Common Training Mistakes
Learn from your training errors to keep your workouts effective
Here are some of the most common
Chuck Norris is famous for saying that he never made a mistake. He reasoned that if you learn from your mistakes in order to avoid making the same ones again, they really don’t count as mistakes.
Everyone will make mistakes, even the smartest trainers and athletes. That’s why they have coaches who have walked the walk to help avoid obstacles along the way. I have listed some of the most common mistakes that even the most well-meaning gym-goer makes.
Mistake 1: No goal
I find it entertaining when I overhear a conversation about a forthcoming workout:
So, what are we going to train today?”
“I don’t know. I think weights, as it’s raining outside.
“What exercises will we do first?” “I can’t remember what we did the last time?”
You should approach your training with a plan. What we measure, we improve so record your workout, the weights lifted and the distance you ran. Each workout, aim to improve it a little bit. It is little acorns that make big oak trees.
Mistake 2: Sacrificing quality for quantity
A common mistake is trying to do repetitions of an exercise when the body physically cannot do any more.
People exert effort from every fibre in every muscle to lift a weight, but if your legs and hips rise during a chest press exercise to lift a weight, did you really use your chest to lift it? Sometimes it is better to reduce repetitions and increase the number of sets. The same applies to running. If you want to run a faster 5km, teach your body to run quickly by doing 8x400m with rests, rather than going for a slow 5km.
Mistake 3: The quest for fatigue
A sign of a good workout is not measuring how many days you spend in pain after the workout, but by measuring the improvement of the qualities or abilities you were trying to develop.
Mistake 4: Training in pain There is no gain to be achieved through training in pain. It’s your body’s signal that something is damaged or, if it is mus-cular after training, that the body is in a state of repair.
I am continually amazed by the number of people, especially the elderly on painkillers, coming to a gym or going to play golf using these so they can get through the day. When you take painkillers, you are switching off your body’s built-in receptors that warn you when you are doing damage. If you have joint or muscular pain, seek either medical attention or the assistance of a qualified physiotherapist or osteopath to assess the problem.
Mistake 5: Excessive focus on load
Runners focus a lot on increasing the mileage of training a week as their training increases. But their running form becomes more ragged as the mileage is increased and their speed deteriorates. You should vary the distances you run, from speed work to interval work. In the weight-room, forced reps should not be a training tool, it should only be used to save someone when they can’t lift a weight anymore.