Last Updated on January 4, 2023
Today I’m sharing 10 fitness tips you can use to get better results from your workouts.
I used to make so many mistakes when I first started working out.
I could never figure out why my body wasn’t changing and why I wasn’t losing weight even though I was exercising every damn day. So frustrating!
I would wander from machine to machine hoping I could figure out how to use it. I’d read the sticker with the instructions and would hope for the best, assuming I was doing it right.
When I was about 20 years old, I was attempting to use a cable machine for the first time. A trainer from the gym walked up to me. She called me out and said I was doing the exercise wrong.
She helped correct my form and I could definitely feel a major difference doing the exercise with her help. Afterward, she tried to start high-pressure selling me into crazy expensive training packages.
She didn’t make me feel empowered as she tried either. Instead, I felt so freakin’ embarrassed. Everything she said felt so slimy.
I was a beginner and had no idea what the heck I was doing. And she made it clear I didn’t. I didn’t want training at all after that.
But I knew she was right. I didn’t have a clue about exercise and was totally winging it. I could tell because even though I was working out hard, for an hour (plus) every day I wasn’t getting results.
I wanted to learn about how to exercise so I wouldn’t embarrass myself like that ever again. Also, I wanted to know what to do to get the results I so desperately wanted. But that was 20 years ago…
That experience also inspired me to become a trainer so I could know what the heck to do to get the results I wanted. And I did.
And now I help others avoid making the same mistakes and get better results by working out smart, not hard.
Now that I’m a personal trainer, nutritionist, and fitness coach with almost 2 decades of professional experience, I often see people making the same mistakes that I used to.
That’s why I want to empower you with the top 10 most common mistakes I see and fitness tips that’ll help you get better results from your workouts. My fitness tips will help you stop struggling and start getting results – working out smart, NOT hard.
10 Fitness Tips to Get Better Results from your Workouts
I put together this list of the top 10 workout mistakes I see most along with simple fitness tips to correct them and avoid issues.
The following fitness tips will help you prevent injuries, avoid plateaus, and get the results you deserve.
After you have a chance to check out the tips, leave me a comment and let me know which one helped you the most.
Ready? Let’s dig in!
Fitness Tip #1: Stop Doing Workouts that are too long
WHY? If you start with long-duration workouts (60+ minutes), over time, your body will eventually adapt and expect long duration workouts. Which is the last thing you want! It can seriously affect your metabolism and ability to burn fat long-term. When your body adapts to long-duration workouts (and it will) you’ll plateau and have to do 45+ minutes to keep losing weight. You’ll also have to reduce calories to burn fat… but long duration workouts increase your caloric intake requirements. But most people do long workouts and eat less which causes fatigue, stress, injuries, and slows the metabolism, and ultimately makes you tap out and quit because it’s harder to get results and you feel terrible. It also sets you up for rapid regain.
What to Do Instead: Start with enough exercise needed to get results then add on more time as you plateau and get stronger. This way you can avoid plateaus and slowing the metabolism. You also don’t increase your caloric intake this way, so you’ll get better results from your diet and will be able to eat more. Doing shorter workouts also don’t cause fatigue and stress to the body which helps prevent food cravings. At a minimum, you need to move for 30 minutes a day. But you don’t need to do anything crazy intense either. Walking is enough, especially if you’re a beginner. Plus, 30-minute workouts give the most benefits and are easier to get motivated to do. If you’re already struggling with workouts that are too long and motivation to workout my Mind Right, Body Tight program is perfect for you. And always remember exercise is a journey, not a race.
Fitness Tip #2: Set a Goal and Your Intentions
WHY? If you don’t know where you want to be or how you’re going to get there – then you won’t. Trying to get fit without a goal is like getting in an uber without an address to drive to. You can’t work and adjust properly when you don’t know where your target is! Setting a clear goal and what you intend to do to get there is a huge first step when you begin working out.
