7 BIGGEST WORKOUT MISTAKES | Beginner Exercise Tips + Fitness Motivation

7 BIGGEST WORKOUT MISTAKES | Beginner Exercise Tips + Fitness Motivation

hey guys summer is finally here which means people are pouring into gyms all through the country to try to achieve their ideal summer look and as such gyms have been a little bit more packed lately and I have noticed some people doing things that are probably not optimal for their goals so today I wanted to make sure none of you make any of those mistakes so I wanted to go through my top seven most common mistakes I see when people are exercising so if you're excited to learn about all the mistakes that you should avoid when it comes to exercise go ahead and give this video a thumbs up and without further ado let's just get straight into it number one mistake that I see people making is focusing on cardio for long term fat loss now I have talked about this extensively on my channel before but just to give a really quick overview of why this is not optimal unless you like genuinely love cardio and plan on just doing it forever basically your body is an adaptation machine it wants to stay in homeostasis wants to stay where it's so as such when you apply a stimulus to it your body will try to adapt to it when you use cardio to send a stimulus to your body to elicit change what you're basically telling your body is that four days every week you're gonna be burning an extra 400 calories you're gonna be in a calorie deficit and so your body since it wants to stay in homeostasis it's going to slow down your metabolism gradually and burn fewer and fewer calories so that you start not making progress with those workouts you're actually burning fuel and your calories over the course of the weeks for your body to accommodate those extra calories that you're trying to burn so basically long-term it slows down your metabolism now this isn't necessarily a bad thing like if you love cardio if you love cardio based sports or activities that's fine because if you continue to do it then your averages are all gonna be the same no matter what it's when you start doing cardio for fat loss and then expect to keep seeing the same changes weekend and week out with the same amount of cardio that you end up kind of stuck in a rut where you plateau and all you can do is either eat even less or do even more cardio and you have an entire that goes super in-depth on this topic so if you're confused at all or if you want to learn more I highly recommend you check that out only get up there and down in the description box below and that video also comes with a little downloadable guide to look at all of my content about cardio and that kind of fills in some of the blanks that people have questions about so I definitely recommend you check that out so the solution to this mistake is if you want prolonged sustainable fat loss your primary focus should actually be on lifting weights and building muscle building muscle sends basically the opposite signal to the body that cardio does but it still helps burn calories so when you build muscle that's a very energy expensive process it costs the body a lot of calories to build muscle tissue it's literally building tissue like that takes a lot of calories and then also takes calories to just maintain that muscle tissue and not let it like fall off your body so essentially the more muscle you build the faster your metabolism is and so the easier it becomes to lose fat so if your goal is prolonged sustainable fat loss I definitely recommend looking into weight training and building muscle as your primary mode for that mistake number two is not using the appropriate intensity and this can be one of two things one basically not really believing in yourself and thinking you're a lot weaker than you are and so you're not pushing yourself to the extent that you're fully capable of and would actually be most beneficial or to you think you're a lot stronger than you actually are and so you go way heavier or with much more intensity than you actually can thus compromising your form and resulting in overtrain the trick is basically to find the sweet spot between the two where you're pushing yourself hard enough that it's actually effective and you're accomplishing what you think you should be accomplishing but not wishing yourself so hard that your form breaks down you could result in injury or overtraining or any of those negative consequences and see the first thing a lot more in women in particular in the gym and even with some of the clients that I've worked with I had one client who when she came to me she was squatting ten pounds and I was like girl you are so much stronger than you think you are next time you go to the gym please try squatting the bar and guess what she's breaking school out of the bar and then every time she's called it out she hadn't like five pounds to the squat now she's a badass power lifter and it's freaking amazing I'm so proud of her shout out to you if you know that I'm talking about you I'm obviously not saying that everyone has to be a power lifter to like take advantage of their full potential but I just think a lot of people are scared or intimidated by certain exercises and thus just majorly scale-back and never really realize their full potential and maximize the potential benefits that they could be getting from the exercises that they're doing and it is good to be wary of injury I'm not pushing yourself too hard but at a certain point you really should push and test your limits and see what you're capable of in order to get the most amount of change and then on the flip side I see a lot of women and men majorly overestimating what their bodies are capable of now I did just make a video all about overtraining which basically goes into all of the negative side effects of pushing your body too hard and pushing it beyond the limits that it's able to recover from so if you think you've been overtraining at all I highly recommend you go check out that video but just to keep it kind of short and sweet for a summary if you have been pushing really hard in the gym and you're not seeing results quite possibly overtraining if you're sore all of the time almost definitely overtraining overtraining kills your gains it makes it so much more difficult for you to make progress and it's not because you're not working hard enough it's because you're working too hard and there's a very simple fixed