Exercise mistakes that are stopping you from getting the most from your workout

Exercise mistakes that are stopping you from getting the most from your workout

10th June, 2016

Do you exercise regularly but you’re failing to see the results you had hoped for? There is nothing more discouraging than dedicating the time to working out, yet not seeing the results when you hop on the scales or look in the mirror. If you have got to the point where you are lacking complete motivation, don’t give up. It could merely be that you need to make a few tweaks to your exercise routine. With that being said, read on to discover some of the common exercise mistakes people make that stop them from burning fat and getting the most from their workout.


  • Mistake #1: Failing To Do Regular Intervals – There has been a lot of research to prove that interval training is the most effective in terms of burning fat. This is because it can amp your metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout. For those who are unaware, interval training simply means alternating between high-intensity and moderate workout. So, you can go from high-intensity cardio to a light jog, for example.
  • Mistake #2: You’re Overtraining – Yes, there is such a thing as overtraining! If you only do high-intensity workouts, you can stall your progress because you are putting your body at an increased risk of injury. Your muscles will always be broken down if you don’t give them the chance to recover, and this leads to fat-torching muscle mass. You can store fat because your stress hormones can increase, as your body sees excess exercise as a stressor.
  • Mistake #3: You’re Taking It Too Easy – It could be the case that you are not working hard enough. You always need to push yourself. Are you going at too much of a steady pace on the treadmill? Are your weights too light? Once you have been exercising for a while, with every workout you should aim to increase your weights by about ten per cent for a couple of moves.
  • Mistake #4: You Take Breaks Between Sets – Earlier, we mentioned the importance of interval training, but this certainly does not mean you should be taking a break between each set. You will burn a lot more calories if you don’t take a break, as your heart rate goes up. If you do need to take a break between a set, make sure it is no more than 90 seconds.
  • Mistake #5: You Always Do Cardio First – Another reason why you may not be seeing the results you had hoped for is because you do cardio first all of the time. To get rid of fat, you are going to need to do more than burn calories during a workout, you need to build muscle that is metabolism boosting. Thus, in most cases, if you go to the cardio machines first, by the time you do weights, you have lost your steam. This is why you should do weights sometimes first, as you will be able to burn fat by lifting heavier weights and performing better.
  • Mistake #6: You Don’t Refuel With Protein – Another mistake a lot of people make is failing to refuel with protein after their workout. A study conducted in the Fitness Management journal revealed that those who consume a protein drink after their exercise lose 50 per cent more body fat than those who did not.
  • Mistake #7: You’re Not Using The Machines Properly – A common reason for poor results at the gym is because exercises are not being performed correctly. If you are not using the machines correctly, you won’t be working out your body properly. The best thing to do is get the gym instructor to run through everything with you again to make sure you are doing everything as you should.
  • Mistake #8: You’re Workouts Are Too Similar – Have you heard of the term ‘muscle memory’? Basically, think of it like this… If you do the same thing again and again, you get bored of it, right? Well, this is how your body works as well. If you do the same exercise again and again, your body is going to get used to it, and, therefore, it is no longer as challenging. This means your body is going to be using less energy while you’re working out, and this is why you’re not getting the results you’d hoped for.
  • Mistake #9: You’re Not Exercising Regularly Enough – If you want to lose weight, you need to commit to a workout schedule. You are going to need to be committed if you want to see results. This is why it is a good idea to schedule a bit of time every day to working out. Stick to this schedule just as you would if you had to attend an important meeting.
  • Mistake #10: You’re Not Recovering Properly – Last but not least, the recovery phase is just as important as the exercise itself. If you do not give your body the right recovery, you will not see any results, as you will pump out cortisol, which can lead to fat storage. This does not mean you need to take several days off after every workout session. Simply alternating your routine is a good way to ensure you recover effectively.

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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