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Look around your gym and count how many people are in great shape. If you maxed out the fingers on one hand I’d be surprised. But if so many people are hitting the gym, why aren’t there more people losing weight?

You hit the gym three, maybe four times a week, think you work hard and eat kind of healthily, so weight loss should surely be a given.

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We've all seen the ads on TV – “do so and so workout and get in the shape of your life,” or “buy x,y,z program and achieve your best body in 12 weeks.” Doctors recommend regular exercise for losing weight, and there are so many personal trainers and fitness instructors making a living from teaching people how to train, exercise must be the way to weight loss?

There is absolutely a degree of truth in the idea that exercise and gym training are needed for weight loss. You’ll never find a person in awesome shape who doesn't do some form of training, but simply training just doesn't cut it.

If you’re not getting results and losing weight, chances are you’re making one of these five classic weight loss mistakes at the gym.

1. You Attend the Gym, But You Don’t Train

How many times do you leave the gym with sweat pouring from every inch of skin? When was the last time you felt slightly sick during your workout? And how do you walk back out to your car after your session?

If your answers to these questions were –
- never, my first session, and “in a fresh, spritely manner” then you’re just not working hard enough.

Just swiping your membership card at the entrance doors, chatting with the attractive receptionist, spending 20 minutes checking your hair in the locker room, then reading a magazine while you train doesn’t cut it. You actually need to put the effort in.

2. You’re Following the Wrong Program

Who designed your workout?

Did you pick it out of a magazine, or learn it from a friend? Maybe it was just something you jumbled together? Perhaps a trainer designed it for you – but was it constructed specifically with you in mind, or was it a carbon copy workout they give all their clients?

These details matter – if your program wasn't designed with you and your goals in mind, you’ll get nowhere pretty fast.

3. You Replace All Your Calories

Losing weight isn’t just about calories in versus calories out, but that is the main consideration. People typically grossly overestimate the number of calories burned at the gym. Even a hard hour long session will only burn 600 to 800 calories – about the same as in a McDonald’s double angus with cheddar burger, and that’s without the fries, shake and onion rings.

If you think that you can go to the gym, eat what you like and still lose weight, you need to reassess.

4. You Don’t Have Any Goals

Goal setting is crucial to your success.

If you’re not pushing yourself to work harder each and every workout, how can you really be sure you’re training to your full potential? If you train the same, you stay the same.

5. All Your Focus is on Cardio

This links in nicely with not having a plan, but cardio seems to be most people’s go to choice for weight loss exercise.

Sure, you’ll burn a few calories on the elliptical or by pounding the treadmill for half an hour, but in reality you’re just going through the motions and not really putting much effort in. Plus, cardio isn’t quite as good for weight loss as you might think.

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