Today I wanted to talk about things that we can do to sabotage our hard workout efforts. I sometimes hear people complaining that they aren’t seeing results or improvements after spending time in the gym. This might be because they are doing small things that are prohibiting them from receiving the full benefit of their workout.
**Please remember that while I did receive my Bachelor’s degree in Health and Sport Studies, with a focus in Exercise Science, I am not a certified fitness professional. These statements are my opinion and are based on my experience and discussions with the Personal Trainer Shoreditch Team .
8 Ways You May be Sabotaging Your Workout Efforts
1. Holding on to the hand rails on cardio machines that don’t require arm movement. This is a big no-no because it decreases the amount of effort you have to use, thus making the workout easier. Also, when holding onto the rails you are not allowing your core to fully engage and your posture is often much worse.
Try it with no hands!
2. Using too much momentum and not enough muscle force to lift weights. If you use all momentum to propel the movement of a weight, you aren’t stressing the muscle the way it should be stressed. And, you could actually cause some forces that will lead to injury.
3. Working out as hard as you can, every single time you exercise. Just as much as your body needs a rest day, it also needs to be worked at varying intensities. You don’t want to overwork your body and cause burnout.
4. Completing all of your cardio workouts at one intensity. While you don’t want to go as hard as you possibly can every single time, you also don’t want to lolly gag your way through a workout. Your cardio routines need variety so your body doesn’t get used to them, and even though you don’t need to go all out, you should still challenge yourself.
5. Doing the same strength training routine or using the same exercises over and over again. Our bodies are smart things. If we keep doing the same exercises all the time, our bodies will adapt and get used to them. Then we will be able to perform the exercises more efficiently and we won’t need as much energy to do them. Thus, less calories will be burned and your muscles will not be challenged as much!
6. Spot reduction. Spot reduction doesn’t work. Fat loss can’t occur from just one area (unless you want to get a medical procedure). It’s important to incorporate cardio, especially interval training, in order to help with fat loss for the whole body. Then, the muscles you’ve been strengthening can show through!
7. Not taking a rest day. Our bodies need time to recover and rejuvenate. The repair and strengthening of our muscles actually occurs when we rest. Also, rest days help with feelings of burnout!
8. Not consuming enough calories for your activity level. I wrote a post on this a while back. It is essential that our bodies get the amount of calories it needs to sustain its functioning. This way our bodies are at a level that enables us to thrive and feel good!