Trainer Confessions: Mistakes to Avoid While Searching for Your Summer Body
This time of year I see SO many people scrambling to find their “summer body” or “beach body.” And while some people see the results they want by the time vacation rolls around, others are left feeling frustrated and defeated. Instead of sharing all my personal opinions about the pit falls of getting into shape, I thought I would turn to my very own Mind Body Fitness trainers to get their 2 cents. These fitness pros have seen the good, bad, and the ugly when it comes to goal setting, so I asked them, "What are the biggest mistakes you see people make when trying to get in shape?" I was not surprised when they basically read my mind. They had a lot to say about consistency, timing, burn out, and mindset. Keep scrolling to read our trainer confessions - mistakes you can avoid and actions you can take to reach your fitness goals this summer (and all year round!).
The Weekend Warrior
"The biggest mistake I see is the mindset “if I can’t go to gym for at least 45 minutes to an hour, there’s no point” and then you don’t end up going at all. Something is always better than nothing. Even if that’s 15 minutes in your apartment before your kids get up. Consistency is key. Making exercise a habit and not a weekend hobby will serve you well."
Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and Group Fitness Instructor
The Cardio Addiction
"One of the biggest mistakes people new to fitness make is focusing on cardio alone - whether it’s running or using the elliptical. Increasing physical activity helps people lose weight and improve their heart health. Without strength training, they increase their risk of injury and undermine their ability to increase lean muscle mass. For sustained weight loss and fitness improvement, a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training is best.
In the same line, many choose a high intensity program or boot camp for rapid results. While these programs have their benefits, they also require a level of fitness newcomers lack. If you haven’t mastered proper form in exercises such as squats, pushups and jumps, you’re more prone to injury, an unwelcome set back that takes you back to inactivity."
Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, and Group Fitness Instructor
The Once a Year Approach
"Let’s be honest: you should have started working on this summer’s body last spring. Crash dieting and signing up for endless neighborhood HIIT classes might get you close to beach-selfie ready, but unless it’s a true lifestyle change, you’ll be right back where you were next spring. Not only is this cycle stressful to the system, but who doesn’t want to feel healthy and sexy in fall, winter, and spring, too? This spring, make some sustainable, healthy lifestyle changes to your exercise and nutrition program to help you achieve your year-round body for many summers to come. Remember, it’s easier to keep up than catch up."
Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
"I think one of the big stumbling blocks people face is getting stuck in a routine. Their body gets used to the same workouts and they hit a plateau which can be so frustrating. I would recommend not being afraid of trying new things and going out of your comfort zone!"
Personal Trainer, Barre Instructor, and Group Exercise Instructor
The Fad Promise
"Lose 10 pounds in a week! Go from couch to half marathon in a month! Get in the best shape of your life in time for summer! There are endless promises online, on social media, on Subway ads, all telling us we can reach our goals in no time at all. Some of them are true. Doing certain things, you can lose 10 pounds that quickly or go from zero to sprint. I should know, I’ve tried some of them. But the thing is, they aren’t all healthy and they aren’t all sustainable. Eating only salmon for a week can throw off everything from your energy to your digestive system and sprinting every day when you’ve barely run before can lead to injuries, like shin splints—and those are just two examples of some of these “fad” programs. There is no magic bullet, but there are ways to make healthy, lasting changes. Making one healthy swap in your nutrition or following a progressive program will help you stay motivated and reach and KEEP your goals. Give yourself time."
Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
The Time Crunch
"Some people set unrealistic time frames when trying to reach fitness goals. Try to keep a consistent exercise regimen all year long so you don’t feel like you have to do it all in 1 month and make yourself crazy! It’s amazing how much change you’ll see in just a couple months by keeping consistent and not over exercising or wearing yourself down."
Personal trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
The All or Nothing Approach
Avoid the “all-or-nothing approach” Often times when someone sets new fitness goals, or they’re ready to kick start a new routine, or just get back into their old one, they go into it full force. While this tactic works for some, it’s not ideal for most as this all or nothing approach often leads to fatigue and burnout.
Set small, achievable goals that successfully lead you closer to a more significant goal down the road. For example, start with a one week goal. Week two, build on week one. Continue this progression for a couple more weeks. By the end of the month you should start seeing some real results that you can be proud of. And the more results you see, the more motivation you’ll have to successfully continue down this new health and fitness path you set for yourself. Once you build a routine, then set more quantifiable and attainable goals that are realistic for you. And of course, hiring a Mind Body Fitness trainer as your cheerleader and coach can surely help too!
The Rewards System
"I often see people reward themselves after a great workout with unhealthy food choices. Sometimes I am guilty of it too! The thought is 'I just burned a ton of calories, so I deserve this!' The over indulgences cancel out all the hard work they do in the gym. My suggestion would be to find other healthy ways to reward yourself for a job well done. Maybe a nice massage at the end of the week? Or a new bathing suit at the end of the month? And I am not suggesting you should NEVER indulge in things like burgers and ice cream, but can you consume them in moderation? And can you start to shift your thinking when it comes to food? Food is not a reward. It is there to fuel and nourish your body."
Me (Meghan Covington)
Owner of MBF, Personal Trainer, and Yoga Instructor