Mistakes at the gym are bound to happen. If someone tells you they’ve never made a mistake at the gym, they are probably lying. Mistakes are part of a learning curve; I myself still make tweaks to my workouts and diet plans after 10 years of training. The beauty of making mistakes is that they can be fixed and make you better in the long run. Mistakes also help you to get to know your body. Our bodies all work differently, and what may work well for someone may not work well for you. Getting to know your body is another great key to success. From my personal experience, staying lean requires me to do at least 20 minutes of cardio 3-4 times a week. While others can do a minimal amount of cardio and still stay lean. It’s all about experience, and the more experience you have under your belt, the better you will be.
This list of 15 common gym mistakes ranges from setting unrealistic workout goals, to making poor decisions outside of the gym. These entries are meant to shed some light on common mistakes women make at the gym, and the ways they can be fixed to improve your overall performance. For more about what I do you can check me out at https://instagram.com/alip_fitness/.
15 Repeating The Same Workouts
Repeating the same workout can actually prohibit the growth and development of the chosen body part you are constantly stressing. So basically, instead of building it, you’re just stressing it and hindering its growth. Muscles need time to rest in order to repair. At least 48 hours are needed before you can work on the same muscle again. Some people recommend waiting a week after working a specific body part, so it can have enough time to build and repair itself. Remember ladies, rest is just as important as work, don’t overwork your muscles by repeating the same workouts. Set up a weekly workout split that makes sense. An example of an ideal workout split would be: day 1: chest and biceps, day 2: legs, day 3: rest day, day 4: shoulders and triceps, day 5: back, day 6 and 7: OFF.
14 No Warming Or Cooling Down
Some of us are often in a rush to leave the gym as soon as we get there. Rushing leads to quick workouts which can often cause injuries or slow down muscle growth. Taking a little bit more time can go a long way. Stretching is a very effective way to warm up or cool down. Stretching is regarded as one of the most undervalued practices in the fitness world. The benefits of stretching are numerous; they include increasing ones joint movements, improving muscle stability, increase of blood flow from the start of your workout and increases your energy level. The most important factor is that stretching prevents injuries. Beneficial stretch protocols for pre workout include: ballistic stretching, dynamic stretching and survival stretching. For post training, static stretching and PNF stretching are regarded as the most effective.
13 Afraid To Lift Heavy Weights
The benefits of lifting heavy weights far outweigh the benefits of lifting light weights or lifting no weights at all, and just doing cardio. The benefits are numerous, lifting heavier weights can aid in fat loss. Many women generally think the opposite, and assume that lifting weights will make them bigger. This is incorrect. An advantage of weight lifting is your body’s ability to burn fat during and after exercising. When your body craves more oxygen, it requires more caloric expenditure, causing an increase to your metabolic rate. This ultimately leads to burning fat and an eventual weight loss. Other benefits include being able to eat more calories, curves, quality of sleep, increased energy levels and improvement with your overall bodily function.
12 Not Drinking Enough Water
Contracting your muscle causes a metabolic heat in the body. The body then begins to sweat in order to maintain its overall temperature. Fueling is essential to help replenish the amount of water you lost during your workout. Lack of doing so can cause a decrease in overall power, and this leads to poor workouts. Water is also essential to carry out your nutrients, aiding in your post or pre workout digestion. Water is an overall must and should be consumed throughout the day.
11 Lack Of Protein
Not consuming enough protein is a common mistake amongst women. A huge window to consume protein is after your workout so your body has a source to build and repair the muscles you just trained. When breaking down your muscle tissue there must be a post process to repair and replenish your body. Protein is essential in a nutritional diet.
10 Long Breaks
Following break times is not only a problem amongst females, but males as well. We tend to (at times) get lost in the world of social media or simply have a conversation with someone that goes on for too long. Each rest time has its own distinct purpose, typically fat loss. Rest times should range between 10-90 seconds. Unless you’re a woman seeking strength gains, then your rest times should range between 3 to 6 minutes. Shorter rest periods with high volume trigger a greater GH (growth hormone) response. The GH response is necessary for fat burning, thus making the importance of shorter rest times that much more crucial. Keep those conversations short ladies (unless you’re a power lifter, then it’s cool).