What to Do Instead: Choose your ultimate, realistic goal weight. Your goal should be a weight that you can both reach and maintain (while also maintaining your sanity). Aim to lose 1 – 2 pounds of fat a week – not muscle. This is a realistic and safe rate of weight loss. Losing weight at this rate is sustainable and helps prevent loose skin. From there adjust your meals and workouts to make your goal a reality. Also, realize that you can lose fat and build muscle at the same time. So even if the number on the scale doesn’t drop you will see your body change and feel your clothes get loose when you’re losing fat – not muscle. When you have a clear plan in place, it’s easier to get results and stay motivated, too. A plan and consistency ensure results… and you have to get results to stay motivated. Check out out this exercise to get motivated and set your intentions. Again, the MRBT program is perfect here because you get an easy plan that guarantees 1 – 2 pounds of weight loss a week + motivation and the best results for the least energy and time… It also makes sure your food and workouts work together to burn fat in a healthy, motivating way,
Fitness Tip #3: Avoid only Training one body part and doing your Favorite Exercises Over and Over
WHY? Repeating the same moves over and over causes the body to adapt and plateau. You can’t spot train fat loss. You can spot train your muscles. But if you only focus on one body part you won’t boost your metabolism as much as you otherwise could. All of your muscles need to be exercised every week in a different way to maximize your metabolism and your body’s full fat-burning potential.
What to Do Instead: Break up the muscle groups into sections and train all of your muscles in a targeted way, with different exercises at least once, every week. Never do the same routine and same part more than one time a week. *Only the abs can be trained safely more than once a week doing similar exercises but you have to add on intensity gradually. My 30 Day Ab Challenge will show you how.* All of my workout programs take care of this for you automatically so you can train your body like a pro and get better results, faster.
Fitness Tip #4: Stop Swinging Your Weights
WHY? The entire point of weight training is to use muscles to control movement and cause a contraction. The contraction of the muscle fibers against force is what builds muscle and boosts metabolism. So when you swing your weights momentum moves the weight, NOT your muscles.. which means negligible results for you. Swinging weights is a complete waste of time and increases the potential for injury. Never, ever swing your weights.
What to Do Instead: 10 reps with proper form will get you results faster than 100 sloppy reps. Always perform weight-training exercises slowly and control the movement with your muscles. Only your muscles should be moving the weight or your body and ‘doing the work’. Always remember, cardio should be fast, weight training should be slow. HINT: That’s why all of my workouts – both free and paid – include demonstrations and instructions so you can do the exercises with proper form and pace that maximizes calorie burn and building lean, toned muscle.
Fitness Tip #5: Warm Up and Cool Down before and after your workout
WHY? Stretching prepares the muscles for exercise and helps prevent pain and injuries.
What to Do: Warm up with some light cardio… think slow jogging in place, jumping jacks, or walking on a treadmill. 5-10 minutes is ideal. During the warm up your goal should be to literally feel warm and slightly increase heart rate. After you’re warm, stretch the muscle groups you’ll be targeting in your workout. Hold each pose for 5-10 seconds. After you’re done stretch the same muscles while you’re still warm. Doing so allows the heart rate to slow and cools you back down to transition out of your workout. It also helps elongate muscle fibers for a lean look and helps muscle fibers recover, which prevents knots and muscles and joint pain.
To learn more and see the best stretching exercises check out this post all about stretching exercises.
Fitness Tip #6: Stop Holding Your Breath
WHY? Holding your breath when you’re exercising cuts off your oxygen supply. But your muscles and body’s need for oxygen increases when you’re moving weight or doing cardio.
What to Do Instead: Always breathe regularly throughout your workout. Breathing will help oxygenate your muscles so you can recover faster. It also helps prevent dizzy spells, fatigue, and feeling winded. During cardio, breathe consistently as you move. During weight training workouts, exhale during the hard part (the contraction) and inhale during the easy part (as you return the weight/body back to the start position.) Breathing this way helps oxygenate muscles when they need it most.
Fitness Tip #7: Do Both Weight Training and Cardio Workouts, Not just one
WHY? Cardio will burn calories but only during the workout and has its own unique health benefits. But, our goal is to burn as much fat as possible! To burn the most fat you also need to boost metabolism. Building lean muscle mass is the only way to do this with exercise… weight training also has unique health benefits. So it’s best to do both so you can get the most benefits.
What to Do: Do both weight-training exercises and cardio. Weight training helps build lean muscle, which will increase your metabolism and cardio helps burn fat. Weight training burns calories during the workout and continues to burn calories after the workout is over, too. Plus, weight training makes muscle definition possible. Cardio helps melt fat off as you build muscle. By doing weight training and cardio you’ll get the benefits of both types of exercise… which means better results for you physically and mentally. My Mind Right, Body Tight program includes both for you so you can get the best results from each type… without doing workouts that are too long or tough.
