11 Jun 5 Big Mistakes People Make When Starting a New Exercise Program (And How to Avoid Them)
Here’s a little bit of a contrarian viewpoint on exercise. I’ve been around long enough to see some common mistakes people make. Specifically, there’s a few big mistakes that people usually make when starting something new. I’ve seen it over and over again, unfortunately. The low down is that you need to know what these mistakes are, so that you don’t make them yourself.
Here are the “Big 5” mistakes that I’ve observed.
1. Not being committed. One common mistake I see is that people don’t really commit to exercise or a new training method. They say they’ll “check it out”, or “I’ll try it and see what happens.” So, the standard is really set before they even start. This is the “dabbler” or “tire kicker.” They haven’t committed to it and, therefore, they’ll have to “see what happens.” From my experience, in exercise, or anything in life, for that matter, you have to commit that you are going to give it your best for a certain time period. If someone ‘dabbles’ in something, it’s fairly certain it’s NOT going to be successful for that person, no matter what it is. You are either going to commit to weight training or not. You are either going to commit to kettlebell training or not. You are either going to commit to running or not. It doesn’t matter. From the wisdom of Yoda came the brilliant quote…..”DO OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY.” If you can’t commit to really give it your best, you’re better off not doing it all. If you do commit, expect great things to happen!
2. Not having the patience to learn properly. Another common mistake is that people don’t have the patience to learn something the proper way. Again, as with just about everything worthwhile in life, you must have patients. If you are going to learn a new skill or new method with your physical training, be prepared to have patience to learn what you are doing the correct way. There’s a learning curve with everything. Most people want it all….yesterday! Gotta have it, right now! Patience, my friend. Again, relating this topic of exercise to kettlebell training, which is a movement and performance skill that pays BIG DIVIDENDS, but you’ve got to have some patience. Learn the correct way to train, whether with kettlebells, weight training, body weight training, or anything else. Patience and persistence is a requirement, so don’t make the mistake by not having any.
3. Not being fully engaged. Similar to the “dabbler,” but worse. This person is not only not committed, but not engaged and merely going through the motions. This is pure self sabotage. Big mistake with exercise and a waste of time. Obviously, a non motivated person is not going to perform well, but a non engaged person is one of the worst places to be in and it’s amazing how many times I’ve seen this. Having the right mindset to truly engage in what it is you are doing is very powerful, of course. Make sure you’re engaged and enjoy what training method you are doing. If you can’t commit and fully engage, you need to: 1-find another option or 2-figure out a way to get you fully engaged in your activity like visualizing your desired outcome. Fully engage or disengage all together until you can figure out how to.
4. ‘Half assing’ it. This is simple and I’m going to be blunt. ‘Half assing’ it will not get it done. You know that. People that give it their best are the ones that will have the greatest results, end of story. Nothing good comes easy. Again, nothing good comes easy. So, why would someone ‘half ass’ it and not give it their best? I’ve got some ideas on that, but not giving 100% in a new training or exercise program is kind of pointless, don’t you think? Again, I know people want the results….and FAST! But, if you want results, your results are in direct proportion to the effort you put in. Isn’t that the law of cause and effect which states that for every action there is an equal reaction. So, the more effort you put in, the more you stand to gain. Especially, when dealing with physical exercise. Make sense?
5. Quitting too soon. Agreed, this is a common mistake? Not seeing results fast enough. Not giving something new a fair shot. Not being open minded. Not truly giving it time to take effect. Quitting too soon, by far, is one of the biggest mistakes people make when beginning a new exercise program. Here’s something to remember and this is key. When someone starts something new (anything), there is massive RESISTANCE in the beginning. This is a critical time period. It’s when you get past this period of initial resistance that great things begin to happen. I’ve seen people bail out way too soon before they have even given their exercise or training a fair deal. This is very unfortunate. If you are going to start something new, a new training program, a new exercise modality, give it a specified time frame to make a fair assessment and be open minded. Don’t make the mistake that most do and bail out just because the results don’t come in a session or in a week or two. And definitely realize you’ll need to overcome that initial resistance that you’re likely to encounter when starting something new.
In summary, here’s how to avoid the 5 big mistakes I have observed.
- Commit to it
- Have patience to learn, then the results will follow
- Engage in it and be open minded
- Do not ‘half ass’ it
- Do NOT quit before you’ve made a solid attempt at it. (2-4 weeks or longer)
Make sure you don’t fall into these mistake ‘traps’ and severely limit your chances for mental and physical success.
Agree? Disagree? Have some other big mistakes you’ve seen? Well, let me know. Hope this helps and press on!