Written by Andi Martin-Wagner | Photography by Paul Buceta

These six common mistakes could be standing between you and your fitness goals.

Remember those fitness resolutions you made back in January? You know, the promises to add a little muscle, shed a little flab, and get strong as hell? Yeah, those. With summer around the corner, now is the perfect time to check in on your progress. Have you begun to see major changes in your body and energy? Or, are your extra efforts to eat clean and hit the gym failing to deliver the results you hoped for? If you answered “yes” to the latter, you’re not alone. Even when they think they’re going by the book, so many people fall short of their fitness goals, making it hard to stay focused and motivated. But don’t give up! Time to take a step back and reevaluate the last few months to see if one of these common mistakes could be sabotaging your efforts.

Sorry, but it had to be said. Going to the gym just to cross it off your to-do list won’t get you anywhere unless you’re really challenging yourself. Sure, you may have worked up a sweat, but were those last few reps difficult to complete with good form? Did you do those intervals with maximal effort? In order to make your time in the gym count, you have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Try training with a partner who motivates you to go a little harder, or wearing a heart rate monitor to measure exertion.
In order to succeed, you need the proper tools. So before you even step foot in the gym, do your research. If you can, seek out an expert who has experience working with others who have similar goals. For example, if you aspire to run a marathon, hire a running coach. If your goal is to improve your eating habits, get yourself a nutritionist. However, if paying for outside help is not in your budget, use reputable resources to educate yourself, then create your own plan.
Eating chicken and broccoli is great, but if you’re underestimating portion sizes, or forgetting to account for that mochaccino with whip, you’re in trouble. To avoid accidentally blowing your calorie budget, keep a detailed food log for a few weeks, and be honest about what goes into your mouth! Start weighing and measuring your food until you can eyeball proper portions, and limit cheat or “off-plan” meals to a minimum of once or twice per week. Finally, cut back on the booze. Alcohol can inhibit your fitness goals tremendously, especially if fat loss is at the top of your list.
A brand new training program is exciting, but avoid overdoing it in the beginning. Doing too much too soon may get you results at first, but eventually it can lead to soreness, injuries and even burnout. Make sure to schedule rest days into your routine, and always warm-up and cool down before and after a workout.
I know I said to do your research, but reading too much on the internet or listening to a number of “experts” can become confusing. To avoid contradictory info, stick to one expert at a time and follow her program only. If you must use multiple coaches, be sure they are aware of each other so they can work together to get you to your goals.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different! This is your journey and as long as you stay emotionally and physically committed to your goals, your results will come.

Happy Training!

Coach Andi Martin-Wagner
STRONG Fitness Mag
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.