I'll assume that if you're reading this article then you have some interest in going through a body transformation. I did just that in 45-60 minutes a day, 5 days a week, while holding down a corporate 9-5 position with enough stress and politics to drive the president crazy!
At my heaviest weight I tipped the scales at 252 lbs. At my lowest I'm 205 lbs. Since losing that weight I've had the pleasure of helping people shed weight along with the pain of witnessing people fail due to some easily avoidable mistakes.
Losing weight is one of those topics that confuses even the smartest people on our planet. Confusion leads to mistakes, which lead to frustration, which ultimately leads to failure. In this article I will outline the 9 Most Common Body Transformation Mistakes I've seen.
1. Poor Mindset:
Many people see fitness as something only fit for
personal trainers, celebrities, and "fitness freaks" (a group that doesn't include them). As a result they are never fully comfortable with what they are about to do.
They say they're going to work out. They say they're going to eat right. They may even do it for a little bit until they are inevitably called a "fitness freak." In my experiences being called a "fitness freak" is a good thing. Normally, the green-eyed monster has bitten the person who throws that out and they admire your results.
Being fit is for anyone who chooses to live a fit lifestyle. Not just athletes, personal trainers, celebrities, and the "fitness freaks" of our world.
2. Quick Fix Strategies:
I cringe whenever I hear someone say they are on a health kick, "
diet", or anything else that implies a short-term solution. Quite frankly that's not going to get the job done. You can't fix a 1000-year-old problem in 5 weeks. I've never seen anyone get significant, long lasting results from a health kick or a quick fix diet. Neither of those methods train you to get weight off and keep it off.
In order to successfully go through a body transformation you must mentally commit to a lifestyle change. Once you're truly ready to do that you can then change the way you look. Until then you're just spinning your wheels.
3. Meal Frequency:
When I began trying to lose weight I was convinced that I could eat however I wanted and still lose weight. The idea of eating six small meals a day was too foreign to me. All my life I'd been trained to eat 2-3 large meals a day. I, like most people, was very resistant to change. After about a year of getting nowhere fast I changed my tune and got with the program. Incredibly I started to lose weight!
4. Refusal To Drink Water:
Recently I've done some research into human nature and the results are astounding! People who want to lose weight hate the toilet! Those 30 short seconds at the toilet can apparently make or break the day of the strongest spirit.
Trust me, I understand that it's slightly inconvenient to run to the toilet 5, 6, or maybe even 7 times day. However, it shouldn't be a deal breaker that keeps you from losing weight.
After struggling with this issue for a while I finally found a way to get people to drink
water. It's worked like a charm.
Our bodies are 65%-75% water weight. Simple logic says that if you're getting rid of water (65%-75% of your body) you're getting rid of that unwanted weight. So every time you pee you're losing weight. So hold onto the weight if you want to!
5. Eating Too Much:
Working out does not give you the all access pass to eat whole chickens and gallons of yogurt at a time. A common mistake amongst people trying to transform their bodies is overeating. Flawed logic leads people to eat more as they work out more.
If you eat too much you'll never get to that caloric deficit required to lose weight. Overeating after an intense workout session will only serve to keep you where you are. It may not seem fair but its 100% true.
6. Intensity Plateau:
The act of just going to the gym is not enough. Once you begin to lift weights and perform
cardio your body will respond and adapt.
Let's say your normal cardio routine is 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer at level 10. In your first week of training that 20 minutes feels like 2 hours. You sweat profusely, your thighs burn like sand in the desert, and you stumble off the machine at the end. Over the next 2 weeks you do this 6 times and the weight melts off.
In week 3 you mount the machine and to your delight the workout is considerably easy. You sweat lightly and the burning sensation in your thighs has subsided. The next day you eagerly hop onto the scale and realize you haven't dropped an ounce.
Your body has adapted to your current level of exercise and it doesn't need to burn as much energy anymore. Since you're not working as hard you're no longer losing weight.
The human body is smart and responds quickly. The moment you stop challenging yourself is the moment you stop seeing results. Your muscles respond to pressure and intensity so keep it coming.
7. Making Direct Comparisons Between Yourself And Other People:
This may be the death trap of all mistakes. It is human nature to compare ourselves to others (that's how we set standards). It's not so easy when it comes to people and their bodies.
People fall into 3 broad categories when it comes to body types:
- Ectomorph - thin, lightly muscled, trouble gaining weight
- Mesomorph - athletic, muscled body, gains or loses weight easily
- Endomorph - soft body, round body, trouble losing weight
No one person is strictly one type. I exhibit traits of both the endomorph (round body) and mesomorph (muscled body). Eating right, pushing myself in the weight room, and paying attention to what I'm doing are all vital if I want to drop an ounce.
- An Ectomorphs View: Get Big The Right Way! - By Ricky Cutch
- Train Right For Your Body Type. - By Mike Mahler
- Learn Your Body Type And Get Results! - By Jeff Mayner
- Other Body Types Articles...
Body Types Articles:
One of my best friends blends the qualities of an ectomorph (skinny) and mesomorph (muscled body). He drops weight at will. If I compared myself to him in terms of losing weight I'd be in big trouble. Many people do exactly that and it drives them so crazy that they give up.
The only person you can truly measure yourself against is yourself. There are too many factors that go into comparing yourself to others to ever make a good comparison.
8. Too Much Rest In Between Sets:
The goal of working out is to challenge your body. Sitting around for 2-3 minutes between sets allows your body to totally recover from what you've just done.
One of my friends works out at the office gym. Whenever she feels tired or begins to sweat she gets off the machine for 5 minutes and "collects herself". One day I saw her in the halls during her scheduled workout time. When I asked what she was doing she said, "taking a break because I started sweating."
She's three months into the workout now and still hasn't seen any results. Don't let this happen to you!
- How Long Do You Rest Between Sets? - Started By Spottydog
"I've heard that it should be 30sec-1min, but some guy at my gym says it should be "however long it takes", maybe 5 minutes, even! I think that's way too long, because you can't give your all if you're giving only 10 seconds of "your all" and then chilling for enough time to fully recover."
- Rest Between Sets. - Started By Urchin
"I was just curious as to what most people do for rest between their sets? I'm doing 2 minutes (was doing a 5x5 type program that stated 2 mins), but find that it wastes a lot of time. Might cut it down to 1 minute and go a bit lighter."
- Rest 30-60 Seconds Between Sets? - Started By matt72178
"What's the point to rest that little? I am sure you will perform much better and lift heavier if rest enough (like 2 mins). Is there any benefits not taking much rest between sets?"
9. Listening To Negative People:
It's surprising how much misery loves company. Especially when it comes to getting in shape. I've seen husbands, wives, coworkers, and friends turn on each other. It's a disgusting trend of human nature.
You don't have to listen to any of it. When I started taking my body transformation seriously I had people make negative remarks. People said it was "stupid," "impossible," and "unrealistic." I went on with my workouts and eating as if they never said a word. Today I advise them on methods to lose weight and gain muscle. Ironic isn't it?
Let people make all the remarks they want. It's your life and your body. You don't need anyone else to co-sign your
goals. In the end your results are all that matter.
Let's recap the list:
- Poor Mindset
- Quick Fix Strategies
- Not Eating Frequently Enough
- Not Drinking Enough Water
- Eating Too Much
- Intensity Plateau
- Comparing Yourself to Others
- Too Much Rest Between Sets
- Listening to Negative People
Those are the 9 most common pitfalls I see when people attempt to create the body of their dreams. Avoid those and you should be well on your way to creating the body you want and deserve.