You’re not mixing it up
Have you been doing the same class or cardio routine since you can remember? If so, it’s time to mix it up and stop making the same fitness mistakes.
If you stick to the same thing, your body will become used to it and you won’t get the same results any more. You don’t have to give up that class or workout that you love, but add something new or different into it and give your body a shake up.
You’re lifting too much or not enough
It’s not always about how much you can lift if you’re not doing it right. Completing exercises with correct and safe technique and form will lead to better results and less injury. Perhaps lower the weights, increase the reps and ensure you’re performing exercises properly.
Alternatively, it may be time to take the weights up a bit and challenge yourself. If you’ve been sticking with those 3kg dumbbells for the past 6 months it may be time to push yourself.
You’re resting too much
Be careful not to rest too much between exercises and starting cooling down.
Not only could you cause injury but by limiting the rest you will increase your cardio benefits and fatigue the muscles – which is what we want when building strength. Save the chatter for the changing rooms and reply to that text later.
You focus on the scales only
Weight loss is only one aspect of a health & fitness regime; it’s also about fitness, strength and being healthy inside our bodies and our minds. If your workout is geared only to reduce the number on the scales, then you could lose focus on all the small victories in between.
Yes, set your dream goal of amount lost, dress size you want to buy, etc but then set smaller goals along the way that are realistic. And include measurable tasks such as push ups completed, how long you can hold a plank, how out of breath you feel climbing those stairs.
You’re only using machines
Machines are great for beginners or for certain exercises, but if you are only sticking to these then you’re missing out on a whole new and affective workout method.
Machines only work one muscle group at a time, can encourage bad posture and don’t optimise the use of your core muscles during the exercise.
Try training with dumbbells, kettlebells, Vipr and body weight training – these will recruit more muscles to complete the exercise and you’ll always be working your core muscles, avoiding some of the most common fitness mistakes.
Sit ups and more sit ups
You won’t get a six pack from doing 50 sit ups a day. For starters, if your diet is high in fat and sugar then any work you do in the gym will only go so far.
But the standard crunch is only one way to work the abs and is very limited. Instead, try exercises that work the muscles in your core/trunk – any kind of body weight training, boxing, kettle bell and free weights will do this.
Are you stretching?
Or do you race off home for your dinner? Stretching is one of the most crucial aspects of your workout and without it you are risking muscle soreness and injury. After a hard session, those muscles need your attention and TLC so they can restore to their natural length and maintain flexibility and avoid common fitness mistakes.
Post written by Tara Whitbread: a Personal Trainer, Fitness Instructor and Nutrition & Weight Loss Coach.