Are you making any of these mistakes? The sooner you recognise these goal-killers the better, then you can do something about it. As a personal trainer in London, I do my best to help my clients avoid these mistakes, so they can achieve their goals faster.
1. No goals
If you have no goals, you just drift aimlessly through your exercise and nutrition regime, and if you’re aimless, you’ll not hit any worthwhile targets. So set fitness goals, for instance “I want to lose a stone in weight in 3 months”. Then break that goal down into weekly stepping stones, and make an action plan to achieve the goal.
2. Unrealistic goals
I had a personal training client in north London who said he’d quit sessions if he didn’t see significant results after 5 sessions with me. I explained that significant results take more than 5 hours of personal training, but he was insistent!
Be realistic about how long your goals will take to achieve, and how much effort it will take to achieve them.
3. Setting goals but not following through
You need to set goals, but that’s not enough in itself. You’ve got to stick to the action plan. That sounds obvious, but it’s so easy to set a goal and not do what’s required.
4. Falling behind on your goal and not taking corrective action
You need to monitor your progress, and if you’re behind schedule, take appropriate action to get back on track. This is the hard part, and often involves sacrifices. It’s the true test of how badly you want to achieve your fitness goal. What are you prepared to do to get the body you want?
5. Ignoring the nutrition side
I was a member of Cannons gym (now Nuffield Health gyms), it was the branch near Cannon Street station, on the banks of the Thames. They had a bagel and smoothie bar. After my gym sessions, I’d see members stuffing themselves with bagels and fruit smoothies, and those ‘healthy’ flapjacks loaded with sugar. I bet these same people wondered why they weren’t making much progress.
You can’t out-train a bad diet. As a personal trainer I know from experience that those clients who follow my nutrition advice the most closely, are the ones who make the fastest progress.
6. Underestimating the effects of alcohol
Excess alcohol will wreck your fitness goals more than practically anything else.
It sabotages fat loss, stresses the liver and kidneys, leeches vitamins and minerals from your body, damages your sleep patterns, the list of harmful effects is endless.
Alcohol in moderation is fine, but anything more than around 8 units a week for men, and 5 units a week for women, will damage your fitness goals. And even 8 units a week is damaging if you drink it all in one or two sessions per week.
Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London with over 11 years experience.