I think most exercise scientists would have their version of this and that would depend upon their prominent thoughts at that particular time…but here are my three that I see people make. I must also say that I have also made them at one time or another, and it doesn’t matter how many years you have exercised – most people will make these mistakes. My key point is, try not keep on making these mistakes over and over again!
These are in no particular order and they are general mistakes…
- Most people make the mistake of not leaving their ego at the door when learning new skills and/or starting a new program. This is a very easy mistake to make, particularly when watching someone demonstrate an exercise – it looks easy so it should be easy? But usually the person demonstrating has a lot of experience in doing the skill and you should take this into consideration when trying the skill or program itself. Start easy and as you perfect the movement/s and build up confidence, increase the intensity because the time taken to perfect it is completely up to the individual (due to many factors). Converse to this, just because the new skill or program you are learning seems to be difficult to perfect, don’t loose confidence and give up on it. If it is difficult and/or complex, break it down to its component parts and work on these one at a time. Go at your own pace. If the person showing you has a lot of experience in demonstrating, they should help you with this?
- People treat the body as individual parts rather than seeing it as a whole. The interest in body building through various films a few decades ago brought about this phenomenon. In nearly all activities we do throughout life, we use the body as one unit. While in certain rehabilitation programs, it is advisable to separate individual parts of a movement when there is a restriction of movement through injury, when advancing through the program the body is treated as a whole. When people treat the body as separate parts there is a far greater chance that any development is not balanced and gain injuries. A great example of this in low level body building programs is people will tend to work more the muscle parts that they can see in the mirror, which causes an imbalance in development. The exercises you choose should work the body in the three planes of movement (forwards/backwards, up/down, side to side). Not all exercises will do this, so it is important that your choice in exercises reflect this concept.
- People do not have a specific goal (or goals) in mind in whatever exercise program they choose. Or the goals are vague because they haven’t defined the reasons for doing the program and where they want to take it. This is THE major reason why people don’t stick to a program. Doing an exercise program because a friend or family member suggests it or that you think it may be good for your health are not defined enough. It should be an activity that you think you may gain pleasure from and listen to your body as to how it reacts to the program. So does it suit you both mentally and physically? Once you feel that you may have made the correct choice in exercise mode, write down some specific goals you want to achieve from the program. Each person will have their own goals, so put some thought into what your goals are?
May I point out that I have been very general here and I will go through some more specific exercise mistakes in subsequent posts. These ideas can also be related to other aspects of life and I have only touched upon a subject that could take up to several chapters of a book. Suffice to say and repeat…don’t keep on repeating the same mistakes?