Have you been going to the gym, but just can’t seem to get any results? I’ve put a list of common mistakes made at the gym that may be holding you back from the results you’re looking for. Here the 3 mistakes you make in the gym:
Mistake #1 No Intensity
Are you playing on your phone? Are you sitting down often? Do you chat it up with other gym goers? A lot of people will just go through the motions, even though they may look like they’re working out. They think that as long as they’re moving, they’re going to lose weight, gain muscle, and get in shape. Unfortunately this isn’t true. If you aren’t working to your full potential and above you won’t attain the results you want.
Along with lack of intensity is always training in the fat burning zone.
If you look at one of the charts on the cardio machines that list “zones.” You will see a fat burning zone. To get to that “zone” your intensity isn’t very high, usually 60%-70% of your heart rate.
Research has shown that the higher the intensity, the more calories you burn not only while exercising, but after you leave the gym. This is called an “after burn” effect. The best way to achieve this is with HIIT “High Intensity Interval Training”. This is where you will burst of all-out effort for anywhere from 15-30 seconds followed by a rest of active rest phase of 60-90 seconds. You then repeat this 6-12 times. It can be done weight liftings, or on any type of cardio machine and even body weight exercises.
Mistake #2 You Don’t Warmup or Stretch
For most people it’s tempting to try and save time by skipping a warmup. We always give ourselves the excuse that “I did enough today, ill stretch next time” or “I don’t have time today and ill warmup next time”. “Next time” tends to never happen. You are in the gym to work out, so who wants to spend time warming up and stretching anyways? A warmup not only gets your nervous system ready for exercise, it can prevent fatigue and help prevent injury. Stretching will help with overall recovery, balance, strength, posture, soreness, and can even help relieve stress.
Never start a workout with stretching. Cold muscles do NOT like to be stretched and this can actually cause injury rather than impede it. Instead do your warmup first, do your workout, and finish with stretching. If you want to do an only stretching workout day, you should thoroughly warm up first.
Warmups can include walking on a treadmill, or utilizing any other cardio piece of equipment. Running or jogging outside, jump rope, etc.
Stretching can include Pilates or yoga as well as static (stretch and hold) stretching
Mistake #3 You Do Cardio Only and Avoid Weights
Cardio tends to be the go to for most new gym goers and the fall back for what I’d like to call “cardio bunnies”. Unfortunately if you do the same cardio over and over before you know it to get the same result you have to do more. For someone who starts off doing steady state cardio at 30 minutes a day, your body will eventually get used to this stimulus and to continue to lose inches and or lbs. you have to do more. This is why I recommended adding HIIT training into your cardio program. Sure cardio keeps your heart healthy and burns calories, but resistance training is just as important.
As we age we become more and more inactive, and along with this, our hormones change. Overtime we lose muscle mass due to inactivity and hormonal fluxes. The end result being your metabolism slows since muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. You also end up with a lack of strength, energy, and well-being.
How do you combat this? With resistance training! I recommend a minimum of 3 days a week of weight training. Lift consistently and with intensity. Always be sure to have proper form and with a warmup before you start. This can be done with bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, barbells, bands, and machines.