Working out is supposed to provide you with great weight loss and strength building benefits. However, there are plenty of mistakes that can make your exercise less effective. And some of them can even lead to injury if you aren’t careful.
Whether you are just starting out on a workout program, or you have been a gym member for years, you need to make sure you know the following tips to ensure you are getting the most benefit from every workout.
Top 10 Workout Mistakes You Need to Avoid.
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1. Forgetting the Warm Up.
Warming up is not some boring movements that are designed to eat into your workout time. Your daily movements don’t always engage some of the major muscle groups, which means they are not warm and ready to work. A proper warm up gets your entire body ready to do its best while you are working out.
2. Not Doing the Right Exercises at the Right Time.
When it comes to getting the best full body workout, you need to make sure that you are doing compound exercises, which are those that engage multiple muscle groups, first. These types of exercises require more energy to execute properly, and doing them after isolation exercises makes them less effective, and could result in injury.
3. Improper Cardio Training.
Cardio workouts are a necessity for weight loss, but you have to make sure you are doing them right to see real results. If your heart rate isn’t increased while doing cardio, you are wasting your time.
On the flip side, if you are over-exerting yourself during these workouts you are doing more damage than good – especially for your muscles. Make sure you are doing your cardio workouts at an intensity level that keeps your heart rate around 65 to 75% of your target for optimal results.
Learn more about target heart rate.
4. Not Challenging Your Body.
The point of working out is to push your body so that you can gain lean muscle mass and burn off unwanted fat. If you barely break a sweat during your workouts, you need to add more weight to see better results. The best way to make sure you are challenging your muscles is to lift a weight that is heavy enough to make the last eight to ten reps of a set difficult, but not impossible.
5. Over Training.
If you have to strain and give up on form during your exercises, you are over-training, which is also bad. If the weight you are using barely allows you to finish one set, let alone the usual three, you need a lighter weight.
Your muscles need to increase in strength gradually to make sure they aren’t overworked. If you feel as if you can’t get out of bed after a day at the gym, you really need to tone down your training.
6. Not Giving Your Body Time to Rest.
OK, we get it. You are excited about finally making the decision to lose weight and get in better shape. However, you have to make sure you are giving your muscles the time they need to recover from one workout before doing another.
You should plan on allowing your muscles to regroup for around 48 hours after each workout session. If you really want to exercise every day, alternate cardio workouts with strength training to make sure you aren’t over-taxing your muscles.
7. Getting Stagnant.
You have to keep your workouts interesting for your mind and body if you want to continue to see results. Add variety to your workout to keep your muscles guessing, and make sure you don’t hit that plateau where all progress seems to stop.
8. Not Keeping Track.
When trying to lose weight, the worst thing you can do is not track your overall progress. While the number of pounds you lose is great, you have to remember that muscle weighs more than fat. If you don’t keep track of inches lost, or how much improvement you’ve gained since that first workout, you are much more likely to give up since you don’t really know if you are making any progress towards your goals.
9. Resting too Much.
While you may need to take a very short break between exercises to catch your breath, make sure you are not taking more than two minutes to get started on the next one. Allowing too long between exercises defeats the entire purpose of hitting the gym, and ensures that you will not see the results for which you are hoping.
10. Not Asking for Help.
Some exercises are challenging, and if you are unsure about anything you need to ask for help. Otherwise, you drastically increase your chances of injury.
If you want to get the most out of every workout, make sure to take note of these top 10 workout mistakes you need to avoid. Pay attention and you will see plenty of progress every step of the way.