There are some serious workout mistakes that everyone who’s trying to get their body in shape, improve cardiovascular fitness and shed excess fat must avoid making.
Even with the best of intentions, one grave mistake can either cost you your progress or leave you injured and unable to continue working out. Let’s go over what you need to know to avoid fitness mishaps.
- Not warming up.
Doing a good warm-up before the workout is going to keep you injury-free and help you focus on the workout at hand, putting in a higher overall performance. There are a few good ways to warm up. Before the exercise, try to do active stretches for the muscle groups you intend to use. For example, if you were planning to run, then walking or jogging would be a good warm up. Static stretches, for example bending down to touch your toes to stretch out your hamstrings muscles are better kept for after completion of the exercise.
- Not starting with compound exercises.
Compound exercises require the most energy and should always be placed before isolation exercises in your workout program. This is important for people who wish to do weight training in particular. Compound exercises use more than one joint at a time. One example is the bench press and squat. Isolated exercises are good too but tend to be less effective than compound movements. Bicep curls are one example. Compound exercises are those that require the most energy and are responsible for the best toning results. It therefore makes sense to put them as your first priority.
- Not taking enough time to rest between sessions.
Your muscles must have at least 36 hours of rest between workouts so be sure to give them enough time for the fibers to reknit and become stronger than before. It’s a common misconception that building up muscle tissue takes place at the gym. In fact, it takes place at rest afterwards. At this time, the micro-tears in the tissue that resulted from your workout are being repaired and this is what leads to the larger appearance of lean muscle. So, rest in between workouts is essential to actually give your muscles time to repair themselves. Speaking of which, protein is also another biggie! Protein is the building blocks for muscle tissue repair so make sure your diet is not deficient in protein if you want to see any results. You can talk about taking a good whey protein powder with your health coach or personal trainer.
- Not trying new exercises.
Never adding variety into your workout program is the fastest way to hit a fitness or weight loss plateau and experience serious workout boredom. Challenge yourself with a heavier weight. Ladies, this won’t necessarily bulk you up but not moving on to heavier weight could hinder your progress. Or, try out a new group class at the gym. You might just find a new favorite exercise!
- Not tracking your progress.
If you don’t keep a reminder of the results you’re seeing from spending time in the gym, there’s a greater chance your motivation will bottom out, losing the momentum you need to continue making improvements.
- Not getting help when you need it.
If you don’t understand an exercise, be sure to ask a personal trainer for assistance. Many injuries can be prevented this way!
- Not keeping your rest breaks honest.
Don’t take more than 1–2 minutes to rest between sets, or you’re just wasting time in the gym. Too long of a break can also mean you have to warm up all over again.
- Not balancing weightlifting with cardio.
Both deserve a place in a well-rounded workout routine.
Are you making these vital errors? If so, now is definitely the time to shape up with your program and get on track to seeing faster results. Making sure to regularly evaluate your workout program and take note of progress you are seeing is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay on course to meet your long-term goals. Remember that constant change is a must if you want to see constant results.
This guest post is written by Ireland-base Dr. Denise Karlyn Hee, a medical doctor practicing nutrigenomic medicine and certified integrative nutrition health coach. If you’d like to find out more about this topic or consult with Dr. Denise, feel free to message her via her RingMD profile (profile here).
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