Many people hit the gym with good intentions: they want to get toned, or maybe they’re looking to lose weight. However, common exercise mistakes can derail your progress, causing frustration and inhibiting results. Before you step into the gym again, make sure you’re not committing these exercise errors:
Skipping the weights
Some people, particularly my female clients, are under the impression that they can skip weight lifting. They may have limited time to workout and feel that doing cardio is more effective when it comes to burning calories. In some instances a client may also be nervous that lifting too much will make them look big and bulky. In reality, weight lifting is an extremely important part of any exercise routine.
If your ultimate goal is to become more toned, you need to be lifting weights regularly. Simply pounding away on cardio machines won’t do the trick. For female exercisers, understand that weight lifting won’t leave you looking like a bodybuilder. Instead, it will help to give you that long, lean look you’re after.
Failing to understand cardio
If you’re still under the impression that cardio is only effective when done in long, steady stretches, you’re making another common exercise error. In reality, High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is an effective way to torch fat and build up endurance. Instead of running at a moderate pace for 45 minutes, challenge your body by sprinting as fast as you can for a minute. Then slow it down to a walk for two minutes. Repeat this for 15 minutes and you’ve done a workout that is highly effective in a short amount of time. Plus, it helps to fight treadmill boredom. Interested in the other benefits of HIIT? Check out this article. I also like this one.
Not pushing yourself hard enough at the gym
Yes, exercise should help to clear your mind. But if your workout isn’t much more challenging than sitting on your couch catching up on Netflix, it’s time to rethink your plan. I often find that people who hit the gym alone aren’t pushing themselves enough. They do a mild workout but think they’ve accomplished a lot more than they actually have, simply because they spent time inside a gym for an hour. I’d much rather see a client push themselves during a 15-minute HIIT workout, as opposed to leisurely moving through a relaxed yet longer gym session.
Be honest with yourself when it comes to your fitness. When you’re exercising, are you really pushing yourself? If not, enlist the help of a trainer, or find a friend who’s also serious about getting fit. If you’re not sure about the best exercise plan for your body and your goals, do some research. This will help you to accomplish more and feel inspired.