We asked Bulk Ambassadors Alex Crockford and Hayley Madigan for their advice on avoiding making mistakes within your fitness regime.
MISTAKE 1 – You’re doing too much at once
Alex says: “When you’re super motivated, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of wanting to change everything – training, nutrition, lifestyle etc. For some people this can be ok, but for most of us, it’s not sustainable.
The best way to make changes to your fitness regime is to tackle a small amount of habits at a time, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed when other life aspects catch up with you. Focus on achieving one goal first, and then tackle the next!”
MISTAKE 2 – You’re not resting enough
Hayley says: “You may think lifting weights every day = growing. But – muscles grow at rest, NOT during training – so recovery and refuelling is vital if you want to grow!
Less is often more when it comes to building muscle, so don’t hinder your gains by not giving yourself adequate rest time. When you lift weights, you are creating microtears in your muscle, which only repair at rest to create growth.
Adding in an extra rest day per week to start with – or splitting your training week up with a planned recovery day or two – will be the perfect way to benefit from those intense training days!”
MISTAKE 3 – You’re focused on short term gains
Alex says: “We would all love to achieve our goals overnight, however it’s just not realistic. We often forget that when we’re in the process of getting fit, we’re on the journey for 99.9% of the time. It’s important to understand this mindset and realise that real results take time, and a key part of the success is actually to enjoy the journey every day.”
MISTAKE 4 – You’re not eating enough
Hayley says: “When we train, and more specifically when we weight train, our muscles tear (this is a good thing) but they only rebuild stronger and recover fully when we refuel with the correct nutrients.
Protein is vital for repairing and rebuilding the muscle tears and in order to become stronger and recover 100% we need to consume a sufficient amount of protein every day. Try consuming 1g of protein per kg of Bodyweight to start with then slowly increase to 1.5g, especially if you train often
A great place to start is with Bulk’s Pure Whey Protein, which is so easy to use and comes in a range of delicious flavours! Or if you’re stuck for time, keep a few Macro Munch bars in your bag for a post-workout treat.”
MISTAKE 5 – You’re training without a plan or goal
Alex says: “Another common mistake is to just keep training with no clear direction or measurement of progress. Working out with different methods, different weights, and different exercises is of course better than nothing, but the best results come from having a plan to follow that suits your lifestyle and takes into account progressive overload. A plan also gives you the means to track your progress so that you are able to build upon each session, week by week, and month by month.”
MISTAKE 6 – You’re too focused on how much you lift rather than HOW you lift
Hayley says: “Your first priority should be your form! Your technique should be what you focus on, rather than the number on the weight you’re lifting. If you’re more concerned about trying to out-lift your gym partner than whether or not your technique is good then you may put yourself at risk of a serious injury – especially when deadlifting!
Always fix your form first – you will make more gains and increase your strength if you concentrate on your form first. I’d recommend recording yourself and watching this back, so you can double check you’re doing it right.
MISTAKE 7 – You’re forgetting the importance of sleep
Alex says: “Another common mistake is to focus only on the workouts. Going hard in every session, as much as you can and forgetting about the rest. In reality, it’s what we do outside of the training session with our rest, recovery, sleep and nutrition where we are able to repair the damage from the workout and make fitness gains.
Sleep is especially important, for your physical health, and your mental health. A good sleep is the time when we recover and will allow you to feel much more energised, and motivated to hit those goals. So ensure that a good 8 hours becomes as important as a workout.”
MISTAKE 8 – You’re focused more on cardio than your nutrition
Hayley says: “If weight loss is your goal, you will make more progress if you concentrate more on your food intake rather than overdoing cardio. Cardio is great for cardiovascular health and overall health but weight loss comes down to calories in vs calories out. So, if you’re running a 5k every day but eating more calories than you’re burning, you will not only be overworking your body, but you likely still won’t reach your goal!
Try increasing your daily expenditure by moving more, walking to work and back, trying new active hobbies like paddle boarding or bouldering. And instead of focusing on how many miles you run or the amount of time you stay on the stairmaster, focus more on your nutrition and upping your daily movement!”
MISTAKE 9 – You overcomplicate what you eat
Alex says: “Which diet is best? Stop looking for a diet, as the most successful way to achieve a healthier, fitter life is to fuel your body with a range of wholefoods and nutrient-filled goodness, with a balance of proteins, carbs and fats.
Don’t forget to supplement your diet appropriately for you as an individual – if you’re a beginner, try Bulk’s Pure Whey Protein or Vegan Protein Powder, and if you’re more experienced, go for Bulk’s Aftermath Post-Workout Recovery. This will provide you with a whole package of nutrition to energise your body and recover from workouts.
Once you’ve nailed this, you can start to look more specifically into areas such macro ratios, calorie tracking or intermittent fasting, but this first step is the most important.”
MISTAKE 10 – You’re not doing exercise you enjoy
Hayley says: “All too often people do classes and workouts that they hate doing, and as a result, struggle to bring themselves to work out.
There’s so many ways we can move our bodies, and so many ways to achieve our goals, so don’t feel restricted to doing any exercises you don’t enjoy doing. You’ll never feel motivated this way.”