focus just scale back the intensity scale back the activity and you'll start seeing the progress that you want to and overtraining is so much more common than people realize because it's so easy to get caught in the loop of you're not seeing progress so you increase intensity a little bit then you're still not seeing progress so you keep increasing in terms of you not seeing progress more intensity till you're at the point where it's just way too much intensity for your body to handle and so your progress completely stops or even starts reversing itself I recently had this happen to me I didn't realize that I was overtraining until I was basically like definitely overtraining so I pro tip for this is to focus on your health if you're training to optimize your health which means not pushing it too hard and making sure you're going with enough intensity to be beneficial for your else than the aesthetics usually falls straight into place missing number three is not following a pre-programmed program or switching between like different Instagram workouts for every single workout now obviously you can get a really good workout in with just doing individual workouts that are completely separate from each other and aren't complementary or anything like that but if you have a program that is designed to be a cohesive coherent program it's going to maximize the benefits that you're going to be able to achieve the reason for this is that progressive overload is key to making change now progressive overload basically means every time you work out or ever a few times your workout you're gradually increasing the luck so if you're doing resistance training this means gradually increasing the volume by increasing sets reps or weight if you're doing a more cardio based form of exercise than it could be increasing intensity endurance speed like the grade on the treadmill depends on kind of what cardio you're doing but basically increasing the intensity over time if you want to learn more in detail about progressive overload and how to apply it I have a video all about that right here so you can check that out I'll link that down in the description as well but the reason following a program really helps with progressive overload assuming it's like actually a well programmed program not just someone being like here's six weeks of random workouts but if it's like a good program is that you can actually track your workouts and make sure that you are applying progressive overload is this a super simple example and I mean like really simple let's say that your workout program consists of on Mondays you do squats and you do three to four sets of eight to twelve reps so each Monday that you go in there to squat you're gonna want to make sure that your volume is increasing by just a little bit and your total volume is sets times a reps times weight so usually you know you start with a certain weight that you can do eight reps three sets you'll work your way out to be able to do that same weight for twelve reps for three sets and then maybe increase the sets increase the weight decrease the reps etc so that your volume gradually is increasing and this is the way to ensure continual progress and when you have a program that is programmed in order to ensure that you can apply progress overload that's where you're gonna get the maximum benefit whereas if you do something a drastically different every single day and you're not keeping track of your progress it's going to be really hard to make progress feel like the solution to this is kind of obvious just invest in a good quality workout program if you're wondering how to determine like what the good quality workout program versus like a less good quality workout program first make sure the person you wrote it has some amount of education in the field that's usually a good indicator that leg-like kinda know what they're talking about and then do some digging to find out if people are getting a long-term permanent and sustainable results from the program rather than they just did it for like 30 days and got incredible results and got shredded and then 30 days later they were right back to where they started so like if you're considering buying someone's program is like on Instagram and they have transformation pictures posted from their workouts go check out those people who have the transformation pictures and shoot them dams and be like hey like did this work for you was this sustainable were you able to maintain the progress you made on the program my personal favorite source for really solidly programmed programs is the mind pump Maps fitness programs for all of them the programming is just so so solid they make it really easy to apply progressive overload and I honestly think everyone should own at least one of their programs and go through it once especially if you want to learn how to program a really Bal programs program I did maps anabolic twice and it completely transformed the way that I left it made me so much stronger and just helped me get my physique to where I wanted it to be Maps aesthetic is a really great program to really focus on shaping your body kind of like a bodybuilder Maps performance is a fantastic program for any athletes especially in the offseason if you really just want to increase your fitness and athletic performance basically if you're looking for some really good fitness programs I recommend the Maps fitness programs and as always you can get 10% off with my discount code fit in 30 and speaking of workout programming mistake number four is that I see people spending way too much time on ab exercises if you want visible ABS ABS circuits are kind of a waste of time or at least they are not the most efficient way to achieve that and I do making an entire video all about how to really get defined ABS even in a higher body fat percentage so make sure you hit that subscribe button if you want a full discussion on this but the TLDR is that having abs comes from basically two things a low body fat percentage and then having actual AB muscle built up so for the first one how many lower body fat percentage our exercises are really not going to help with that they don't burn more fat around your midsection you can't spot reduce fat so focusing on overall fat loss is going to be key exercises that involve more muscle groups are going to burn more calories so exercises like squats dead lifts benchpress overhead press