Showing up consistently at the gym? Awesome! You are giant leaps ahead of most people when it comes to your overall health. However, are you using your time as efficiently as you could be? Don’t make these common mistakes when you hit the gym.
1. You Don’t Track Anything
Routinely showing up to the gym is great. Seriously. A few questions to ask yourself though… Are your lifts going up? Is your mile time getting faster? Do you find yourself setting the treadmill on the same setting week in and week out? Exercise, in it’s most basic form, is stimulus, recovery, and adaption. In other words, you are putting in work, letting your body recover, and the body over time adapts to the stimulus. This is where improvement stops, when the body has adapted. If you find that you are stuck in adaption, try mixing it up some. Vary the stimulus from week to week.
2. You’re Asking too Much of Exercise
Exercise is GREAT for you. The benefits are almost too numerous to mention. (Blood glucose regulation, bone density improvements, cardiovascular and respiratory improvements) Exercise, however, can only take you so far. Exercise alone will NOT help you look good in a bathing suit or get those 6-pack abs you’ve been hunting. Regardless of what the magazine headlines or your Facebook feed tells you, there is no magic bullet. In order to see the visible effects of exercise you need a solid NUTRITION PLAN.
3. You’re Ignoring One or More Aspects of Fitness
Your workout routine should consist of each of these elements in equal parts 2-3 times/week:
- Cardiorespiratory Endurance – Consistent, moderate breathing for at least 20 minutes
- Resistance Training – Lifting weights with a consistent increase in total volume (increasing weight lifted or increasing repetitions)
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Very heavy breathing in intermittent bursts followed by equal amounts of rest
- Mobility – Some type of recovery practice; foam rolling, yoga, stretching, and metered breathing
Too much “cardio” and your metabolism will slow waaay down. Too much resistance training – your heart and lungs will be neglected. Too much mobility work and your core will be weak. Too much HIIT and your cardio, strength, and mobility will suffer. Begin to think of a well-rounded fitness that includes each of these in equal doses.
4. You’re Still Weighing Yourself
I think we all know that the scale is not at all an accurate measurement of what’s going on with your body. Chances are, if I ask 100 women what they think they should weigh, they’re going to say 120-135 regardless of height, build, etc…. Not sure where they were taught this number, perhaps in a magazine, but, it is obviously meaningless. Want to know what’s up with your body fat? Have it measured accurately somewhere.
5. Your Focus is Off
Short term it is very easy to be motivated like crazy to exercise. We look in the mirror and see that we need to do something so; we show up to the gym and get after it. Then in a few weeks, back to our old habits of not exercising. The key here is to find something that is FUN! If you are having fun, you are going to consistently show up.
If you have found a routine that is delivering results that you enjoy, keep up the great work! If you’ve found you’re beginning to stall out, check yourself against this list and see if you can’t make a slight course correction. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to REACH OUT!