10 Biggest Workout Mistakes Made by Men

Find out which fitness mistakes to fix to burn more fat

man working out
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Face it guys, even though getting in shape is usually easier for you than it is for the ladies, there are still a few common mistakes that you make in the gym.  As part of my Men's Guide to Weight Loss, I spoke to a panel of experts about common workout mistakes that guys make that can stop them from losing weight.

10 Common Workout Mistakes Made by Men

  1. Doing too much too soon.  One of the most common weight loss challenges that men face is the pressure to be tough.  “Men are macho, so they might push too hard, go too heavy or do too much too fast and then burn out or get injured,” says fat loss expert Tom Venuto. He recommends consistency and steady improvement for long-term results.
  1. Listening to the wrong advice. World-class trainer Jason Corrie recommends that guys who want real results should work with a real professional.  He says that men often listen to the wrong advice – from friends or colleagues – and don’t get the results they want.
  2. Relying on cardio.  Many guys who want to slim down turn to fat-burning cardio to lose weight.  But if that means neglecting the weight room then they’re making a mistake.  “Building muscle turns you into a fat-burning machine,” says Jason.  Expert Tony Schober agrees.  He sees men doing too much cardio too soon.  “Save the cardio for when you need it. If you start off with 4-5 cardio sessions in the beginning, you won't have room to add in more cardio once your weight loss stalls.”
  3. Lifting too much weight.  Weight training is good but too much can be a mistake, as well. New York City trainer Matt Griffin sees guys at his gym lifting too much weight.  He says it’s a myth that heavier is better.  “Lighter weight with correct form will be much more efficient in gaining the results desired.”
  1.  Skipping the functional assessment.  A good trainer will perform a functional assessment and then provide a program of functional training exercises.  This allows you to identify any areas of weakness or limitations in your range of motion that can affect your performance at the gym and prevent you from losing weight efficiently.
  1. Not­ doing compound exercises. Do you train only one muscle group at a time?  “Don’t!” says Jason.  He recommends compound strength exercises that require muscle groups to work together to build strength.  Compound exercises are more efficient and train the body more effectively.  Tony agrees.  “Basics like the bench press, squats, deadlifts, and rows should be staples in your workout program.”
  2. Neglecting nutrition.  “So many people figure that doing a high volume of training is all it takes to lose weight,” says Venuto.  He says that training and nutrition go hand in hand.  It takes both elements to lose weight successfully and get a fit lean body. 
  3. Relying too heavily on supplements.  Protein pills and powders are popular but they aren’t necessarily the fastest path to weight loss.  “Powders have their place, but if you’re trying to get lean I like to see people eating as much solid food as possible. Not only are whole foods more nutrient dense, but they fill you up better, which is so important in a hypo-caloric environment,” says Tony.  Hollywood stuntman Bobby Holland Hanton agrees.  One of his diet tips for men is to eat real food instead of supplements or powders.
  1. Too much steady state cardio. Moderate aerobic activity is good for heart health, but guys who want to lose weight should work at various intensity levels, including high intensity intervals.  Jason says that guys often spend too much time in the “heart rate zones” on their cardio equipment. 
  2. Emphasizing quantity over quality: Just putting in a certain amount of time at the gym will not guarantee weight loss results.  The time you spend exercising must be quality time. "What guarantees results is using your time efficiently and that means three things," says Tom Venuto, "training smart (a well-designed program), training hard, which we could call intensity, and training progressively, where you push out of your comfort zone.”

Wondering who sat on the panel to provide this great advice?  Here’s the all-star list of experts.

  • Jason Corrie has been training at a senior level for over 9 years at some of London and New York City’s most prestigious gyms.  In 2011 he was selected by Virgin Active in London to join the highest elite level category of “World Class Personal Trainer.”
  • Matt Griffin is a former dancer and aerialist, who performed for Cirque du Soleil and other international companies.  He now works as a personal trainer in New York City, incorporating his unique training experiences into his clients’ exercise plans.
  • Tony Schober, is a certified personal trainer and the founder of Coach Calorie, founded in 2011 as a way to share his passion for fitness.
  • Pete Thomas is NBC's most successful "Biggest Loser.”  He was the Season 2 at-home winner of the The Biggest Loser and is author of the book, "Lose It Fast, Lose It Forever." He is a full-time motivational speaker, teacher, spokesperson, author, wellness coach and athlete.
  • Tom Venuto is a fat-loss expert, transformation coach and bestselling author of Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. Tom holds a degree in exercise science and has worked in the fitness industry since 1989, including fourteen years as a personal trainer. He promotes natural, healthy strategies for burning fat and building muscle.


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