Are you one of the tens of millions of people that workout, but never get the results you want? Did you know that it is estimated that only 5% of people get the results they want when they join a gym? That means if 100 people join a gym today, only 5 people will see results in the future! Why is this? Well, for starters most people who go to the gym don’t even know that they are doing the wrong things. They simply lack the knowledge to get the kind of results they are capable of. Follow this simple list of the most common mistakes made in fitness, and start to correct them today. You can get what you desire; you just need the knowledge to do it.
1. No Custom Program or Plan
You have heard the old saying, maybe from a coach or your mom, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well, mom was right once again. I see a lot of people walking around the gym, trying to figure out what they should do next, and most of them end up with a half hour in the gym and no actual work done. You cannot watch other people and emulate their workouts or read articles from 10 different magazines, and expect to get the results you want. To start your plan, set realistic goals for the day, week, month and year. Know what the workout plan is for the day, week, month, and year. Keep a journal of what you have done and how you felt before and after. It is simple, go buy a notebook, write down the goals, write down the plans, and notice the results.
2. Never Changing The Routine
Once people get a plan, they stick to it, sometimes for too long. If you continue to do the same routine, no matter how great it may be, from week to week and month to month, then your muscles will eventually adapt to the exercises you are performing on a regular basis and will stop responding. Progression has stopped! At the same time, if you do the same exercise routine at the same pace and intensity every day, some muscles will get stronger, but they will start to expend less energy. This makes you burn fewer calories, slowing down your metabolism and increasing your body fat percentage. The other benefit to changing your routine is that it keeps the workouts interesting and fun, and thus keeping you from getting bored and burned out too quickly.
Change: (as much as every week to as little as 1 time a month)
Exercises you are performing
Order you perform them in
Number of sets and reps you perform
Weight you are lifting
3. Cardio Junkie
Did you know that the human body begins to lose muscle around the age of 30? That the average woman loses five pounds of muscle every decade after that! Here are a few myths about cardio workouts that will help you improve not only your results, but your health. A lot of people make two mistakes with cardio. One, they do too much cardio and not enough weight training. Two, they do their hard cardio routine before they weight train. We will get to the first mistake in a second, but for now let’s concentrate on number two. There are three major reasons why doing cardio workouts before weight training is a no-no. We all store something called glycogen for energy, and it is estimated that anywhere from the first 10-20 minutes of a workout, including cardio, you are burning your glycogen resource. This means that it is possible that when you are 20 minutes into your cardio workout you haven’t even started burning fat yet! Who wants to waste time like that? So the plan of action is to do the weight training at the beginning, use that time to burn the glycogen, then do the hard cardio workout at the end, and start burning all the fat you want from the first step. Another downfall to doing hard cardio workouts before your weight training is that this makes your muscle considerably fatigued afterwards, and how are you going to reach your goals when your muscles are too tired to perform? Lastly, and more importantly for men, natural growth hormone and testosterone are used at the beginning of your workout as well, so why are you wasting all that natural growth hormone on the elliptical? These reasons should be convincing enough, but if they are not, then read on about the myths of cardio workouts.
Myth 1 – Hours & hours of aerobic training alone = fat loss.
Muscle metabolism is dictated by resistance training, not by cardio training. This means that your metabolism will increase with muscle toning. Check this out, 1 pound of muscle = 50 calories burned a day at rest, at REST people. Compare that to 1 pound of fat = 5-7 calories a day burned at rest. Which sounds better to you?
Cardio training helps with fat loss, but when done alone, without the assistance of weight training, cardio can actually decrease muscle mass, decrease metabolism, and increase body fat percentages.
Myth 2 – Lifting weights makes women look like men
You must take in an insane amount of calories and lift an insane amount of weight to gain muscle mass – especially for women. If you ever see me in the gym, take a look (though not for too long or I might have you removed from the property) I am 5’2” and 105 lbs. I lift weights 5 times a week. It’s not going to happen, ladies!!!
4. Comparing Yourself to Others – The Cookie Cutter Attitude
Not everyone looks or acts the same. Likewise not everyone can workout the same way. Don’t have unrealistic expectations of where you should be in your workout, what you should look like and how much you should be lifting. You are more likely to get discouraged, or worse, injured by trying to keep up with others. Instead, focus on YOUR starting point and YOUR progress alone.
5. Easy Street
Doing 2 machines at 10 lbs of weight, then some crunches and leaving the gym after 20 minutes is not a workout! Being pushed is what gets results. Nothing should be too easy in your workout. So if you are not breaking a sweat and feeling like you just got your butt kicked, then you aren’t working out. There are NO quick fixes, the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will get results. Dedication, work, and a healthy lifestyle will get you in shape.
~ Start correcting these mistakes today, and start seeing the results tomorrow! You can be one of the 5% that actually get results, just apply the knowledge!!
Dr Tonya Ingalls, D.C.