Friday, 25 December 2015

Gym mistakes: 6 reasons you're probably not seeing the results you want

Workout mistakes to avoid

So you've been going to the gym for sometime now, know how to use the machines, your gym etiquette is spot on (wipe equipment after use – check!), but for some reason you thought all your hard work would have started paying off. Well, despite ditching the training wheels there are a few common mistakes people make at the gym time and time again. These easily avoidable mistakes can counteract your fitness progression. 
Whether it be overexerting in the weights section or underachieving during sets, personal trainer and fitness expert, Chris Williams, says each of the following six common mistakes need to be prevented to ensure the most effective and safe workout:

1. You Lift Weights That Are Too Heavy
A lot of people have a predisposed expectation of the weights they can lift. This, of course, leads to people lifting weights too heavy for their capability. This is dangerous as your body cannot distribute the weight accordingly and you succumb to poor form, causing extra stress on joints, engaging the wrong muscles and overworking others.

2. You Only Focus On One Area
It’s the old ‘don’t miss leg day’ conversation that never ends. If you focus on your chest and biceps and don't balance your workouts to include backs and legs, it leads to imbalance and posture problems. Not to mention the whole disproportioned arm-leg situation. Always plan your exercises beforehand so you can ensure your exercise covers all areas. Planning ahead also helps with motivation as it ensures your exercise regime is different each session and you don’t succumb to boredom. 

3. You Don't Warm Up Properly
It might be easier to skimp on the warm up and go straight into working out, but while you think you're being productive, being lazy in your warm up stage can lead to injury. Also, depending on what warm ups you commit to, you can burn over 100 calories – so they’re definitely worth doing. 

4. You Take Too Much Time In-Between Sets
This is typical when friends go to the gym together and talk in-between sets or when you stop to take a look to see what's happening on your phone. When you take too much time between sets, your body doesn't stay in its peak state to allow growth hormones to be produced and therefore, reduces your muscle growth/tone for the effected workout. 

So although you feel productive – catching up on the latest gossip while also running on the treadmill – it is actually restricting your fitness progress.

5. You Don't Work to Capacity During Exercise
Not working to capacity during sets of exercise and stopping when it starts to burn. Of course it's important to not overdo it, but 'under doing it' is quite often the case. When you're exercising, train to your capacity. Also, be sure not to confuse a good exercise burn to pain and giving up.

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6. You Don't Set Realistic Goals and Targets
Poor planning and not doing real research into what it takes to achieve the goals desired can lead to disappointment and loss of motivation. With consistent effort, it usually takes 8-12 weeks for you to start seeing results. So don’t give up, be patient, be consistent, set achievable targets and talk to your personal trainer about realistic goals.

Breaking larger goals up into smaller, more achievable, goals will help you reach milestones quicker and keep you motivated. When in doubt, whether it be about the use of equipment or realistic goals, always ask your gym supervisors and personal trainers for advice.

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