5 Workout Mistakes and How to Correct Them
Whether it’s from a lack of knowing or from a lack of motivation, many gym rats either neglect to workout correctly or simply do things wrong. If you’ve fallen into one of these workout no-no’s, follow the corrective advice to get back onto the path of exercise perfection.
Working out is just that… work. The commonly muttered phrase “no pain, no gain” is right on target when it comes to completing exercise programs. Your heart should be racing, your lungs should be gasping for breath and your muscles should be burning in order to reap the rewards. It’s better to not give the effort at all than to strike out half-hearted.
Correction: Find ways to get motivated and increase energy levels so that when you go to the gym, you pump like never before. Download your favorite jams in an iPod, or slam a good pre-workout supplement so you can explode when you hit your strength training or cardio program.
Don’t take it easy on your cardio workouts either. Many people jump on a stationary bike or treadmill and act like their taking a cruise through the park. Although it’s better than sitting on the couch for an hour, such easy cardio exercising doesn’t amount to much in the way of fitness.
Correction: You should be doing 40 minutes to an hour of intermediate cardio or a hard 20-30 minutes of high intensity cardio at a pace which raises your MHR (maximum heart rate) to at least 60-75% capacity. You can utilize one machine by performing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which consists of an intense workout for 1 minute (to 90% MHR) followed by a moderate 1 minute session (to 70% MHR) concluding with a low intensity 1 minute session (60% MHR) and then repeat for a total workout time of 10-25 minutes. Or, you can alternate between 4 different cardio exercises, such as rowing, stationary bike, treadmill and elliptical, during your cardio workout program, spending between 10-15 minutes on each one.
Long Rest Periods
Practically just as bad as not giving 100% to your exercises is taking too much time for breaks in between. If you pump like crazy and then take a 20 minute break to talk to your buddy or chat with that cutie then you are losing the benefits.
Correction: Go to the gym to complete your exercise program and save the chatting for before or after your workout. Make sure you have a clock or watch in site and use it to time your breaks. You should be doing high intensity workouts to get the most out of your time and exercises and you should only be taking breaks of less than a minute for high repetition workouts and less than 2 minutes for low repetition workouts.
Using Only Machines
Heading to the gym and only using resistance machines is another common mistake.
Correction: Machines may be more convenient and easier to use than grunting with free weights, but they tend to only target one muscle. More fat loss and more muscle mass gain are achieved through free weight workouts that incorporate numerous muscles at one time. Fitness is acquired by pushing yourself beyond your limits. Therefore, jump into bench presses, squats, deadlifts and other power exercises and attempt to better your previous weight levels each time.
Always Doing the Same Exercises
It’s very easy to fall into the rut of a single exercise routine that you become comfortable with. However, comfortable is a bad word in fitness training. Your muscles will quickly adapt to routine exercises and will cease to respond.
Correction: You should change up your exercise program every 2-4 weeks so your muscles are constantly being challenged through various elements. You can alter your exercise routine (circuit, supersets, aerobic, etc), technique (i.e. inclined presses instead of flat presses), the amount of weight and the amount of repetitions (or time such as on a treadmill).
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