Think you’re a pro in the gym? Not so fast. Take a look at our checklist of 6 rookie mistakes you may not know you’re making.
When you’re just beginning a steep learning curve, it’s easy to underestimate the necessity of trial and error, fall into training traps, and make avoidable mistakes. But I firmly believe that you don’t actually have to make those mistakes in order to learn from them, so I’ve done the gritty work for you. Let my hard work be your guide, so that you can skip these exercise errors and go straight to the expert level.
1. The Mistake: Training on a low-calorie diet
There are two broad categories of dieting: one for weight loss and another for muscular development. When combined with proper exercise, dieting for muscular development generally involves eating at least, if not more, the same amount of calories as your recommended daily intake (RDI), while dieting for weight loss requires a calorie deficit.
These distinctions may seem obvious and logical, but it’s surprisingly easy to mix up these two diets. Many women severely limit their fat and carbohydrate intake while blindly dropping their daily calories and still training for a tight and toned physique. This usually results in a hard plateau, an ineffective workout, and a lack of real results.
The Fix: Gauge your baseline calorie requirements using a reliable source like the Mayo Clinic, and then focus on making good eating habits second nature, rather than counting calories. When it comes to weight loss, most medical experts recommend a healthy goal of one to two pounds per week. A pound of fat is approximately 3,500 calories, which means eating 500 fewer calories per day (the equivalent of a fast-food blueberry muffin) could help you lose a pound of fat per week without harming your body or hindering your gym results.