The commencement of a New Year brings with it a batch of resolutions, as millions of people across the nation dedicate themselves, at least for the time being, to changing their bodies and bettering their lives. If you need validation that the New Year has arrived, look no further than your local gym where you’ll find a surplus of new members clanging and banging in the weight room, and walking or striding away in the cardio area trying to become the upgraded versions of themselves.
Whether you’re a seasoned gym veteran, or just starting a fitness routine the chances are you’re probably making 1 or more of the following mistakes that will slow down, or hinder your results all together.
Keep reading to learn more about the Mistakes You’re Probably Making At the Gym.
1. Not eating prior to your workout
Your body needs proper nutrition to carry on with its daily essential functions. I always say it’s better to skip a workout then skip a meal. Make sure to consume a meal 45-60 minutes prior to your workout, preferably consisting of a lean protein and complex carbohydrate.
2. Not listening to music
Listening to music while exercising has been shown to increase intensity and endurance by 15%. It has also been suggested that music can increase heart rate and improve oxygen consumption during periods of exercise, which enables the body to burn even more calories. Feel free to steal my personal playlist here.
3. Texting during your workout
I think it should be fairly cut and dry as to why this isn’t ideal. You’re in the gym to drop fat and increase lean muscle. Emailing, texting, and double tapping unfortunately will not accelerate either of those processes; in fact, it will only slow you down and cause you to lose momentum, focus, and ultimately lead to a less efficient workout. Either keep your phone in your gym bag, or turn it on airplane mode if you need to access your ipod. The world will continue to spin with your mobile off the grid for 1-2 hours. Promise.
4. Not lifting according to your goals
If you had a huge exam coming up about American History, you wouldn’t spend your time studying Western Philosophy would you? The same type of analogy can be used as it pertains to training according to what you want to accomplish with your body. If you’re not getting the results you are looking for 9 times out of 10 it lies within your diet. If you’re taking the time to meal prep or using a healthy food company to save you the hassle, you need to look at what you’re doing in the gym, and either do some research or consult with an industry professional to determine if its conducive to your personal objectives.
5. Not warming up properly
Increased muscle and body temperature, improved range of motion, and mental preparation are all essential components in ensuring your workout is of maximum efficiency. Without a solid 5-7 minutes of stretching and warm up movements, you run the risk of fatiguing far quicker than if you took the time to warm your body up properly.
6. Taking too long in between sets
Intensity is essential in distinguishing a bad workout from a productive one. Heart rate and lactic acid levels in the muscle need to remain elevated in order to ensure muscle tissue is increased, and fat is burnt during a workout. The absolute longest one should rest in between sets is 2 minutes. Often times this rule is broken due to bullet point #2 on this list. Unless you are the President or an emergency trauma physician on call, those texts can wait.
7. Spending too much time training abs
Yes your abs are important. I understand that. But if you have more than 15% body fat (which most do) spending a copious amount of time crunching, planking, and twisting away is definitely not the most efficient use of your time in the gym. Regardless of how much you train abs, if you are not eating consistently healthy they’ll never look the way you want them to. In this instance, the 15-20 minutes you spend working your abs would be much better spent doing HIIT cardio or even lifting weights longer. Stick to training abs 2-3x per week as a warm up to whatever body part you’re training that day, and spend no more than 6-7 minutes doing so. Check out my “Getting a Six Pack for Dummies” post to get an excellent ab routine.
8. You’re Not Taking in Protein and Carbs After You Weight Train
You’ve just put your body through an intense, calorie-burning massacre for 1-2 hours. If you are not taking in a whey protein shake, oatmeal or liquid carbohydrate supplement, or better yet , taking the more mentally stimulating route and indulging in a Clean Cheatz product immediately post workout, you are depriving your body of fuel that it needs during this sensitive and stressful window in order to refuel, repair, and increase lean muscle tissue. Remember, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn whether you’re in the gym, sitting at your desk, or sleeping. Post workout nutrition is paramount in achieving an awe-inspiring physique. For the sake of this topic, the post workout nutrition mentioned is to be treated as a recovery aid immediately at the conclusion of your training. It is not to serve as a meal replacement. Your next meal should be consumed 45 minutes after your shake or Clean Cheatz protein bar.