barbell row all of those are gonna generate a lot more calorie burning potential than doing a series of tiny crunches like your abs are like this big yeah like when you use your whole leg that's a lot more muscle potential to burn calories it's 10 heavy squats is gonna do a lot more for you than 10 crunches so for the second one and building AB muscle most people treat ABS completely differently than they do the rest of their body you know if you wanted a booty you want to grow your glutes you're gonna focus on training your glutes for muscle hypertrophy you're going to train in the range that's going to build that muscle you would just try to lose a ton of fat and then expect a butt to appear but when people approach abs they go oh I lost a ton of fat why don't I see abs well it's because you haven't built up that muscle enough to be able to see it through your skin so the ab exercises that you want to focus on are gonna be more weighted heavy ab exercises that are actually gonna build up the muscle for like eight to fifteen reps and then you want to make sure that you're focusing on exercises that actually take your abs through full range of motion or at least a little bit of a range of motion here's a quick fun and IV lesson for you your abs or at least the ABS that like generates the 6-pack that most people are interested in growing bring your ribcage to your pelvis so they do like the crunching motion if you aren't doing the crunching motion then it's more of isometric work it's the same as if you were to just squat and then hold yourself in the bottom of the squat now I so much report isn't totally useless when it comes to building muscle it definitely can be used in a way that's beneficial but for most people you're good at a lot more from doing exercises that actually take your abs through the full range of motion Thanks I'm just holding your ABS status so some of my favorite ab exercises are things like cable crunches reverse crunches hanging leg raises anything where again the pelvis is coming closer to your ribcage and I see people all the time doing ab circuits that basically only use isometric work on the ABS so like one of the biggest culprits is flutter flutter kicks I don't know what they're called when you're like lying flat on your back and your legs do this thing your pelvis isn't coming closer to your ribcage with that you're literally just using your abs isometrically to hold your legs up same thing with like leg raises or like leg raises or planks are a really good exercise but again you aren't going through my knee range of motion so if you're already pretty lean and you're like why am I not seeing abs even though I'm doing all these ab exercises it's probably because you're not applying the principles of hypertrophy to your ab muscles so throw some weight in there and do exercises that actually bring your ribcage closer to your pelvis the next mistake that I see people making all the time is not doing a proper warm-up I used to be guilty of this myself I would just do like 15 minutes on the elliptical then head straight to the weight section and start doing my workout when I started implementing a warm-up that was specific to my body and to my workout that I was about to do oh my goodness biggest game-changer ever what a really good warm-up does is it not only warms your body up but it kind of warms your brain up think of it as like a warm-up for the brain what it does is it gets those neural pathways firing from the brain to the muscles in the right pathways that are going to optimize the function of your workout I know this might sound kind of complicated but most people actually understand this principle and apply it in the form of glute activation or booty activation before they do any sorts of lower body workout doing some like bandy kickbacks and banded crab walks to get your glutes activated before you go into heavier lists where you want your glutes to be firing maximally it's a great way to ensure that your glutes will be firing maximally it basically tells your brain hey like we want these muscles to contract we want these neurons to fire and so when you get into your workout the neurons already fire your brain and your body are already like primed and know what to do so all you have to do is just focus on making sure your form is as good as possible and lifting as much as you can or doing cardio as best as you can if you don't do a proper warm-up your first few sets become the warm-up so we actually don't get as much out of the workout because you're spending part of the workout warming up your body and getting those neurons to fire in the correct pathway so if you take five or ten minutes before your workout to get your body ready then as soon as you get into work out you're gonna maximize every single second of it a really basic way to go to your warmup is just kinda to go through the different muscle groups that you know you're gonna be working and do some sort of exercise with just bodyweight or very very light weight that's going to activate those muscles so like before you squat do some bodyweight squats or before you bench press maybe do some like really high incline push-ups so those optimal weight warmup also involves like what your body specifically means so for example I know that my left glute is a lot less responsive than my right glute so before I do any lower body work I focus specifically on my left glute and make sure that it's firing properly and I have that mind to muscle connection or else I know that when I go do that lower body work I'm gonna be super imbalanced and it's just gonna reinforce my imbalances so really does come down to your body and the workout that you're about to do I personally have been following Matt's prime as my warmup program of choice for oh my god has it been like two years now a year and a half and it has been the biggest game-changer like it completely revolutionized my workouts as soon as I get into the bar to squat or as soon as I get under the bar to benchpress I just feel ready and I can move more weight and be stronger because of it so if you really do want to maximize your warm-up to help maximize your workout I highly highly do recommend Matt's prime it's suitable for literally anyone for any workout that you plan on doing again you can use my discount code Finnerty for 10% off but it's just an absolute game changer like seriously a hundred percent assist mistake that I see