Check out the common workout “do nots” in order to make sure you aren’t sabotaging your own success.
1. Skipping the warm-up: It doesn’t matter if you are running late, don’t cut corners by skipping out on a proper warm-up. The warm-up loosens up your muscles and helps prevent injury during the workout.
2. Forgetting to stretch after a workout: The post workout stretch is another area that is often cut in an effort to save time. Do not do this! Stretching helps to keep your muscles from tightening up and can help you avoid ridiculous levels of soreness the next day.
3. Lifting too much: It is important to push yourself, but using a resistance level that is too high can cause frustration and discouragement and sometimes even injury. If you cannot complete more than ten reps at your current level of resistance, you need to decrease the resistance strength. Set the higher resistance as a goal and work your way up to that point!
4. Lifting too little: It feels great to be able to crank out rep after rep, but if you can do 20 reps with ease then there is a problem. You need to make sure you are actually exercising your muscles and not just going through the motions. If you want to see results, you have to work for them.
5. Lack of consistency: Finding time to continuously work out can be tough, but it is very important to block out time each week for your workout. Sporadic, intense Saturday morning workouts may make you feel better for missing the gym for two weeks, but it won’t help get you in shape. Consistency is key.
6. Continuously completing the same workout: Do you remember the phrase practice makes perfect? In the case of fitness this can be a bad thing. If you continuously complete the same workout, your muscles will get used to the exercises and will need to be challenged in new ways by either varying the exercises or increasing the resistance. Completing the same workout also causes you work the same muscle groups over and over. This will overwork some muscles and ignore others.
7. Forgetting the Importance of food: Breaking a sweat at the gym is wonderful, but what you put in your body is just as important as what you do in the gym. It’s important not to starve your body in an attempt to lose weight, and it’s also important not to continue eating excessive amounts of junk food. Find a healthy eating diet that works for you and stick to it. It might seem hard. but the results are worth it.
8. Lack of planning: I have a friend that goes to the gym and bases her daily workout on whatever equipment is free when she arrives. This is not a good idea! How can you possibly keep track of what muscle groups you worked on which day? This is the easiest way to overwork some muscle groups while completely ignoring others. Take the extra time and plan out your fitness routine.