Sporty woman training with kettlebell at the fitness centre

The 5 biggest training mistakes

What it’s all about:

How to avoid the 5 biggest training mistakes:

Training mistake 1: The treadmill of always doing the same thing
Training mistake 2: The plateau
Training mistake 3: Incorrect execution
Training mistake 4: “Doing a lot helps a lot”
Training mistake 5: “Training is all that matters”

Whether you’re training for a marathon, want to lose a few kilos, or you’ve discovered functional fitness or strength training, a sporty lifestyle has a positive impact on you, your mindset, your body and your mental health.

But of course, that doesn’t mean you’re automatically doing everything right with exercise. The biggest training mistakes can quickly cost you hard-earned successes or limit your performance in the long term. We’ll tell you which mistakes you should avoid at all costs and how you can avoid both smaller and bigger errors in every workout.

Pinpoint, analyse and tackle errors

It’s exactly when you actually have the best intentions and want to do everything right that potential pitfalls lie in wait. The biggest training mistakes aren’t just frustrating during a session, they prevent you from making the right progress, and in the worst case scenario can result in serious injuries. Any injury can set you back weeks or months and that’s more than frustrating when you have a firm goal in mind. So always make sure that you execute exercises correctly, don’t overexert yourself and learn to recognise serious training errors. Because once mistakes have crept in, they can soon become routine and then it’s difficult to break out of this routine again.

Training mistake 1: The treadmill of always doing the same thing

In principle, this is more of a minor training error, but the effects can be huge. And in addition, you’re not making the most of your potential.

Always training in the same way isn’t particularly beneficial for your training mindset and motivation. Ultimately, your body gets used to the repetition and isn’t really challenged; instead, all you’re doing is completing your usual routine. So the morning run simply becomes another thing to tick off the list. Of course, it then becomes all the more tempting to skip or cancel training once in a while. And there is no progress. How can there be if you repeat the same training day after day and week after week?

The solution: Always make sure there is some variety. This can be new exercises, more repetitions, workouts with progressive resistance or a completely new sport. It’s often small changes that have a big impact. A short sprint during a run, squat jumps or a medicine ball for a home workout can often make all the difference.

Training mistake 2: The plateau

Closely related to the treadmill mentioned above is the plateau, which isn’t a training error in itself. Because unfortunately, the plateau is absolutely normal. It describes a stagnating performance after initial successes and there are many different reasons for this.

The fact that you make rapid progress when you start training is due to a number of reasons. On the one hand, muscles grow faster if they are weak to begin with. But a lot also happens in your head when you first start out, and you owe your first successes in sports primarily to the connections in your brain. When neurons are newly connected, exercises often become much easier from session to session. After a while, the initial successes don’t materialise and you hit a performance plateau. Your performance stagnates and that can be frustrating.

The solution: Plateaus are a normal part of training. At some point, improvements become harder to achieve, and there is nothing unusual in this. Knowing this is already an important step in itself. Add some variety to your workout and keep it fun, even if progress becomes a little slower. Motivate yourself with friends or music during training, this will also help you overcome smaller training mistakes.

Training mistake 3: Incorrect execution

Success can be achieved slowly and in the right way, or it can be forced. Of course, it’s always great when you break your PB (personal best). Whether you’re faster or lifting more weight, these highlights motivate and show how much you’ve grown as an athlete.

However, this form of self-imposed “pressure to perform” is also one of the most common causes of one of the worst training errors: incorrect execution. Beginners in particular simply need professional supervision to perform exercises correctly. But even ambitious athletes and professionals aren’t immune to poor execution. In many Crossfit boxes only the repetitions get counted, how you get above the bar during a pull-up isn’t relevant. Incorrect execution is one of the worst training errors and an absolute no-go.

In fact, it has a decisive impact on your body. Your muscles only grow if you use them properly. A bicep curl, for example, is based on working your biceps and not heaving the barbell from hip to shoulder. The wrong execution therefore means that the muscles you want to target don’t grow, you’re effectively deceiving yourself. At the same time, you’re not building up coordinative and stabilising muscles, which puts the health of your joints at risk.

The solution: As a beginner, always exercise under professional supervision; have exercises explained and demonstrated to you. Especially when you move from fixed positions on equipment to free weights. Also check your posture in the mirror and learn to get a feeling for your posture. Over time, you will know exactly which parts of your body you need to hold rigid for which exercises and learn to consciously control this.

Training mistake 4: “Doing a lot helps a lot”

One of the most popular maxims of classic “muscle factories” is the basic idea that more training also means more success. This is one of the worst training errors as excessive strain doesn’t increase your chances of better muscle tone and performance, only the likelihood of injury. Muscles grow during rest phases. So relatively little happens during training, it’s only after training that the growth impulses are set.

As a rule of thumb, you should leave 48 hours between two training sessions, so that your muscles and joints can fully recover and you’re ready for new successes. Also, don’t push yourself too far during a session, because too much ambition can cause sloppy execution.

The solution: If you like to train a lot, it’s not a problem, just make sure you get your sessions right. If you work on your arms and chest in the gym on Monday and Wednesday, go for a run on Tuesday, focus on your back on Thursday and climb on Friday. You can even take the weekend off completely. This way you’ll avoid one of the most common training mistakes and get the most out of every session.

Training mistake 5: “Training is all that matters”

You’ve worked out today, so can you have that bar of chocolate, right? You ate chips in the cafeteria; it’s not a problem! After all, you’re still going for a ride on your bike.

Training mistakes don’t just happen in your training environment, but also before and afterwards. Your body needs a balanced mix of training, recovery and nutrition. Include more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein foods in your diet and avoid too much unhealthy fat and sugar. If you find it hard to give up dessert, Chiefs® protein puddings or protein drinks offer a delicious alternative. It takes the right combination to achieve real results.

The solution: Try to integrate the right elements into your daily routine. Rest, take a break, get a good night’s sleep and put more emphasis on a balanced diet. Your next session will only be a real success if you have all the strength and energy you need.

Avoid the most common training mistakes and maximise your success

If you manage to avoid these key mistakes when training and maintain a healthy exercise regime, you’ll lay the foundations for a sustainable change of lifestyle. Without injuries and setbacks you can really enjoy sport and your improved form will help you make genuinely healthy progress.

Sport is one of the best ways to find balance in life and you don’t have to turn your everyday life into an Olympic training camp to look and feel better. And that’s perhaps the most beautiful thing about sport: You get to shape your own successes and the positive effects will also be noticeable outside training.

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