people making all of the time is waiting for motivation to come sweep them off their feet carry them to the gym and then do their work out for them if I had a nickel for every time someone sent me a message or I saw a post in a facebook for him if someone going I don't have motivation I'm not going to the gym what do I do I would be so rich so so rich now again I have ranted about this in the past so if you'd like to see my full rant about why motivation is basically a bunch of BS you can go hunt hot but to keep it short basically motivation is fleeting motivation is not what's going to get you from point A to point B motivation is great in the short term but it is fleeting and it is not reliable what's going to actually carry you on and help you continue to achieve what you want to achieve with health and fitness is building discipline and making it part of your lifestyle in my opinion is your treat working out just like you treat brushing your teeth you probably don't need to like dig deep to find motivation to brush your teeth every morning and every night right like that's just something that you just do because it's good for you and because you know you should the gym should be exactly the same way when I was training 6 days a week I got people asking me questions about how I found motivation to go to the gym 6 days a week and the reality is I wasn't motivated to go to the gym 6 days a week like half the days oh my god can I be like a like I don't really want to go work out like I know I should but like it'd be so much easier to just stay home and not and you know does not work out because why but I still went because it is part of my lifestyle I have the discipline to go and so I made it happen another great example is a lot of you are in college most of you go to class not because you wake up with a ton of motivation to go to class but because you know long-term you're going to these classes to get a degree that's going to help you achieve the life that you want to live same thing with the gym going to the gym regularly two times a week four times a week six times a week is going to help you build the life that you want to live in the long term so if you've been waiting for motivation to hit so that you can go to the gym and just go into your little mind palace and take working out and move it over to the compartment that brushing your teeth and going to class or in obviously this doesn't mean like enjoy your workouts and you should force yourself to go to the gym when it's clearly not optimal like if you're sick or if your way to stress out and way too busy like yes you can take time off from the gym but on the other days where you easily go to the gym don't sit around waiting for motivation to get you there a mistake number seven that I see people making just as frequently as people relying on motivation is relying on the scale to tell you whether or not you're making progress and also to kind of dictate your workouts here's the deal your weight is a really really really really really bad indicator of your progress your body fat percentage on the other hand is a much better indicator of progress let's say you want to lose like ten pounds to look leaner but let's say you gain five pounds of muscle and lose five pounds of fat your weight hasn't changed at all but your body fat percentage has drastically changed and you'll probably look at least as lean as you are hoping for if not even leaner your weight obviously doesn't indicate your worth but it also doesn't dictate your body shape if I gained five or 10 pounds of muscle we not only look a lot leaner if I get 10 pounds I'd probably look like freakin ripped like crazy but I would also probably even look curvier just given my body type even though I gained 10 pounds like my aesthetic wouldn't match the normal thought that you would have in your head of like oh I gained 10 pounds I should probably look less lean that's not the case at all and this principle especially applies to the people who are your classic skinny fat who think they need to lose weight in order to achieve their aesthetic usually those people just need to gain weight in the form of muscle basically is the ratio of fat to muscle on your body that not only dictates like the aesthetic your physical aesthetic but also how healthy you are and then letting the scale dictate how you approach your workouts is where this can actually really become kind of dangerous you know if you wake up in the morning and you're 2 pounds heavier and you go ok I'm gonna double my gym time I'm gonna double the intensity we're gonna burn all this fat off and we're just gonna go crazy until we lose weight that's where things start to get really bad and you can either start completely pushing yourself to the point where you're overtraining where you will stall your Prag and then get all the other negative side effects I'm overtraining or you just get caught in like the yo-yo loop it's not a good tough if you're using a CL that only gives you your weight and not your body fat percentage you can probably like hide it deep in the closet put it in the garage throw it away it's really not gonna tell you much and even so be careful of the scales that do give you your body fat percentage those scales are not super accurate they're kind of useful for measuring trends but they can easily be fooled so like don't take that number at face value either so those are these seven most common exercise mistakes that I see being made leave a little comment down below and let me know some of the exercise mistakes that you've made along your journey and share how you dealt with them how you learned how you are making a mistake etc in the meantime if you want some of my input on some nutrition related things instead of exercise make sure you hit that subscribe button because in my next video I'm gonna be going in-depth about transitioning back into intuitive eating how I'm dealing with that why I'm doing it how it's going to affect my health journey etc if you like this video please give it a thumbs up because it really does support me and my channel and I really genuinely appreciate it please share this video with your friends your family your exercise buddies if you want to see more health and fitness related content from me you can check that out over here make sure you hit that notification belt down below to be notified about future videos from me and I will see you very soon bye


