by gomynt | #myntfit |
Your commitment to working out on a regular basis is truly commendable, but in order to keep your 2015 fitness goals past Valentine’s Days (the day of love is also the day when most Americas give up on their resolutions) there are some pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.
I’ve personally been guilty of #2, #3, and #7—basically all of them—plenty of times. You certainly don’t want to spend a lot of time working out, only to realize down the road that you’ve been making some pretty big mistakes.
Take a look at the 7 most common workout mistakes and how you can correct them.
mistake #1: training too long with a lack of intensity
Maybe you work out for two hours at a time, yet you’re still the same weight and/or body build weeks later. Why do you think that is? Well, working out too long can backfire. You’re body needs time to recover between sessions. Going past 55 minutes per workout can lead to adrenal fatigue and reduce performance.
How do you know you are over excising and not allowing your body enough time to recover? Here are some 7 symptoms to pay attention to:
- Exercise leaves you exhausted instead of energized
- You get sick easily (or it takes forever to get over a cold)
- You have the blues
- You’re unable to sleep or you can’t seem to get enough sleep
- You have ”heavy” legs
- You have a short fuse
- You’re regularly sore for days at a time
mistake #2: not performing exercises properly
Do you realize that there are a lot of people at the gym who do not use the exercise equipment properly? They may be using the wrong techniques or doing too few or too many reps. If you are not performing exercises properly, you’re more apt to suffer an injury and you are less likely to get your desired results. This also goes for exercises you do on your own or ones that you do with an exercise machine.
A great solution is to ask the gym staff if they have a professional around to teach you how to use the various equipment the correct way. If you’re working out at home doing various techniques, consider doing a YouTube search on your exercises to be sure you are doing them right. For example, squats have long been criticized for being destructive to your knees, but when done properly, squats actually improve knee stability and strengthen connective tissue. Using the right techniques, squat exercises should engage your thighs, knees, core, back, and muscle fibers throughout your legs and buttocks all the way down to your ankles and feet.
mistake #3: keeping the same workout routine
It’s easy to get into the same workout routine, but if your goal is to lose weight and build muscle, you must switch up your routine sometimes in order to see the changes you really want. When you keep doing the same exercises week after week, you’ll end up hitting a plateau and you won’t continue to experience the changes you have been. To combat this, simply change up your routine every so often by changing the type of exercises you do, the duration, the number of reps, etc., so that you experience a variety of workouts. This way, you’ll get better results down the road.
mistake #4: making unrealistic goals
One of the most common workout mistakes is setting goals that just aren’t reasonable. It is important to set goals that you can achieve because if you set goals that will be extremely difficult or unattainable, you set yourself up for disappointment. Set your goals based on how much time you have to commit to working out, your age, your lifestyle.
For example, if you want to train for a marathon, yet you only have a small amount of time you can train each week, you’re going to suffer some disappointment when start gun fires on race day. Likewise, if you want to lose 30 pounds in a month, yet you can’t commit to rigorous exercise 5 days a week, the goal may be unrealistic. Do your best to set attainable goals. Setting milestones are a great idea as well, as then you have shorter goals that are easier to meet than the ultimate goal.
Word of advice: Treat yourself to something delightful when you accomplish a milestone, like a night at the movies or that special pair of boots you’ve been eyeing. Rewarding yourself will solidify your success.
mistake #5: not having a plan when you enter the gym
If you don’t have a workout plan, you’re sort of like a sail boat without sails. You’re just floating on the water not really getting far. It’s easy to get into the habit of showing up at the gym and working out mindlessly. But, if you want a great body or if you want to lose a certain amount of weight, it’s best if you create a workout plan. If this is something that you cannot do on your own, feel free to do some research online or hire a professional trainer. There are plenty of workout programs to choose from and by following a plan, you’re more apt to get the results that you’re looking for.
mistake #6: skipping the warm-up
You may be able to get away without stretching when doing low impact type of workouts, but if you run, sprint, or do any other high intensity workout then stretching is an absolute MUST. Stretching loosens up your muscles and gets your body ready for your workout. It also decreases your chances of injury. You certainly don’t want to skip stretching and warming up only to pull a muscle. Additionally, stretching after a workout will help you to experience less soreness.
mistake #7: comparing yourself with others
This may be the hardest one to avoid. Regardless of who you are, you can look around and find someone stronger, leaner, and more athletic. And, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to be better than every other person and to keep comparing yourself with others, but this will only lead to self-destruction. In short, you will never feel satisfied with your progress and you won’t appreciate your accomplishments.
Instead of focusing on others, you should set goals so you are competing against yourself. Keep track of how long it takes you to run 5 miles or how many reps you can do with a 25 pound weight and then try to beat that number the following week or increase the weight you use. Keep track of and keep assessing your efforts, but the point is you should try to beat your previous best with every session.
As you hone in on beating your best, you will actually find yourself doing things that you could have never imagined. Your confidence and ability to preserver will also increase. You’ll keep getting up. You’ll keep going. Plus, you will learn something pretty special: When you compete against yourself, everyone will want to help you.
Working out is a wonderful way to get and stay in shape. As you commit to a lifestyle that includes workouts, keep these common workout mistakes in mind so that you can avoid them.
Jeremy Hawkins gomynt