Common Workout Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
Mistake #1 – Too much cardio.
Many people think they need only a cardiovascular exercise program. Strengthen training is also important especially when you consider we start losing muscle at around age 30. Strength training builds muscles, which in turn increases your metabolism and burns more calories.
I am not saying cardio workouts are not important, they are and I love them! But there is a more efficient way to do them. You need to shock your body! Look for something more than just the treadmill or the elliptical and mix things up. Try something fun and new (kickboxing, circuit training, sprints, or play a new sport) and continue to switch things up to keep your body guessing. By lowering the amount of traditional steady state cardio, and replacing it with higher intensity and shorter duration exercise, you will actually improve your hormonal state and your body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle.
Mistake #2 – Doing the same thing everyday.
Variety is the spice of life! Different workouts keeps life interesting and keeps your body guessing, plus no one wants to get stuck in a rut. So what’s wrong with doing the same exercise routine, day in and day out anyways? You’re working the same muscles, going at the same speed, and once you get in shape you no longer breathe heavily, the muscles become very efficient. They expend less energy, and you burn fewer calories. You cease to make progress. This does not mean you can’t do the exercises you like frequently, just not everyday. Try to mix it up by changing how much weight, pace, or even type of exercise.
Mistake #3 – Not stretching.
Unfortunately, we spend way too much time sitting throughout the day. This leads to specific structural changes throughout the body, such as tight hip flexors, tight pecs and tight cervical extensors (the muscles in the back of your neck). At a minimum, everyone should stretch these particular muscles out to maintain and restore proper range of motion. Neglecting these problem areas will almost inevitably lead to pain in your back, shoulders and neck. In addition, after working out your muscles and joint become tight, stretching these out help alleviate lactic acid in your muscles and expedites the recovery process.
Mistake #4 – Learning by copying others.
Proper form is essential for most exercises. Done incorrectly, virtually any exercise can lead to injury. And at best, you’ll end up with inferior results. So, make sure you get some guidance on how to perform each exercise correctly. The better your form, the more effective your workout will be, and the faster you’ll see results. One of the key ingredients of proper form is to engage the correct muscle to their full potential. This requires some mental focus, and not just half-heartedly going through the motions. Everyone should work with a trainer at one point, to learn proper exercise technique and program-design strategies. This investment will ensure that you’re working in a way to maximize your strength and gains, while minimizing your risk of injuries.
Mistake #5 – Over-thinking if I should workout.
That moment when are you lying in bed thinking should you or shouldn’t you workout today? Don’t think, just do! Get up and start moving. You don’t have to go 100% all out every day, in fact you shouldn’t. Just move your body! Focus on how you will feel after you complete a workout. Think about the positive affects it has on your health. When you workout it releases endorphins that make you feel good. Who doesn’t want to feel good?! Everybody has days that they don’t feel like working out, but honestly those are the days you need it the most!