Common Fitness Mistakes According to a World-Class Trainer

Women who want to improve their bodies and overall health have lots of options and choices, with all sorts of diets, exercise programs and supplements to choose from.  To narrow down what really works, we asked Mike Davies, a trainer with over 20 years of experience whose clients include some of the top-ranked fitness professionals in the country as well as thousands of regular people from all walks of life. He recently launched The Cardio Boss fitness app that delivers ten fat-scorching, calorie-burning cardio workouts. More about the app is posted at

Why do you focus on workouts that incorporate weights when you train people?

There’s a misconception that women who lift weights will become big and muscular. That’s really not true and it’s a shame that people continue to believe that because strength training is extremely effective in helping people burn fat and achieve a shapely, strong physique. Cardiovascular exercise is also important and plays a role in my training programs. We know that sedentary lifestyles put people at risk for all sorts of serious illnesses, so it’s important to exercise regularly both for physical and psychological reasons.


Do you find people can actually do more physically than they think they can?

Absolutely.  You will reach a mental barrier before you reach a physical one. That’s where a quality trainer can really help transform you, not only with knowing the proper exercises to achieve a certain result, but also by pushing you beyond what you would do by yourself. Keep in mind that no trainer should ever push someone to or beyond the point of injury. There is a big difference between ordinary muscle fatigue and soreness that comes from a hard workout vs. a sharp or continual pain that results from an injury.

Let’s talk about diet.  What are some of the big mistakes you see people making with that?

The main thing people need to understand about diet is the concept of “eating for a look.” Figure competitors and people who are looking for a serious transformation do not just eat whatever they want. They take small meals spaced throughout the day that are carefully structured around certain amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats. It isn’t easy and it requires commitment and preparation, but when you are up on a stage being judged next to others, it is very apparent who stuck to their plan and who didn’t.

For non-competitors or the woman who just wants to be in shape, the biggest mistake with diet I see is a tendency to undereat or overeat.  When you chronically undereat, you slow down your metabolism and it can be very frustrating to not see results despite subsisting on fewer calories than your body needs. When you overeat, your body stores the excess as fat and even if you are building solid muscle, it gets hidden beneath that fat layer and women can get frustrated and quit.

What other common fitness mistakes do you see a lot?

I’ve been in this business for close to twenty years and it never fails that people often look for the shortcut, the quick fix or the magic bullet. I understand taking the time and effort to eat right and exercise isn’t always easy and isn’t always fun, but I believe in doing things the right way.  When you look for a shortcut you only ever cheat yourself. Twenty crunches a day are not going to get you a six pack no matter what anybody is out there saying. Whether it is to lose a few pounds, gain lean muscle, have better energy and stamina or finally build the body of your dreams, it takes work and dedication.

The good news is that when you improve yourself physically, it spills over into all areas of your life and empowers you with a sense of accomplishment.  Strength doesn’t just come from what you CAN do, but also from working hard to do things you never thought you could do.  Surround yourself with positivity, stay focused, put in the work and just watch what happens.

For more information or to contact Mike Davies, please visit

By Barbara Wayman


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