Fitness Tip # 8: Stop Eating before you Exercise
WHY? Your body first uses stored glycogen as energy when you exercise. After glycogen is burned up, the body will start burning excess body fat for fuel. It takes approx. 20 minutes for the body to burn through glycogen before it can start burning fat.
Eating immediately before a workout overloads glycogen stores. That means if you eat right before your workout, you’re more likely to burn food as fuel for energy, not your unwanted fat. Eating before exercise is better suited to fuel long-duration (hours +) workouts or if you’re training for a race or competition, not fat loss workouts.
What to Do Instead: Eat a balanced meal 1-2 hours before and after your workout. This ensures you’ll recover properly, prevents fatigue, and will keep your metabolism boosted. It also helps ensure that you’re burning the most fat for energy while you workout, not food. Staying hydrated before and during your workouts, helps to because it prevents dehydration and ‘false’ hunger. Dehydration and thirst is often confused for hunger. You can learn more about what to eat to boost metabolism, burn fat, and to recover during workouts in all of my fitness programs.
Fitness Tip #9: Stop Doing Workouts that are too hard
WHY? Aggressive, overly-intense workouts are inflammatory, draining, and can spike stress hormones… and stress hormones have a domino effect on other hormones and can make it harder to lose weight and feel great. Doing too much too fast is like taking a car out of storage and trying to race a Ferrari. It doesn’t take long before you crash and burn out…. especially if your nutrition isn’t on point and if you have preexisting issues like inflammation, hormone imbalances, or nutrient deficiencies… Too tough workouts can kill motivation, make you overly acidic, and cause pain that lasts days and sometimes longer than a week. Also, as we already discussed when you do too much too soon the body will adapt and require longer, harder workouts to get results. If you end your workouts feeling tired or if you feel sore for more than 2 days your workouts are over they’re too hard. If you feel dizzy or lightheaded after your workout, that means your workout is too tough for your diet and that you’re losing muscle not fat. Training this way slows the metabolism and will set you up for rapid regain.
What to Do Instead: Start with intensity (speed, weight, and resistance) that is realistic for your experience level. If your workouts already feel too hard and if you don’t leave your workouts feeling energized and positive, reduce the resistance, weight lifted, and/or speed. Make sure your nutrition matches the intensity of your training. My MRBT program makes sure your food and workouts work together to burn fat in a healthy, easy way,
Fitness Tip #10: Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
WHY? We were not made from cookie cutters! We lose and gain fat differently because we all have our own unique genetic makeup. Everyone has their own unique body type, body shape, and metabolic type that determines how they look and how quickly they can lose and gain both fat and muscle. Plus, you never know how long someone has been working out. I can’t begin to tell you how many influencers I’ve spoken with that have eating disorders and edit their photos tremendously. So you may be comparing your body to someone who doesn’t even look like that.
Also, if you’re an easy gainer (meaning you easily gain fat and muscle) and you’re comparing yourself to a hard gainer (someone the has a hard time gaining fat and muscle) you’ll always be disappointed. Hard gainers have to lift heavy and workout hard to get results… easy gainers do not. So if you train to look like someone super lean and muscular… but you easily gain muscle you can build muscle and gain weight easily even though you’re trying to slim down and tone up.
PSA I only work with easy gainers (like me) so they can lose fat and get tight and defined – without bulking up.
What to Do Instead: Stop comparing yourself to someone you are not. Accept yourself for who you are. Be aware of how your body is, then tailor your training strategy to suit your goal look (I teach you how in all of my exercise programs), and eat in a way that matches your unique metabolic needs. Doing so makes it a lot easier to get the results you want and feel good in your own skin.
That’s my roundup of 10 fitness tips to consider when you exercise.
Which tip was your favorite? Let me know in the comments.
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Christina is a certified Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, and Fitness & Health Coach. After healing multiple health issues, getting off 7 meds, & losing 40 pounds – and keeping it off for 10+ years, Christina teaches others how to get Happy, Healthy, & Fit quickly without any bullshit. She’ll show you how to slim down, tone up, and feel fantastic naturally with the most delicious food and least intense workouts possible.