Are you not seeing the results that you feel like you’re working so hard for? Sometimes we think we know how to maximize our workouts for the best results but in reality, we’re falling into mindsets of thinking things like “the more you workout the more results you’ll see,” or thinking that running will help you shed all your fat. There are tons of workout mistakes out there, but these are the most common that might be setting you back!
1. Bad form
This is the #1 cause of injuries! Whether you’re new to fitness or a seasoned workout fiend, you can still make this mistake. Don’t be embarrassed to ask a trainer for help (that’s what they’re there for), especially if you’re new to a certain type of exercise. Hurting yourself is no joke. It can set you back in your fitness routine for a long time, not to mention how ineffective it is if you’re not doing it right!
2. Thinking more is better
It’s important to give your muscles time to recover. Working out 6-7 times a week may seem like a good thing to do for faster results, but you may be working yourself too hard. If your body is overtraining, you’re not going to see results. Instead of heading to the gym every day, shoot for 3-5 days incorporating weights with HIIT cardio instead.
3. Not lifting heavy enough
Many people believe that lifting a lighter weight for more repetitions will create better results, but that’s not true. Using a heavier weight for 8-12 reps will allow you to burn fat and build muscle much more effectively. How heavy is heavy enough?
4. Doing too many isolation exercises
Working one or a few muscles at a time is not effective. By practicing compound exercises (exercises that target multiple muscle groups), you can get a better workout in a shorter amount of time. Workouts like HIIT and Tabata uses more energy and provides better results while boosting your metabolism. Other common and simple compound exercises are dumbbell lunges, deep squats, and leg raises with a crunch.
5. Not eating well
I’m sure you’ve already heard this… Eating right goes hand in hand with working out consistently. This has been my own biggest obstacle on my fitness journey and it’s a constant battle! I’ve learned that you cannot expect exercise alone to achieve the results you want. For overall wellness, you need a balanced diet with proteins, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Don’t make bubble tea stops after your sweat sessions (guilty).
6. Performing an exercise too quickly
When it comes to lifting weights, faster is definitely not better. A good general rule for lifting is one second up and three seconds down. Rushing through it is ineffective and can cause injuries. If you’re short on time, opt for a quick HIIT routine instead.
7. Not changing up your workouts
If you continue to do the same routined workout day after day, your body will get too used to it and your results will plateau. To maximize results, mix up your routine. Strength training, Zumba, spin, bootcamp, Crossfit… there are so many possibilities to choose from. Try out new workouts and classes to challenge yourself like this one with Body Conceptions!
8. Skipping the stretch
Even if you’re running out of time, neglecting to stretch can lead to pain in your back, shoulders and neck, as well as joint injuries! Plan ahead so you have at least five minutes to stretch before leaving the gym. Stretching also helps with quicker muscle recovery. Foam rolling is a plus!
9. Relying on only running to lose weight
I try to tell my friends about this all the time. Running will not give you the results you want! In order to gain and maintain strong, sleek and sexy muscles, you need to focus more on weight training. Excessive low impact cardio like running will only “eat away” at your muscle mass. (I only run once a week because I like the feeling I get.) Your muscle mass and your joints will thank you for laying off too many runs. For the quickest results in weight loss, do high impact cardio like HIIT and tabata along with weight training.
10. Basing your progress on a scale
This one frustrates me a lot because most of my friends are scale-obsessed. They forget that muscle weighs more than fat! The only time I weigh myself is during my annual doctor’s checkup. I know that I am not defined by that number on my scale because I look and feel wonderful. So don’t let the scale discourage you. Instead, rely on body fat measurements done with a caliper or simply by how your clothes are fitting you.
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