to let outside factors affect your training. Where possible, factor social outings and commitments within your week ahead so you can plan your training and meals around them. This will allow you to stay on track and focused. I would recommend you having 3 or 4 goals that you are actively working towards at one time. Enough to always keep you switched on but not too many that will dilute your focus. It is essential that you set yourself SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. (Make sure you check out my blog on SMART goals).
7. Lastly, a common mistake that I often see is clients working hard to achieve a goal, and then they stop. This makes is way harder to get motivated and back in the gym. For example, they go on that holiday, get into that dress or have that competition and then stop. This will undoubtedly make it even harder to get back into goal mind set and back into the swing with consistent training. So my top tip would be; as soon as you achieve a goal, it is time to create another one! Just like gears in a car. 5th gear is the quickest gear and the one that requires the least fuel. So stay on the frequency, nice and frequently.