Gym Mistakes That Steal Your Fitness Progress
you work out regularly but fail to get the results you want? Spending
time working out doesnt necessarily guarantee results. Some
common workout mistakes can make your workouts less effective.
With a little shift in just a few concepts, youll get lots
more for the time you spend.
Up: Everyone knows youre supposed to warm up. Most
of us sluff it off, especially if were pressed for time.
The truth of the matter is, a short warmup raises your core body
temperature and allows your heart rate to increase gradually.
This approach will make a big difference in your endurance. An
added bonus is that youll skip the heavy, slow feeling that
comes with jumping out of your car and into your cardio or strength
training program without giving your body a transition.
Another of the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" aspects of
fitness training. We know were supposed to stretch, but
along with the warmup, it goes by the wayside in favor of the
parts of the workout that seem to give more. The truth is, a recent
study showed that stretching combined with strength training can
make you stronger than strength training alone. (Easy does it,
by the way a soft approach to stretching is much safer
and more effective than a struggle to hold a stretch too far for
your current ability.)
You Lifting Too Much Weight? Are you able to lift weights
with a smooth, steady motion or do you have to jerk to get the
weight lifted? If youre jerking the weights to lift them,
youre lifting more than your muscles can handle and you
risk injury. Youll progress much faster if you lift the
weight through the full range of motion Excessive momentum
takes resistance off of the working muscles and sluffs it on the
joints and other muscles that werent meant to contribute
to the movement. Your back is the most vulnerable to this kind
of momentum consequences. So even though it might look like less
in terms of weight lifted, paring down the amount of weight to
fit your true fitness level will add up to more progress because
youll be able to work the muscles through the full range
Stepper Denial: Do you crank the stair-stepper machine
to the highest level of difficulty, then spend the whole time
leaning on the hand rails for support? This might look impressive
to those around you (they really arent looking at you, theyre
busy holding themselves up on the handrails!) but the most stress
is going to your shoulders, elbows and wrists not exactly
the target points of this particular machine. For an effective
workout, make sure to adjust the machine intensity to the point
at which you can maintain the pace without using the handrails
for support. This way, the larger muscles in your legs will have
to buck up and support the weight. Your heart will pump harder
and your results will be stronger.
Bottom Line: Since youre investing so much of your
time and energy to get fit, you might as well get the best return
on your efforts. If you incorporate these simple concepts into
your routine, youll improve your fitness level and enjoy
the process much more.