exercise

Top 10 Exercise Mistakes

It’s a new year and many people are buying gym memberships to get in shape and make positive changes in 2015. Before you jump into your new workout, let me tell you 10 common mistakes people make when it comes to exercise.

  1. Skipping the weights | The more muscle you have in your body, the faster you can burn fat. So why would you want to avoid the weight room? Running on a treadmill seems less intimidating that those big weights, but adding resistance training to your routine will increase your metabolic rate… which is a good thing!
  2. Lifting too much too soon | Lifting heavier weights than you are ready for can lead to serious injuries. Ease into the heavier weights. A good rule of thumb is that the last two reps of your set should be challenging, not the entire set. You need to be able to do all reps with perfect form. If your form breaks, you are lifting too much. Even if you think your shoulders can press that much weight above your head, can your back handle it? Be smart, be safe.
  3. Learning by copying other exercisers | If you aren’t sure how a machine works or the proper form for an exercise, ask a certified personal trainer. If you are afraid to do that – watch a DVD produced by qualified fitness professionals and watch yourself in a mirror to make sure you look the same as they do. Don’t just pick out some man at the gym to mimic because he could very easily be doing the exercise wrong himself. It’s important for your safety to know what you are doing is being done with correct form.
  4. “I exercised so I can eat this” | You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It’s that simple. Yes working out means you can eat a little bit more, but it doesn’t mean you can eat like crap. Abs are made in the gym but seen in the kitchen.
  5. Believing crunches will give you a 6-pack | Crunches are simply not very effective. To get a toned stomach you need to burn the fat off with cardio (steady state, HIIT, plyometrics) and core training. Core training means training your rectus abdominis, obliques, transverse abdominis, and lower back. If you want to spend hours doing a core exercise, choose to do a plank because that will engage more muscles in the core.
  6. Spending hours at the gym | The longer you workout, there will come a time where your body just can’t give it’s all anymore. There is no point working out if you’re just going through the motions. Give it your all for a shorter amount of time, and you’ll find that your results are actually better.
  7. Expecting immediate results | Real results don’t happen overnight. Give it time. If you want real progress that you can maintain, it’s actually better to have slow and consistent progress.
  8. Skimping on a warm-up | For an effective warm-up, focus on the muscles you will be using during your workout. If you are going to be doing lunges and squats during your workout, do those exercises without weight first to warm up that range of motion. Skipping a warm-up is like taking a test you didn’t study for – you might finish unscarred or you could fail badly. Don’t risk an injury… get a thorough warm-up in.
  9. Never switching up your routine | Your body gets used to exercises. And you never want to start feeling so comfortable with an exercise routine that you don’t even have to try anymore. Your body will start to plateau if you let yourself get to that point. So, continuously switch up your workouts to constantly keep your body challenged.
  10. Focusing too much on calorie burn | Yes, if your goal is weight loss, calorie burn is important. But work hard, get your heart rate up – that’s when results happen. If you obsess over the calories you will go crazy. Give it your all and don’t worry so much!
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