Rookie Fitness Mistakes!





We all know about the New Year’s Resolutions! People swear to get fitter, eat better, lose weight, be the next best thing. Now for me, I say any time is the best time to start but as we know, many start in January. With resolutions, comes mistakes, especially in the health & fitness realm. I have my own rookie mistakes coming up next week but today I am sharing Rookie Mistakes from Pamela at Thrive Personal Fitness. Pamela is an amazing trainer. She is also in her 40’s so she has been there & done that like me. She has learned along the way and offers fantastic advice & coaching. I am honored to have her here today. PLEASE check out her site, blog with lots of informational posts and all about her. Jody



You signed up at new gym around the corner.

You threw out the last of the peanut brittle and peppermint bark.

The refrigerator is stocked with Greek yogurt, kale and eggs.

You’re taking the stairs at work and skipping the drive up at lunch.


And nothing is changing.


Your clothes fit the same and the scale won’t budge.

You’re doing at the “right” things and nothing is changing.


That’s because most of what you think is RIGHT is actually kind of WRONG. It’s ok because we’ve all been there. No one starts this journey knowing everything and doing it perfectly. That’s one of the reasons I became a personal trainer. I wanted to  help women avoid the mistakes I made and perhaps help them get to their goals a little faster than I did. (By they way, it’s still never perfect.)


Unfortunately, being guilty of just ONE of these six common rookie fitness mistakes can derail your efforts and make you want to throw in your brand new sweat towel.  The good news is you’re learning what they are sooner rather than later and they are fairly easy to fix. (It took me YEARS to figure out 3 and 4.)

  1. Lifting like a guy. Body part split workouts are awesome – just not for rookies. If you are new to the weight room you need to focus on learning good form and getting your body used to weight training. My most successful clients start with full body strength workouts 2-3 times a week that focus on compound and functional movements. If you’re not sure what that looks like, check out this full body workout with resistance bands.
  1. Lifting like a girl. I mean this satirically but it happens way too often. Women tend to lift too light because they are afraid of getting bulky. The truth is pink 2 lbs dumbbells aren’t going to give you the curves you want. Besides, I know you can lift more than that. Your purse weighs at least 5 lbs!  Don’t be afraid to lift a weight that is challenging for 8-12 repetitions.
  1. Low and slow cardio. An hour on the treadmill is torture. For beginners it’s also a highly ineffective use of your time. Strength training should be your primary focus for fat loss. You do need cardio but high intensity interval training is much more effect at burning fat. If you want to moderate intensity walking (treadmill or outdoors), biking, elliptical trainer or other cardio 20-30 minutes is plenty to start with.
  1. Only counting calories. The quality of your food matters. Can you lose weight eating frozen meals and shakes? Yes, BUT you won’t feel or look your best and it may take longer. You need to balance those calories among lean protein, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits and try to limit overly processed foods.
  2. Counting calories. Calories matter but, in the beginning, not as much as you think. Manage your portions and focus on the quality of food. And don’t eat too little! If you want to build muscle and lose fat you need to eat! Ladies, don’t eat less than 1200 calories per day.
  1. Stop weighing yourself every day! Real fitness and lasting fat loss take time. You’re trying to overcome a lifetime of habits so change will not happen over night. Redefine results and cut yourself some slack. If you fix the mistakes I mentioned you will start to feel stronger and have more energy. However, it may take 4-6 weeks before you to see changes in your clothes and the mirror. Your best friend or co-workers may even see those changes before you do.


Take a step back and rethink your journey with this new knowledge. Need ideas on how to move forward? Connect with me at and request my free 4 Keys to Real Fitness Quick Start Guide. Don’t let the name fool you – real fitness is a slow process. However, these 4 simple steps will help start building new healthy habits AND breed the success you need to help keep you motivated to move forward. By signing up for my email list you’ll also get a special discount on my new book, Motivation is Made Not Found, due out February 1!


We were all rookies once. Remember that every woman who looks like she was born that way probably wasn’t. We all have to start somewhere. So let go of what you think you know and adjust your course now.  By doing so you’ll be that woman in the gym making it look easy before you know it.

Bio: Pamela Hernandez is a personal trainer and health coach who specializes in empowering women with fitness. Connect with her on:








  1. LOVELOVELOVE ME SOME PAMELA for reasons like this very post.
    We were all rookies once.
    And yet? Even though I am no longer I find I still can make many of those same mistakes.
    even now.


    1. I think we can all learn from others no matter how much experience we have Carla – 🙂


  2. Number 6 is the biggest one I tell people. Not that I’m an expert, but I learned a long time ago that this is NOT something anyone should do, let alone anyone who wants to lose weight and get fit!

    The numbers on the scale do not define you – or me – or us!!

    Great post. 🙂 Thanks for the reminders and motivation.


    1. Thx Andrea. Pamela wrote a great post! I am a weigher BUT I understand the scale so.. plus I use how my clothes fit too! I have my own list coming up next week!


  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! I wish these tips were posted at the gym for everyone to see.


  4. If I only had one suggestion to give people to lose fat, it’s do fasted cardio in the morning.

    Also, I don’t think HIIT is for overweight beginners. To do HIIT correctly, I think we need to work up to the intensity that it requires to not be injured.


    1. Dr. J, funny about HIIT, I actually have a post started on HIIT and how it is different for different levels of people. For some, it may just be high knee lifts. Too much out there about it without defining that it is different for different folks.

      On fasted cardio, I have done both & see no difference but that is just me.. although when I did eat before an outside run, it was very very small so I guess almost like fasted. 🙂 I do not eat before the gym workouts though. I have stopped eating before my outside run again but honestly, no difference & this might just be an age thing because weight control with peri to menopause is craziness! 🙂 I just feel UGH with food in me for any workout.


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