Top 5 Beginner Mistakes in Fitness

Are you starting a new exercise or nutrition program soon? These are some of the biggest mistakes we see new folks making! It’s mostly mindset issues. Going in with the right attitude and expectations is key to a successful venture. Hopefully these tips can save you some frustration down the line! Let us know if there are any big ones we missed.

  • Comparing yourself to others. Everyone’s journey and timeline looks different! Unless you’re literally comparing yourself to your identical twin who has also had identical life experiences to you…it’s not a fair comparison. Run your own race. Pay attention to your own growth and victories, not what your old high school buddy on Instagram can bench, or your neighbour’s marathon time.


  • Focusing on performance. Especially when you’re first starting out with a new fitness experience…your scores don’t matter. How much you lift doesn’t matter. How “good” you are at a movement doesn’t matter. Of course you’re not “good” at some of these movements yet — you’re brand new! The most important part is to keep showing up. All your goals for the first 90 days or so should be focused solely on consistency, not performance. You can’t really say you’re “bad” at something, if you’ve spent a total of 12 minutes on it. You’re just new to it. Look for progress over perfection!


  • Keeping your nutrition the same. If you start a new workout routine and you’re suddenly exercising way more than you used to, you need to take a serious look at what you’re eating and drinking, too! This is especially true for folks who are attempting some sort of restrictive diet when they begin a new exercise program (which we generally don’t recommend). If you’re not getting much protein, you’re going “low carb”, or not eating enough calories in general, you may not be giving your body the fuel it needs to succeed, or the resources it needs to recover and grow. You might also need to adjust your eating schedule to make sure you’re not working out on a totally empty stomach. We strongly recommend doing a consultation with a nutrition coach when you start your new program. (If the gym you’re looking at doesn’t offer that…we do!)


  • Unrealistic expectations. To a certain extent, we really can’t blame the new exerciser for this one. The media and fitness culture has created all sorts of ridiculous standards for what a human physique looks like, and a whole host of predatory diet products and programs to reinforce these ideas. Real, lasting changes take time and consistency. There’s no shortcuts or special tricks. Expecting to get super shredded in a month, look like a supermodel, or become a professional Olympic lifter just isn’t realistic for most humans! This ties back to #2 as well — rather than focusing so hard on the outcome you want, focus on showing up and giving your best effort! Those are things we can control.


  • Trying to do it alone. There are some people out there who can walk into a “globo gym” fitness facility (a big room full of machines) and know what they need to do, know how to do it safely, and can actually stick to it for long term results. All by themselves. However, that percentage of people is actually VERY small! Sadly, most people think they “should” be able to figure all this stuff out by themselves. It’s OK to ask for help with this stuff! There’s a reason people get certifications and go to school for things like kinesiology and nutrition. Hiring a coach for your workouts or nutrition program takes the onus of expertise off your shoulders. You just show up and do the things your coach asks of you, and the results come. Your risk of injury goes down since you have consistent feedback on your movements. You have someone there to keep you motivated when things get hard. Plus it’s just a lot more fun that way.

At FirePower, our whole program is designed to help you get over these hurdles from the first day. We’ve developed a super supportive, noncompetitive environment where we celebrate progress on a personal level every chance we get. If you’re ready for a gym you can call home for the long haul, sign up for a Free Intro Session today to get started!

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Andrea Savard

As owner of Reebok CrossFit FirePower, Andrea has been in athletics for over 25 years in high performance teams and coaching. With a background in corporate marketing from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, she has built RCFP to a world-class training facility with her husband George. Together they are raising twin kids and twin dogs in Milton, Ontario.

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