Here are some simple ideas to help you maximize the use of your gym time. I’ve found that many hardcore gym goers routinely make the same simple mistakes in their training over and over again. This is a short list that highlights some of the big ones I see regularly. If you can avoid them, you’ll be far ahead of the curve. Remember – results matter!
1) Machine Based Training
This is a big one since machines restrict your range of motion and isolate your movement. Machine based training does not translate over to real world strength – All sports and life happen in 3 dimensions so why would you train in only 1?
2) Training Like a Bodybuilder (when you’re not one)
The body is not a set of isolated muscle groups to be trained independently of one another. Rather, your body is one interconnected unit which functions much more optimally when used as such. Train the body in all ranges of motions and train the whole body together.
3) Never Altering Your Routine
Some people fall in love with a particular exercise, or set of exercises, and never deviate from them. Unfortunately, your body adapts to the demands imposed by exercise within about 4-6 weeks. After that your super-awesome routine is no longer providing enough stimulus to create change so the results begin to plateau and then stop altogether.
4) Changing Exercises Every Workout
A lot of people think they will increase the speed of results by changing up the exercises every workout. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact of the matter is, random exercise = random results. Exercise selection is like every other form of goal setting, a planned out step-by-step process.
5) Only Focusing on “Cardio”
Cardio training is good, yes, but it’s not sufficient . Especially when it consists of just doing one thing (treadmill, elliptical, step aerobics, whatever) every workout (see #3); there are far better ways to program workouts (in shorter amounts of time) to see better results. Additionally, when it comes to training for fat loss, cardio is second place to high intensity interval training (HIIT).
6) Forgetting About Recovery
None of our gains happen during the workout. We must recover from the training we do in order to realize the benefits. This means using proper recovery strategies, varying intensity of training from day to day so as not to burn out, employing proper warm-up protocols as prehab, and using compensatory movement exercises as cool down. Learn how to build an Indestructible Body.
7) Not Dialing in Nutrition
While this is not exactly an “at the gym” mistake, it certainly goes hand in hand with exercise and is something that must be addressed. Many people have the mistaken notion that they can somehow out exercise their poor nutrition choices; especially those who seem to think cardio and calorie counting are the be all and end all of fitness.
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