Q: What is the biggest mistake when it comes to weight loss for beginners?
A: 80% of people who joined a gym in January won’t make it past the first 5 months, with many of them dropping off well before the 5 month mark.
We asked our coaches community at Ladder how to avoid being a part of this 80%, and we got an almost universal answer:
Learn to embrace the process.
“Nobody ever got too good at the basics,” says Dr. Mike Amato, meaning despite the ever increasing number of flashy exercise programs, your time will be best spent practicing things like squats, lunges, push-ups and other fundamental human movements.
According to coach Justin Reeck, often times beginners try to bite off more than they can chew and wind up discouraged. “I think the biggest mistake people make is trying to make too many changes at once. Baby steps have a higher rate of success. Changing too much at once can make their head spin and get discouraged.”
By focusing on small, actionable steps, you’re way more likely to experience the positive momentum of ‘actually making a change.’ What’s more motivating than that!
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
A common misconception is that more is better. Coach Torey Freed points out that a big mistake beginners often make is, “Either the all or nothing approach or just continually putting it off. Start small, get adjusted and keep going from there.”
If you’re just getting started, remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. There will always be programs that can get you results faster, but focusing on small habits will add up to an even bigger, and longer lasting result.
Sadly, there’s no magic bullet. Although many may imply their product is going to supercharge results with zero effort, that simply isn’t the case. The reality is, getting in shape happens when a combination of healthy eating and regular training. Coach Kacy Winkle sums it up by saying “the common mistake I see is forgetting about the nutrition side of things and swearing off fitness because they didn’t see results or jumping on a new nutrition trend and expecting it to be the magic pill.”
Something is better than nothing
Often, we get caught up thinking that there’s some test that we’re going to have to pass before we’re allowed to workout.
But really, the only challenge that you’re going to face is a challenge against yourself. A good program for beginners is both a program that builds confidence through practicing new moves and sets you up for long-term success. Coach Chris Marella says, “I see a lot of people that think they need to ‘get in shape’ before committing or even trying a structured program. Assuming that programs will be too much for them.”
Learn from, and love, failure
Like it or not, if you do anything for long enough there will be tough times. Sure, we can learn from others’ mistakes, but nothing will ever replace allowing ourselves to take failure for what it truly is a learning experience.
Coach Ken Lee said, “Lack of direction and clarity. This applies to clients, members, and coaches. It’s a long process. If we all had amazing mentors, coaches, many steps could be skipped in our advancements. There is nothing wrong with mistakes, failure, they all teach us lessons about ourselves.” We couldn’t agree more!
Viewing failure as a reason to quit is a recipe for always wondering how much you could have achieved. By simply adjusting your frame of view when you experience failure to see it as a learning experience, you’re setting yourself up to reach new heights.
Are you ready to climb?