Whether you’ve just joined gym yesterday or a gym rat, you might have some bad workout habits that sabotage the result of your workout. When you’re not seeing the result of your workout, you need to reevaluate your approach (especially if you’re not under the supervisions of a fitness trainer). There might be some workout mistakes or habits that hinder your fitness goals.
However, even if you’ve been doing some mistakes, don’t let it break your spirit to reach your fitness goals. Those mistakes are the best teachers!
If you can recognize the common workout mistakes outlined below (and learn how to avoid them), then you’ll be only a few steps to reach your fitness goals.
You skip warm up
Never, ever skip warming up! Whether your workout plan is an hour of cardio dance or a 5K run, warming up should be the first thing on your to-do-list. Warm-up session increases your muscle temperature, which in turn increase your body’s strength and speed. Taking the time to warm up also forces blood vessels to dilate and it will reduce the tension that physical activity places on your heart.
To fix this mistake, spare an extra 5 to 10 minutes prior your core exercise routine to do a proper warm-up. Click here for pre-workout warm up exercises that you can do. Do not forget to end your exercise with a proper cool down.
Too much cardio, too little weight
Running or walking on a treadmill or an elliptical trainer takes little agility, making it a favorite exercise option for beginners. However, spending hours doing cardio exercise only could limit your result.
You can add resistance training to your workout routine. Resistance training increases metabolic rate and daily caloric burn 24 hours a day, thus speeding up your weight loss goals.
You’re not feeding your muscles
Even if you are so determined to lose weight and trying to cut as many calories as possible, you do need to eat something after exercising. This is particularly important if you’re doing strength training, in which case you need to eat a fast assimilating protein within 30 minutes after your workout.
It is good to consume a high-quality source of protein (whole food) and vegetable-type carbohydrate, like spinach and chicken breast, after 30-45 minutes after a cardio workout. You will need a different approach if you do resistance or strength training workout. The meal after a resistance workout needs to be absorbed rapidly to help repair your damaged muscles. Ideally, you’ll want to eat your post workout meal around 15-30 minutes after an intense weight training session. Remember to not overcompensate yourself with calories as it can easily undo all your hard work!
You stick on the same routine
The human body is a master at adaptation, so whatever the body is asked to repeat, it will become very efficient at it. When you keep using the same equipment or workout routine, your body will adapt and you can do it even with your eyes closed. While it might be good for psychological benefit, it is not too good for your physique.
You can jump on a different machine, setting your treadmill or bike to follow a different course, or even join a new fitness class. You may keep your “main exercise” and vary your additional or supporting cast of exercise.
You expect fast change
When it comes to reaching fitness goals, you can’t do magic with it. Losing weight or building muscles is not as easy to hail a ride or order food from your smart phone. It is impossible to lose 10kg in two weeks.
Be realistic with your goals and progress. Set small but achievable goals and just enjoy the progress. For example, set your goal to run for 10 minutes without stopping for this week, then add another 10 minutes the next week. It’s also good to track your progress using fitness apps, so when you look back, you’ll be able to see how much you’ve gone and accomplished.
You’re not hydrated enough
Since we were in school we’ve been taught that human body needs at least eight glasses or two liters of water a day. When you’re exercising, you’re losing liquids from your body in the form of perspiration. If you’re on a high protein diet, it’s even more important to hydrate as high protein foods have a slight diuretic effect. Stay hydrated by drinking at least 10 glasses of water and dividing your protein intake over six small meals a day.
Overtraining happens when a person has repeatedly exercised at intensity, quantity, and duration that is more than their body can recover from. Doing one intense workout is acceptable, but repeatedly pushing yourself to the limit can be dangerous. When you feel symptoms like fatigue, frequent colds, insomnia, and irritability, it means that you need to stop or reduce the intensity of your training. To prevent burn out, have at least two rest days a week and cross train with different activities.