We asked a number of personal trainers about some of the common mistakes people make when approaching their fitness. Here's what they said...
- “Women in particular sometimes believe that ‘doing weights will make you muscly’. If it were that simple, surely every man would be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger! If your goal is to get muscly, then we can work on that, but there’s no reason why using weights in combination with cardio should lead to “bulking up”. In fact, they’re often a way to get a leaner, more toned body, which many women state as a goal when they begin working with a trainer.”
- “If you take a break from training, your muscle will turn to fat”. That’s just not true, I’m afraid. In fact it’s important to ensure you take appropriate breaks from training to allow your body to recover from the work you have been doing. And it’s very important to avoid injury. Again, this is all about how you work with your trainer and how open the conversation is between you. If you have a concern about gaining weight during your rest periods, it’s worth discussing nutrition, rest, and so on.
- Fitness fads that have one principle at their core work. There is nothing wrong with adopting a specific approach to training, such as CrossFit, if it is going to help you achieve your specific training goals. You need to remember, though, that it is the training method, not the principle, that counts. You have to ensure that you are covering all the basics rather than just focusing on one approach over and over again.
- Many people feel that training a different part of the body each day and repeating the cycle on a weekly basis is an effective way of training. But leaving seven days between training cycles allows for the gains you made to have reversed themselves by the time you come around again. Much better to a little bit of everything more consistently.
- Some feel that their weight loss, or weight gain, is the only true measure of success. But training can result in significant changes to one’s build that won’t always be reflected on the scales. In fact people will sometimes find that they have gained weight through training, but lost inches from their waistline. It all comes back to a person’s specific goals.