Workout articles, healthy lifestyle tips, and fitness advice.

5 Bad Workout Habits that Could Be Sabotaging Your Fitness Goals

tired sweaty woman

Have you been committed to your workouts but slow to see the results you want? If you’re having trouble meeting your fitness goals, these bad workout habits might be to blame. The good news? Once you know what they are, they’re easy to break. 

1. You’re going to the gym too much. Yeah, really.

We totally get it: You love the boost you get from logging some gym time. But too much can be … well, too much. Like you, your muscles need time to rest. Sleep-deprived muscles? It’s a real thing. Be sure to fit some recovery time into your workout schedule, and definitely get your seven to nine hours of sleep every night.

2. You’re doing a ton of cardio — but nothing else.

Cardio is a beautiful thing. But sometimes doing cardio-only workouts knocks you into a no-results plateau. The solution? Be a mix master. Blend cardio with some strength training. You can either do both in one gym session or do cardio and strength on separate visits.    

3. You’re exercising on an empty stomach.

Sure, some professional athletes do “fasted workouts.” But they’ve come to that point after tons of tinkering with meal timing, protein ratios and other complicated dietary specifics. Unless you’re gunning for the Olympics (in which case, we believe in you!), it’s more likely that you’ll benefit from eating a small meal or snack before you hit the gym. That way, your blood sugar won’t dip while you’re working out, which can cause dizziness or fatigue. About 45 minutes before a workout, grab a protein bar, some yogurt, or fruit to keep your energy up.

4. You’re hitting all the machines … every time.  

This is super tempting to do. And, yes, there are benefits to a full-body workout. But if you’re going to the gym regularly, it’s helpful to focus on one area of your body per visit. This will bring your muscles to a point of fatigue, which is actually a good thing. From there, they need to recover (on those rest days!) and when they do, they get stronger. Want to keep it simple? Just alternate “upper body” (arms, back, abs) days and “lower body” (legs and glutes) days.  

5.  You’re faithful to your routine.

Consistency is fantastic, especially with workouts. But that doesn’t mean doing the exact workout over and over. When that happens, your body gets used to it and doesn’t respond the same way it would when challenged. Even worse, you might be bored, and that’s when workouts get skipped. Try switching it up in simple ways like doing fewer repetitions with heavier weights when strength training or incorporating sprints into your treadmill time.

Time for New Habits

Bad habits can crop up anytime, but so can good ones. Trust your body to know the difference. You’ve got this!