There are plenty of reasons why your fitness progress has hit the skids. Whether it has to do with poor nutritional choices, an ineffective workout strategy, not enough attention paid to recovery, or just a poor state of mind—your fitness goals can be sabotaged by mistakes you have no idea you’re even making.

That being said, there’s no mistake that can’t be corrected. Here, we look at some of the most common ones people make and tell you how to correct them so you can get back on track and ready to make some serious progress again.

You’re Thinking Too Much

Partial reps, forced reps, or slow negatives—which should you do? First off, stop thinking and just get to work.

Unfortunately, a majority of training programs have lost track of the tried and true principles of overload and linear progression. To see more results, you have to have the will power to get stronger in order to handle more volume. To start, lay out a plan where you’re adding three to five percent of weight every week as well as adding a set. Then start training with 80 percent of your max weights, and work your way up to 95 percent without going to failure. 


Not Deloading

If you adhere to the first point, then it’s a must that you take a deload week. Deload every four to five weeks where volume and weight are cut in half. A deloading week will reset your central nervous system—giving your joints a change to recover.

Stop Splitting

I don’t mean to be brutally honest, but you don’t always need an arm or chest day. Instead, think of the push-pull leg principle as the building block of your program. And if you’re a risk taker, then do a vertical and horizontal pull-day as well as a standing vs. laying down push-day. This will put you at five training days a week, but feel free to add a second leg day.

Training Hungry

A recipe for disaster is hitting the gym on an empty stomach—you’ll become hangry. If you train with sufficient intensity and volume, you’ll need to consume a protein and carb 60 minutes before working out. Also include an intra workout shake for optimum performance. 

Not Using Recovery Options

Especially for those of us training in our later years, assisted recovery is a must. Have a standing weekly appointment for acupuncture and massages, depending on your budget. Some insurance plans do cover acupuncture, and as for massages, find someone who understands trigger points and referred pain. It can be painful—both physically and financially—but very beneficial in the long run.