Exercise & Training,  PFIT TIPS

20 Gym Boo Boos

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
– but what if it’s not broke, but it’s not working? 

Something doesn’t necessarily have to be broken to need fixing. A car can run, but just not run well – and a workout may keep you moving, but just not moving toward your goal.

As a gym owner, I see a lot of people doing some crazy stuff in the gym. I’ve witnessed people loading up a leg press machine with every plate in the gym, only to barely pump out the most shallow reps you’ve ever seen. On the other hand, I’ve watched people sling weight around like it’s nothing – and their weight was practically nothing at all. Although some people have a valid reason for their unique training style, most people are just going through the motions without really knowing what they are doing – just because they’ve always done it that way.

Whether someone is lifting too light or too heavy, what I see is a person wasting their time and money. Even if someone uses the proper weight, there are many other mistakes one can make that could prolong their results. Rest time, order of exercises, nutrition and correct form are just a few important components in a workout regimen that can be out of whack. The problem is, people are creatures of habits, and habits can be hard to break.

Not All Routines Are Good Ones
Unfortunately, we like being in a routine – even if it’s a bad one. Most of us simply don’t like change and we all tend to shy away from trying something new. We can spend years with the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. But, what if it is broke and you just don’t know it?

Since people don’t like being wrong, I’m trying a new approach to my pFIT TIPS today. Instead of sharing with you what you could do right, I’m going to point out a few things you may be doing wrong, in hopes I make you upset enough to explore making a change.

20 Most Common Fitness Mistakes

  1. Tracking calories going out, but not in.
  2. Doing cardio, but not weights.
  3. Doing weights, but not cardio.
  4. Resting too long between sets.
  5. Not stretching.
  6. Neglecting the core.
  7. Compromising form to lift heavy.
  8. Using weight that is too light.
  9. Never fatiguing the muscle.
  10. Not going through a full range of motion.
  11. Neglecting lower body exercises (take note bench press boys!).
  12. Not sticking to a regimen long enough.
  13. Doing the same workout too long without changing routine or resistance.
  14. Target training for body fat loss (fat loss happens all over, not by using an ab machine).
  15. Not getting enough protein.
  16. Doing weights on an empty stomach.
  17. Doing cardio on a full stomach.
  18. Doing cardio right before weights.
  19. Never trying new workouts and classes.
  20. Throwing money away on junk and gimmicks instead of paying a trainer to teach you how to get fit the right way.

Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but the majority of people are wanting the same thing. They want to lose body fat and improve muscle tone the most effective, efficient and affordable way possible. If that’s you, I challenge you to look for ways to improve your existing workout program and make the most of your hard work in the gym.

Owner of Lift Vero and motivational "pfitness, pfood and pfaith" blogger in Vero Beach, Florida.


  • leannenalani

    This is great! I always am wondering if I’m doing it right or wrong. I’d love to know more about strength training and rest time. Right now I do an hour strength DVD that is mostly arms & legs Monday, light strength/cardio 45 min (Zumba sculpt) + 20 min Zumba abs Wednesday, and 50 min full body sculpt on Thursday.

    • Bonnie Pfiester

      If your body is ok with doing cardio on an empty stomach, it’s awesome for forcing your body to burn stored fat for energy. Otherwise, it will just burn your food off. If you need a little something, you can have a bite of a bar or something small. I normally have one or two cups of coffee to get me going 🙂

  • Michelle

    Hi Bonnie
    Why does it matter if you do Cardio before weights? If you still train as hard on both as you would if you did them separately… it shouldn’t matter should it? I can’t muster up the energy to do cardio after a tough weights session… but can do the reverse. (I can do 20 mins of interval cardio and still do a tough weights session, two – three times a week. We then do a long cardio session (cycle, 3hrs) on its own on the weekend – Saturday, and then a long enduro (dirt bike) ride (4 – 7 hours) on Sunday (which is effectively weights and cardio combined).


    • Bonnie Pfiester

      It matters because we don’t need glycogen in the muscle for cardio, but we need it for weights and explosive powerful movements. Another words, our body needs food in our system to make glycogen so it’s available as soon as lift that weight. With cardio, our body trains at a lower level of power and intensity, and our body has time to make glycogen out of body fat. If you do weights BEFORE cardio, you deplete your body of all the glycogen stores (left over from food) so by the time you do cardio, you are primarily burning fat stores and using them for energy instead of food stores.

      I understand what you are saying though. I used to do cardio first to “get it out of the way” but it isn’t ideal – UNLESS you do cardio on an empty stomach, and then eat, and THEN lift weights. That’s another option. 🙂 Hope that makes sense!

  • gingersneezes

    I am still fairly new go working out in a gym, and I am probably guilty of a lot of the things you have listed above. The one I have a question about is eating, particularly not eating before weights. I have a really challenging time doing any type of rigorous activity with food in my stomach, I have even tried just having a spoon full of peanut butter an hour before and then I just burp it up the whole time, do you have any suggestions or recommendations to make sure I am giving my body what it needs before lifting?

    • Michelle

      Some ppl just CAN NOT eat before any form of exercise, so dont beat yourself up about it. But, you could experiment with different types of pre-workout snacks, and time-gaps, an hour, 1.5 and 2 hours prior to training. Try and mix your protein and carbs, I have always found this is best for curbing hunger, and giving you energy for the workout. Such snacks as 3 boiled egg whites, and one yolk, with some almonds/ an apple or half an apple. Or a small cup of cottage cheese and a banana, etc.

    • Bonnie Pfiester

      I don’t recommend eating right before an intense workout – I eat 45 min to an hour before I do weights or boot camp. I do well with one packet of oatmeal, a bar or greek yogurt with granola. it’s toootally trial and error though. 🙂 Just keep on trying new things – you’ll find one that works …and when you DO, you’ll FEEL the difference and have more energy and power through your workouts!

  • Gene @boutdrz

    here’s another one…even though running on a treadmill seems mindless, DO NOT, i say again…DO NOT close your eyes while running on a treadmill.
    happened to a ‘friend’ of mine…

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