1) No planning
What is the purpose of your training? Have you got a goal in mind? The number one mistake you can make with training is not having a plan to reach it. Write down your goal, give it a realistic deadline, then design a plan to make it happen. An off the rack one size fits all approach has limitations as it doesn’t take into account physical and lifestyle factors. A better bet by far is a plan designed for you alone. Seek the advice of a professional or someone who’s ‘been there’ to help put together a strategy to suit you personally.
2) Not keeping records
Record keeping is effective in many ways. It’s the ideal way to stay ‘honest’ and on your toes. To keep the pressure on measure each week against the last. If you find you aren’t progressing at a rate to meet your deadline you will have recognised this sooner than later - and with relevant data to know where to adjust things. Records can range from a few notes through to a dedicated training diary complete with body weight, body fat percentage, tape measurements, and training session breakdowns. For a physique goal photographs are also excellent to monitor progress.
3) Sticking to one ‘way’
There’s no best ‘method’ to training. Many systems will work, but eventually effectiveness will wane on even the most exotic training plan. Variety is the key - you should introduce change to your training system regularly. The time to look at changing routine around is every 8 - 12 weeks. It’s also important to vary intensity from workout to workout. Training guru’s believe that the best way to do this is through adjustment of weights lifted or number of repetitions and sets on exercises rather than throwing a range of completely new exercises into every workout. This will reduce risks of injury as you’ll be familiar with your limitations and able to maintain best technique.
4) Incorrect technique
Whether you do body weight or weights resistance exercises incorrect technique can seriously set back progress, and at worst lead to muscle imbalances, tears and joint injuries. With the many variations of exercises there are endless ways we can go wrong. For all the movements on your plan it’s worth confirming you’re doing them right. Google is good for research or run your form passed a professional. When exercising focus on technique, and you’ll be in it for the long term.
5) Burning out with muscle ‘crossover’
Are you aware that when you perform some back exercises you are also giving your biceps and shoulders a thrashing? And when doing chest you can hammer your shoulders again, and triceps too? The list goes on. When putting together a training plan it’s easy to miss that you may be training some areas excessively by hitting them 2 or even 3 days in a row. The one complaint I hear about most is shoulder pain - more often than not this is related to ‘overuse’. A high priority should be given to following a training sequence that avoids overtraining or injury. This can be quite a science to perfect, so if in doubt seek advice.