10 top mistakes fitness clients make according to personal trainers

1. Only doing cardio

This is such an easy trap to get into, as for many people cardio feels ‘safe, however only doing cardio won’t get you the results you’re craving.  Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle and lose fat, and can be more effective than cardio at actually changing the shape of your body.

If you’re not used to lifting weights then it might be helpful to use a personal trainer when starting out. But for the most part lifting light weights is recommended as part of any gym routine.

2. Not finding the time

Not getting into the gym in the first place is something that holds people back. Having a routine is essential, as the only way to see progress is through consistency. This doesn’t mean that you have to follow a strict plan, or have set times to go to the gym. With a 24/7 gym, you can go whenever you like, however the trick is to commit to going 3 or 4 times a week, at a time that fits in with your busy schedule.

3. Using bad form

If something feels off, or you can see that your body is moving in a way it shouldn’t be, you should always stop your workout and adjust. Ask a PT, or look up the correct form online to perfect the technique before starting again. When we’re tired, we can all have a tendency to let our form slip in order to give the muscles a break. However,  this not only makes the exercise ineffective, it risks injury - definitely not worth it.

4. Doing sit-ups for abs

Lots of people spend half an hour or so in the gym 3 times a week to achieve washboard abs. The reality is that they will never achieve their abs, because sit ups alone won’t give you abs. Abs are mostly made in the kitchen, and can only be achieved by a clean diet that reduces overall body fat. Whilst doing sit-ups is great for core strength and will help build the muscle that will show once you lose weight, the sit-ups themselves won’t give you abs.

5. Timing your nutrients badly

Whilst on the topic of nutrients, eating correctly is really important for any gym goer looking to see results. Timing your nutrients badly is a classic error that can hold people back in the gym. Knowing what works for your body is essential - some people swear by fasted cardio, whilst other feel ill when they do it. A good general rule is to avoid eating 1-2 hours before a workout and eat clean carbs (brown rice, sweet potato) as part of a balanced meal afterwards to refuel.

6. Training on an injury

Just don’t do it. Training on an injury is a sure fire way to make it worse. Physio, stretching and light cardio can all be really helpful, but actively running or lifting weight in an injury is a really common gym mistake.

7. Quitting too soon

We all do it, but if you want to see results in the gym then it’s time to toughen up. Your body is so much more resilient than you think, and often it’s the mind that cracks before the body. If you quit too soon you’ll never achieve your full potential, so always keep pushing.

8. Avoiding HIIT

HIIT is a bit stressful, sweaty and tiring, but it’s amazing for cardio fitness and keeps you burning calories all day long. Many people avoid HIIT because it’s hard, but that’s a big mistake. Adding HIIT to your routine if you’re trying to lose fat and tone up will work wonders. Try some circuits that will get your heart rate up whilst allowing a rest in between.

9. Getting distracted

One word: phone. Getting distracted in the gym is a classic gym mistake and is something we see time and time again in the gym. It’s so easy to start scrolling through social media between sets and then realise that you’ve completely lost track of your workout. Stay focussed and smash your gym session without getting distracted by your phone, your mates or the telly!

10. Forgetting to take a rest day

You’re never going to achieve your best results if you train everyday. Everyone needs a rest, and there’s nothing more detrimental to a good routine than hitting it too hard. This can be hard when you fall in love with the gym (trust us, you will!) and want to go all the time, but you need to rest those muscles so that they can keep working hard.