You can almost smell the testosterone in the gym when men go anywhere near the weights. Some of them can be transported right back to the playground with a, ‘I can lift more than you’ mentality. But showing off in front of the mirror to no-one in particular with an impressive straight lift that causes them an injury, isn’t the worst mistake they make. Oh no. There are plenty of others…

drill seargent

No long term target

Everyone needs a target. Whether it’s to lose half a stone or run a certain race, we all need things to aim for. So don’t fling yourself into a new hobby without any idea where you’re going with it. The reality is you will lose interest and give up after a while, because you have nothing to work towards. Women love to have a plan, from making shopping lists to targeting their wedding day and the people involved in it. Men tend to be more relaxed about life in general, but don’t make that mistake when it comes to fitness, because if you do, your gym membership or running career is destined to be short-lived.

Doing the wrong workout

It’s easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm of having a new hobby or enjoying a new sport. Even better if you’ve followed our advice and made a plan with proper achievable targets. However and here’s the problem – those targets are useless if they are unachievable. A lot of people say they would ‘like’ to run a marathon, but doing it is altogether different. There is no point aiming to do that, if running just isn’t for you. So be honest with yourself. Pick something you enjoy and will stick at.

Focusing on only one muscle group

Now come on. We’ve all seen ‘that guy’ on the beach. The fellow strolling around with enormous biceps, a neck like a bulldog, concrete abs and the skinniest legs you have ever seen. That kind of imbalance not only looks silly, but it also makes you injury prone. And it holds men back because the muscle groups in the legs are the powerhouse of the whole body. Remember a full body workout boosts the metabolism, increases muscle strength and enables anyone to go further with their training. So whether it is lifting weights in the gym, or pounding the streets in pursuit of a marathon or half marathon, make sure you give your body the full fitness treatment.

A strong core

Part of that full body workout is making sure you have a strong core. Now I’m not talking about it in an emotional ying and yang sense. Nope, I’m talking abs of steel that don’t just look good on the beach, but stabilise your whole athletic effort. A strong core improves running, weight training, well actually pretty much everything really. Men ignore it because they like the idea of arms like an Olympic boxer, without realising that to get them, you need to do the core work too.

Quality not quantity

Again, there’s no point in doing 100 sit-ups if you’re not doing them properly. It’s the same with mileage on the road. No point doing 10 miles at the same pace. It just won’t help you get any faster. Think about the quality of what you’re doing rather than the quantity.  Tons of sit-ups look impressive, but ultimately they are pointless if they’re not done correctly and don’t focus on the right areas.

Ignoring nutrition

Now we know how much boys love cars, but let me ask you this. Would you try and drive a Lamborghini by popping olive oil in the engine? No. I didn’t think so. So don’t make the same mistake with fitness. Eat and drink properly and make sure you refuel adequately. If you do that, you can sit back on your rest days and watch your biceps blossom.

Too much weight

If you are using weights in the gym, it is soooo tempting to try and impress the ladies by lifting the equivalent of a car. However, while that may bring you the temporary satisfaction of thinking you’re a player, the painful reality of your rampant ego will hit you like that same car the next day, when you can’t move. Injuring yourself because you’ve had a mad moment brought on by testosterone or ego will get you nowhere. Breathe. Take a moment and be sensible. It’s a marathon not a sprint – quite literally sometimes.