Training is one of the most rewarding ventures you can set out to do. You put in the time and you get the return, but there will be a time we all hit plateaus and stop seeing those results. However, with knowledge comes smarter workouts that set us back on track to reach our goals. If your progress has decreased or you’ve flat out hit a wall, read below for these 6 fitness mistakes keeping you from your goals.

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Not sure if you want to gain muscle or lose fat. This seems to bee a hard one for a lot of women. We seem to validate our weight loss by the scale. When strength training, your body will tend to stay the same weight or barely drop weight for a good amount of time because muscle has greater density than fat. Your body will look different and clothes will fit better, but the scale may remain the same or possibly even go up. 

Over dieting. This has to be one of the top reasons women aren’t getting the results they want in the gym. For years, there have been mixed messages about the less we eat, the more weight we lose — calories in, calories out. However, the more we eat the better…as long as the food is whole, clean and nutrient-dense. The more we eat the better our metabolism functions, our body recovers, and muscles can grow. When beginning a new diet or eating plan, always try to get the most food in while still seeing results.

Not tracking progress. When it comes to weight loss and body goals, remember “all progress is progress.” There are many ways to track your progress: food journals, training journals that record pounds used and reps/sets, progress pictures, and measurements.

Constantly changing your program. Now if something’s not working by all means change it. But try to give your program time to set in before changing everything entirely. If you feel you aren’t getting results from a particular exercise, try reducing the weight and focusing on the tension only in that move. The more you perfect the form of each move, the more results you’ll see.

Too much cardio. Cardio does definitely serve a purpose. However, if your goal is to build muscle, it can be counterproductive if you’re doing large amounts. Lots of women who want to change their glutes and build muscle there. The first thing they should do reduce their long duration cardio. Changing your body has a lot do with intensity. In long duration cardio, the intensity becomes irrelevant because the goal is time. Start replacing a few of your cardio sessions with 20mins of HIIT (High Intensity Interval training) instead. A popular HIIT method is hill sprints.

Not having a plan. This is the number one mistake keeping people from their fitness goals. Aimlessly going toward your goals isn’t going to set you up for success. Take the time to map out a plan and then follow it, recalculating later if necessary. “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.”