I’ve seen a lot of women unhappy with their results (even if they have a personal trainer), or unhappy because they haven’t been seeing any results. To get to your desired body shape or fitness level, you can’t just do whatever exercise you want and eat whatever you want. It takes more than that. Here are the most common mistakes I see, and how you can fix them to achieve your goals.
1. Your Workouts Don’t Match Your Goals
A lot of women I talk to are those who have had bad experiences with personal trainers. They have ended up bigger than they like or haven’t been seeing results (especially in their lower half). Once I was at the gym and the personal trainer started discussing goals AFTER the workout when they were stretching. It is SO important to have goals before you start training (and to discuss these with your personal trainer). Otherwise you’re not going to get the results you want and you’re not going to be happy.
If your goal is to be lean and toned, you’re not going to be lifting super heavy with lower reps. If your goal is to be as strong as possible, then you won’t be doing any cardio. If you don’t want to bulk up your legs, then you won’t be doing heavy squats and lunges. You just need to figure this out before you start.
The main reason I wrote my skinny legs eBooks were to help women who had these issues with their lower bodies and couldn’t get the results they wanted. Find out more about them here.
2. You Go Too Hard Too Soon
When we first decide to start getting healthy or exercising, we are often really excited and motivated. So we go full steam ahead and exercise every single day (sometimes twice per day), restrict our eating and only eat healthy foods. Before long, motivation fades and you burn out. Ease into it. It’s not going to happen overnight – it’s a long term thing and your training and eating should be long term. Work out what works for you. If you can eat 100% clean all the time, then great! Most people can’t and this is very restrictive, so allow yourself some treats and don’t beat yourself up about it. If you can maintain 2 workouts per day then great! If not, stick to a program that is manageable for you.
3. You’re Not Consistent
I know a lot of people have trouble with this one (including me), and it’s a real set back. Having a reasonable workout and nutrition program that fits your lifestyle and that you can stick to is KEY. If it’s too hard, you won’t stick to it. But you absolutely need consistency to get results.
4. You Still Eat Poorly
You can do all the exercise in the world – exercise twice per day, every day – but if you don’t eat right, you won’t see any physical change. Yes you might get fitter and stronger, but physically, you could even end up worse. When you are trying to make physical changes, nutrition is about 80% of the battle. I would make sure you get this right before the workout part. You need to be eating the right amount of food for your body type and your activity level (read this blog post for more info on this) and you need to be eating the right type of foods (read this blog post).
5. You Don’t Push Yourself
For you to get the best results, you need to be uncomfortable during your workouts – they shouldn’t be easy! If it’s easy and you continue working out like that, chances are that you won’t make much progress. At the start it can be difficult, especially when you’re sore, out of breath, or sweating like crazy. But learn to enjoy it! This is how you make change! Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Find out more about my workout and nutrition programs here xx
I’m 15 and I started dancing about 2-3 years ago and before that I was really skinny and severely underweight (but I think I was skinny fat). After I hit puberty and started dancing and exercising more often I put on a significant amount of weight and am now of normal weight. However, what troubles me is the fact that although my upper body is still relatively skinny (I do work on my arms and abs to try to tone up) my thighs are much bigger in comparison (though its mostly muscle) and although it may be due to my pear/gynoid body type, no matter what workouts I do and no matter how healthily I eat my thighs don’t get any smaller/leaner as I wish for them to. My body fat percentage falls under thr athletic range so I was wondering if there is any way for me to slim down my thighs even if they are mostly muscle? Many of the workouts I do include pylometric jumps, squats and lunges. Should I stop doing them? If you would be able to advise me on this issue, it would be great :) Thank you so much!
Hi Rae, I would try not to stress too much as you are still young and I promise your body will change as you get older! I had the exact same body as you at your age. To lean out your legs I would do some power walking and running, and I would stop doing the plyo jumps, squats, etc (unless they are part of your dancing practice and you can’t stop them). The muscle will eventually reduce in size but it will take some time. I would also continue doing some exercises for your upper body and abs to help tone them up and make your body look more in proportion :) xx
Hello Rachel, you motivate me, you really do but I struggle with my belly. It refuse to go away, please help.
Hi hun, I’m glad I help motivate you! I have a whole blog series on how to get a flat stomach so have a read of that. But the best thing to do for your belly is to focus on your diet – cut out the processed food and sugar, and drink lots of water! And do some exercise that is high intensity so you should be puffing! Weights, intervals, running, etc :) xx
Hello, Rachael! I am 18 and I had played gymnastics and dancing since I was small and I have my toned muscular legs and bodies. But then I stopped it when I was 16 and I still keep doing sports, like running to try to keep myself fit. And now my legs and butt and whole bodies are becoming bigger and bulky and sturdy because the years before I wanted to be more toned so I follow the YouTube to do a lot of squats and lunges and others weight training. So, I want to ask how to get rid of these problems that my thighs and butt are turning bigger but not in good shape? I don’t want to be too much muscular and I am 165cm and 58kg, but I look short and fat when I am wearing bikinis on the beach. Thanks for reading my comment:) hope you can help me!!
Hi Iris, I’m sorry to hear this. I would stop doing the squats and lunges for now, just to reduce the muscle size. I would try to walk everyday and do 2-3 runs per week – this will help lean out your legs. After this, you can start incorporating lower intensity resistance exercises such as these xx