The Four Hidden Ways Beginners Sabotage Their Workout Results (and How to Fix Them)

Fitness represents a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States: when we crunch the numbers in regard to how much fitness newbies spend to trim their waistlines, it’s easy to see how investing in a healthier lifestyle can quickly add up.

The cost of an average gym membership (sitting at approximately $50 per month) combined with traditionally pricier health foods are enough to leave just about any beginner in the red before they even get started.

Discouraging, right? Now, combine the monetary cost of fitness with the fact that many novices to working out will give up before they even see results.

But why? Between getting stuck in the loop of on-and-off gym memberships and yo-yo dieting, it’s rather unfortunate that oftentimes we sabotage our own workout results without spending a dime.

Rather than blame the price tag, consider instead the four hidden reasons why many fitness newbies fail to see results from their workouts and how to fix them. Whether you’re undertaking your own weight loss journey or simply feel like your current workouts are less than optimal, any of the following symptoms of poor workout planning could be holding you back.

You’re Not Resting Enough

First and foremost, you need a good night’s sleep to effectively recover from your workouts. Failing to rest properly often represents a snowball effect: that is, if you fail to recover from your last workout, your next one will inevitably suffer. Additionally, your body doesn’t repair and build muscle in the gym, but rather while you’re hitting the hay.

Therefore ensure that you get optimal sleep quality through the following avenues:

  • Spend more time in bed: while you don’t necessarily need eight hours, anything less than seven probably won’t cut it for most people
  • Make sure that your sleep isn’t being interrupted: something as simple as ear plugs could be the key to restful sleep versus another night tossing and turning
  • Consider cutting out naps: you may need to reset your sleep schedule to get back on track versus only getting a few hours of rest here and there

You’re Not Eating Right

Some fitness experts estimate that approximately 75% of weight loss comes down to your diet. The old adage of “you can’t outrun a poor diet” still rings incredibly true: you can workout all day and still see little to no results if you aren’t eating properly.

Eating well is a two-way street. On one hand, you can’t expect to see optimal results without cutting out traditionally low-nutrition foods (think: fast food, alcohol and refined sugar). On the flip side, you don’t have to do anything insanely drastic such as a grapefruit or soup-only diet to see results.

Instead, keep the principle of “calories in, calories out” in mind and try to eat a balanced diet versus something you’re just going to give up in matter of weeks.

You’re Doing Too Much

Again, consider a “less is more” approach to fitness rather than trying to squeeze in two or three hour workouts day after day. Strive to seek out routines that only have you working out between three to four days a week and allow rest between muscle groups in the case of weightlifting.

There are plenty of free workout routines online that have been tried and tested by newbies and experts alike. If you’re just starting out, you should rely on such a routine instead of trying to build your own from scratch.

You’re Not Doing Enough

That being said, you won’t see results if you aren’t at least trying to push yourself and take your workouts out of your comfort zone. If you aren’t breaking a sweat, chances are you aren’t doing enough.

Also, take the time to assess your goals. For pure fat loss, focus on cardio: for muscle growth, obviously focus on weightlifting. There’s no harm in mixing the two; however, you should strive to do some sort of physical activity every day, even if it’s just a brisk, 30-minute walk.

Health and weight loss is all about finding a balance between diet, exercise and rest. By keeping these principles in check during your fitness journey, you may be surprised at your results.

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