6 things beginners should not copy from professional athletes

6 things beginners should not copy from professional athletes

1. Fasted cardio

Some bodybuilders might use it in the last stages of competition preparation when they need to decrease their fat percent from low to unnaturally very low. It is not scientifically proven that this really helps them to achieve their goals, although for some it may work. An average person will not benefit from this adventure. Total calorie deficit is important for fat loss. It does not matter when during the day this deficit is created. Do whatever allows you to eat less in total and what you actually enjoy.

2. Worrying about nutrient timing

While professional athletes benefit from eating their meals at the right time pre-, peri-, post-training, an average person aiming to lose weight should not be bothered. Carbs pre-workout? You are not a professional endurance athlete. Carbs after? You are not going to train super-hard in few hours again. Protein? Just meet your total daily goal, it does not matter when.

3. Buying “fitness” supplements

Creatin? You are not training for athletic performance, you are here to lose weight and get fitter. Protein? You can have enough from eating natural foods. Pre-workout? You’ll be totally fine without it. If you insist, double espresso will sort you out. This actually applies to more traditional supplements as well. Omega 3s? Eat various fish. Multivitamins? Eat varied food and more vegetables.

4. Complex carbs for breakfast “for slow energy release”

Are you not going to sit at the desk all day? Are you sure you need energy to just … sit? If porridge fills you up for long enough so that you are not reaching for pastry in the mid-morning, it is fine. If you get hungry soon after breakfast, think of switching to protein based breakfast.

5. A rigid training regimen

The most important is that as a beginner athlete you enjoy your exercise routine. You are not training for athletic performance or bodybuilding competition, but for the health and fat loss. So you can afford variety and fun. Why not going to a group class? Why not rescheduling the training if you did not sleep well last night? Maybe tennis or football session can substitute HIIT workout. And few BODYPUMP sessions a week will help you to avoid a plateau in your strength and hypertrophy training. I did Zumba last week and counted it as a LISS (low-intensity cardio) 🙂

6. Expecting miracles from HIIT

If you do not have a solid training experience chances are your HIIT session is not really high intensity. So it does not bring the benefits promised: increased calorie burn post-exercise, rapid fitness level increase, positive hormonal response and other miracles.  Many people simply can not achieve the level of intensity required. So if you are a beginner, get a coach and start with the basics.

Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.