9 Common Exercise Blunders And Gym Mistakes
You’ve committed to staying fit and healthy by going to the gym regularly several times a week. You’ve sweated and ached all over lifting weights and doing your cardio workouts, you’ve taken classed and watched instructional videos. But when you check your weight on the scale, the numbers don’t show that all your hard work is paying off. You don’t know why you’re not losing the extra pounds.
Maintaining a healthy body weight requires more than just going to the gym or watching what you eat. It requires committing to an overall healthy lifestyle.
There are a lot of misconceptions about losing weight effectively by working out. For example, a lot of people think that sweating is the same as burning calories. Sweat is just water lost, not calories; and once you drink liquids again, the water weight sweated out gets replaced. Burning calories is determined by how much work you do.
Another reason why most people who work out are not getting the results they expect is because they don’t really know how to exercise properly. This includes knowing how to use the machines and how to design and follow a correct exercise program. They may go through the motions of working out but they are not achieving much.
When there’s no payoff, discouragement naturally follows. Going back to the old unhealthy lifestyle is inevitable and the same weight problems remain unsolved, or even made worse.
Here are the most frequent faux pas committed in the gym.
1. Honing social skills more than weight skills
Most people who go to the gym spend more time talking with each other than working out. Before long, it’s time to leave and they haven’t actually done any worthwhile exercises. You should save the socializing for the juice bar and focus more on what your gym membership is charging your for: working out.
2. Not enough intensity
You are only wasting your time if all you’re not putting as much hard work as you can to your exercises. Simply moving does not constitute an actual work out. If you have the habit of reading or watching the TV while on the treadmill, or if you have the tendency to lean on the machines while you’re using them, then you are just going through the motions and not exerting any real effort.
It is important that you maintain the intensity of your exercise at the level that it needs to be at to be effective. In addition, you should also increase and vary the intensity of your work outs gradually over time. Other techniques you can use to get real results include increasing the length of workout time, increasing weights and distance, cross-training, and working out on an incline.
3. Getting stuck on the “fat burning heart rate zone”
Some cardiovascular machines list zones that determine the intensity of your cardiovascular workout. Most people stick to the “fat burning zone” all throughout their program which is very ineffective. The intensity of your training at this zone is not very high and, therefore, not very effective. You will burn more calories if you increase the intensity of your training, not only while you’re in the gym but even after you leave, when your body benefits from an “after-burn” effect. Your body continues to burn calories even after you stopped working out. If you are unable reach a higher intensity level right away, you can always work your way up.
4. Overestimating calories burned
The numbers shown on your cardiovascular machine is a very general number and very unreliable because they do not take into account other variables that factor into actual calories burned.
The computer in cardiovascular machines determines these numbers by relying on speed and revolutions. However, you may trick the machine when you lean on the bars, for example. By doing this, you’re offsetting your weight and decreasing the amount of actual work being done.
5. Getting stuck on a single exercise regimen
Doing the same workout over and over again day in and day out will eventually lead to a cease in weight loss; there will be an initial loss but your progress will eventually come to a standstill.
Sticking to routines that you are most comfortable with will give your body no reason to change. If you are only exclusively doing aerobic exercises, you are not focusing on maintaining your muscle mass which is the part of your body that is actually responsible for burning calories. If you are the type who’s only doing strength training to maintain muscle mass, you won’t lose weight either. A mix of different programs is important.
6. Concentrating on a single area
The primary factor that determines where your body fat comes from is genetics. An exercise that only focuses on losing fat from a single problem area like your abdomen or thighs will not give you results. Your body will take fat from anywhere it wants. Instead, you should have a well-balanced training program and, eventually, you will lost the excess weight from all areas of your body.
7. Doing an exercise incorrectly
There have been many changes to exercise science over the decades and the same is true with the exercise equipment available nowadays. Doing an exercise wrong or using a machine improperly will cost you a lot of unburned calories without you even knowing it. Another result is injury which will prevent you from working out and burning your calories.
When in doubt, it won’t hurt to get an experienced gym employee to do the rounds with you or to hire a personal trainer to help you for a few sessions. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
8. Overexerting yourself
Jumping into an exercise program too soon and too hard may cause you injury and may make you overly sore. Having a sore body is not a bad sign, but actually means that you are building muscle. But overexertion will result in fatigue, which will then affect how much workout you can do for the rest of your gym time and also the following gym day. When you’re fatigued, your body slows down. It is important that your exercises translate into a continued caloric expenditure even after you leave the gym and throughout the rest of the day. You can achieve this by getting a personalized program with the help of a computer or an experienced gym trainer.
9. Not working with a certified professional
The best way to avoid making all the blunders mentioned above is to get a certified professional trainer or an experienced gym employee to work with you. Your trainer will ensure that you get the maximum efficiency out of your efforts. Having a personal trainer will help you avoid working out based mostly on guesswork, help you create a plan that is specifically tailored to your needs, make sure that you’re doing your workout correctly, and advise you on a proper diet.
Over time, as long as you are always on the right track, you’ll eventually get the results you want.