9 Seeing Training As A Burden
A major problem with many women is they simply see training as a burden, as opposed to an opportunity to change your life. Many women overdue the gym quickly, and get sick of it, leading them to quit rather quickly. The best way to avoid this issue is to develop a love for the gym. Start by going 2-3 times a week max. Develop a passion and appreciation for it and eventually when you are ready, increase your days to 3-4. This is seen as the most effective way in developing a steady and long term relationship with the gym.
8 Too Much Ab Work
A lot of women put intense pressure on their abs, as a common goal is usually for a toned stomach along with a small waist. However, it is simply impossible to reduce layers of fat on top of the abdominals. Fat simply cannot by reduced by doing a crunch or any other ab workout. In order to do so, a mixture of cardio and a well balanced diet is the key. Once your fat is reduced, working out your abs 2-3 times a week max will certainly ensure better results.
7 Avoiding Carbohydrates
Not eating enough carbohydrates can be a key reason for stalling weight loss. Carbs provide energy in the body, with this energy you are able to burn more. Without carbs in your system, burning simply becomes that much difficult because your body does not have the fuel to do so. Carbs have other numerous benefits such as positive mood alterations, help trim your waistline and help burn fat that much quicker. If you experience a plateau while on a low carb diet, intaking more carbs should spark a change in your system for the better.
6 Not Setting Goals
Setting a fitness goal is crucial. Without a goal one can become easily distracted and lose focus quickly, causing you to quit the gym sooner rather than later. Setting a goal leaves you motivated and gives you a purpose to go to the gym. Having a plan and setting a goal will help you identify what you want to be and how to get there, as opposed to wishing and not having any type of plan. Setting a goal can go a long way.
5 No Nutritional Backing
In order for you to train properly you must have proper fueling to go along with your training. Without the proper fuel, your workouts will simply suffer. The fuel comes from what you eat, so be sure to follow a proper diet according to whatever your needs are. Bad nutrition can lead to loss in energy, fatigue, decreased motivation, risk of injury and burnout. Be sure to follow a diet plan according to whatever end goal you have in mind.
It’s certainly admirable to set a goal and to work hard to attain it. But it’s important to not go overboard and overtrain. Keep in mind when training; a body can withstand between 45 minutes to an hour of a workout. Working out for longer than 2 hours will take away from the body instead of adding to it. Effects of overtraining include joint injuries, loss of lean mass, depression, sleep disorders, low self-esteem, weak immune system and heart failure. If you are training 5-6 times a week, be sure to fuel properly and ensure that you are hitting all your macronutrient needs. A proper diet is the best way to keep from overtraining.
3 Setting Unrealistic Goals
Setting unrealistic goals can often lead to unhappiness and disappointment. Make sure that whatever goal you set, it is one that is attainable in the near future. Setting short-term goals is key, as it leads to a more attainable and gradual progress while keeping you motivated and goal driven. Set short-term goals, conquer them, and then move on to new goals. This approach is most effective.
2 Bad Form
Bad form continues to be one of the biggest gym killers amongst trainees. The purpose of proper form is to fully engage your muscle fibers, as this causes the growth. When your form is not optimal, growth is simply not happening, and causes no changes to your body. It is important to remember that when you’re using weights, you must contract the weight to the specific body part you are targeting (and not push the weight). Bad form can also lead to injuries. Make sure your form is optimal when performing a proper workout.
1 Too Much Cardio
Ultimately, doing too much cardio can increase cortisol in the body. This causes the tearing of your muscle tissues, leading to a slower metabolic rate. Keeping cardio to a 3-4 day a week schedule at 30-40 minutes is usually an ideal amount of time for cardio lovers (along with weight training). Doing too much cardio can have numerous negative effects, such as burnout and lack of eating, and it can also burn away the muscle you are developing. If your goal is to build lean muscle, doing too much cardio will not help you. Set your cardio levels according to your goals.