Wait, isn’t doing something wrong bad? I mean if you’re building a house and you lay the foundation the wrong way isn’t the house going to sink? If you build a wall with different and oddly shaped bricks and lay them the wrong way isn’t the wall going to fall down eventually? Yes it is, but unfortunately sometimes that is the way the learning process works. For example learning to walk as kids we all fell on our faces a few times, which is obviously not the right way to walk but it is what we needed to learn to balance. Or maybe when we were learning to drive we hit a few curbs, or blew a stop sign, or maybe even had an accident. Did that prevent us from getting back behind the wheel? Some people maybe, but for the vast majority probably not. This same rule applies to activity.
When you work out, whether it be at home or in the gym odds are you are probably doing something wrong. We all do stuff wrong. I do, you do, even the top lifters in the world will tell you they still have bad habits and movement patterns that they are working on. And all of those people have made mistakes along the way that they learned from, grew from, and got better because of. I’ll give you an example of an obvious personal mistake that I’ve made. I’ve been taking BCAA’s since I was around 17 years old (until recently). Now, if you are familiar with supplements you will know that the average container of BCAA”S is around $20-$45 and will last around a month depending on how often they are taking them. To make things easy let’s say the container cost $30 and lasted a month. Let’s make the math simple and say that I’ve been taking BCAA’s for 10 years. That’s $360 a year and over 10 years $3600. Well, if you follow the fitness industry you also know that according to recent studies BCAA’s are a waste of money if you consume a high protein diet. Which for the past 10 years I have been. That would mean that I have wasted $3600 of my money on a worthless supplement. Sheesh it would be nice to have an extra $3600 in the my savings account. Not only that but in my time as a fitness junkie I’ve made countless mistakes. Whether it be bad coaching advice, bad form, or just bad habits you name it I’ve done it. My point is, you;’re going to make mistakes. A TON of them. That’s life. What you shouldn’t do is allow the fear of making mistakes stop you from pursuing your fitness goals.
One “excuse” that I’ve heard numerous times over my career is “I didn’t workout at home because I was afraid of doing something wrong”. Personally, in 99% of cases I don’t find this argument to be realistic. I do believe there is the 1% of cases where someone has debilitating back pain or a pre- existing condition where they need constant supervision from a clinician to make progress. But, for the general population this argument is worthless. We all have a choice to make when it comes to pursuing our fitness goals. We can choose to explore the unknown and try something new. Odds are we will fail a few times, maybe even countless times before we get it right. Or we can choose to let the “fear” or “excuse” of doing something wrong inhibit us from undertaking something that in the long run will make us healthier and happier.
I think the reason why I chose to write this blog post at this very moment is because of everything going on right now. With the pandemic shutting down gyms and people being left to their own devices there are many people claiming that “home workouts won’t get me closer to my goals”, or “I don’t know what to do at home with no equipment”. To all of those people I have one thing to say “Doing something, even if it’s wrong, is better than sitting around and letting time pass by”. Because doing nothing will not keep you at the same level, it will actually cause a decline in progress when normal activity is resumed. However, working on uncomfortable movements at home, or doing a bodyweight circuit, or practicing tempo on movements can keep you from losing progress and in many cases actually make further progress. Continuing a fitness journey especially during these times is challenging, but don’t let the fact that you may not have a “perfect” workout stop you from working out at all. If you are unsure what to do, check YouTube, reach out to someone in the industry, do research, but do something. Even if you are only doing push ups, planks, and walking is better than sitting around and doing nothing. Get up, do it wrong, and learn from it. In the long run the habits you build will be more important than the movements that were performed wrong while you were learning. Stay strong everyone.
My name is Patriel Dunford and as the owner of Infinite Fitness my main goal in life is to spread good advice in the health industry and help people live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.