  1. Hi Marisa πŸ™‚ It would be very interesting to hear your opinion on birth control pill. I'm very hesitant about quitting it cause there's lots of controversial research out there. It'd be great to hear your thoughts on it! Lots of love and health to you, you're amazing!

  2. Summer and new year is the most annoying time ever, if you have been going to the same gym for a few years like me you can appreciate my frustration. I wouldn’t mind if half the people actually stuck at it but they don’t. Just show up, procrastinate for a few weeks then disappear, never to be seen again! πŸ™„

  3. U R right about needing to eat a lot more food to able to actually build muscle and also maintain it. Super key.
    Also how do i bet a flat stomach like yours? Im so jealous. My stomach is so gross and i have a massive pooch/muffin-top that i have for most of my life as well as my obliques/love-handles are just so disgusting and spill out.

  4. I just love you πŸ™‚ ❀ always great contents, please could you do a full body warm up? And my pt told me it is better to do a full body work out every time, I do 1 exercise 1 legs, 1 arms, 1 core, and all over again for few times, and I like it πŸ˜… what do you think about it, have you ever done it ?

  5. My biggest fitness mistake was doing a 6-week fitness challenge program where I needed to lose 20 lbs to complete the challenge (& earn my money back). The gym itself was great and I loved all of the training, but the food limitation was sad and miserable. I ended up losing 26 lbs and I just looked very malnourished. Then i stopped going to the gym, ate what I wanted because I felt good about how I looked, aaanddd gained all the weight right back. I learned my lesson and now, going to the gym is a ritual. I see some people on social media that I know and they're doing the same challenge, so I WARN them to keep working out afterwards and eating healthy πŸ˜­πŸ˜‚πŸ€˜πŸΌ

  6. I’ve been overtraining since the beginning of 2019… I lost my period and ignored it for 4 months. I should have listened to my body when it was telling me something was wrong. My mind wants to lift 6 days a weak but my bod can’t handle it

  7. Fantastic video as always. I totally agree on the weight vs body fat percentage point that you made. How your clothes fit can also help you gauge progress vs stepping on the scale. What is it about a number that makes us so crazy/happy/devastated anyway?? πŸ˜’

  8. I have been skinny (BMI wise I would be considered underweight) for most of my life and I really want to gain a little more weight- would you say cardio is a good solution? I have tried increasing my food intake in the past and that did not work.

  9. Was really interested in the point you made about ab workouts. I'd love to see a video that goes more in depth on that subject.

  10. Do you hav any tips for getting over anxiety around building muscle? After losing a bunch of weight, I have a very hard time going into a calorie surplus despite knowing it would fit my goals

  11. I asked this before and didn’t hear from you πŸ™ or maybe I missed it but what’s your opinion on stomach vacuums when you are working out regularly?

  12. YES!!! Love what you said about Abs. Possibly only because I hate to work them, even though I do, but mainly because I had somehow been tricked to thinking you CAN spot reduce fat.

  13. Love your point about motivation! It's applicable to a lot of parts of my life right now and I think I really needed to hear that.

  14. Hey, Marisa. Thank you for the motivation because after starting to workout, and doing weight lifting program with a PT this has been the worst day of these last two months πŸ™ apparently I went from 22% body fat to 31% in a month?! What?! I’m plant based which has worked great for me in terms of health and my relationship with my body and with food which was always a struggle…now my PT told me to keep daily of fat in 20g, carbs at 150g and , AT LEAST, 180g of protein! I’ve been making calculations and can not get to a possible and doable scenario πŸ™ I’m 42 years old, peri menopausal, I’m 5 feet 7 and my weight is 145 lbs. Until today I was feeling GREAT, my clothes fit better, I see differences in my body and I WAS loving myself. Now…idk πŸ™

  15. Hey Marissa ,firstly thank you soooo much for your videos , you helped me SO much and I know so much more about fitness and nutrition ,thanks for educating me :DπŸ’˜πŸ’˜
    But I have a question: Does my metabolism also slows down from Hiit? Because I started loosing weight around 5 weeks ago and I do Hiit 5-6 x a week(I followed Chloe tings workout programs) .I also ate too little calories (thanks to you I know I need to eat more I try to increase my calorie intake ) ; I ate around 1100-1300 calories a day , and I'm 14 yrs old,173 cm high and I weigh 54.6kg .And now I wonder if my metabolism is very slow right now ?:(

  16. My biggest fitness mistake was taking hormonal birth control. I used it to stop my painful periods. I thought that if I didn't have to take time off that I could progress better. Now I know that painful periods can be addressed by making lifestyle and nutrition adjustments. Hormonal birth control stopped painful periods but I believe it to be the cause of some other issues.

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