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Avoid These 7 Common Exercise Mistakes

Since most of you do not have a background in fitness education, it is likely that you are making some of these common exercise mistakes.

That being said, even seasoned fitness fanatics sometimes hold onto exercise misconceptions and continue to make some common mistakes. The mistakes listed below are not all harmful to your health, but all can lead to wasted time. And, with your busy schedule, do you really have time to waste?  These workout tips should help solve some of the workout problems you encounter.

1. Failure to set goals.

Ok, when’s the last time you set off in your car without a destination in mind? Probably never. But when was the last time you had a workout without a clear goal in mind? Probably always!

We try to stress this at camp, goals motivate us. Pick something. Be it losing/gaining weight, building endurance, strengthening or health issues, having a goal to motivate us is NOT OPTIONAL. Pick one.

Having a roadmap and a goal in clear site is a critical step in fitness and weight loss success. How will you know if you are going the right direction? How will you know when you get there?

Workout tips…Not only having a goal in mind but tracking your progress in a journal will help ensure you get there. Writing in a journal is an excellent way to track your improvements. You need to see where you have come from and continue to stay positive and reward yourself for all the steps you have taken towards your goal.

2. No Pain, No Gain.

This is actually a dangerous truth. The building of muscle is facilitated through the creation of tiny tears in the muscle fibers by working them beyond their current capacity. This is why you hurt after a rigorous workout. The muscles repair themselves by adding a little tissue at the site of the tear.

Workout tips…This is a normal process, but must be done gradually with sufficient rest periods to allow proper healing.

Working out when you are in pain (and there is a difference between normal muscle soreness and PAIN), without allowing sufficient rest time to heal can cause long lasting damage to muscles, tendons and ligaments. Do this, and you will not be able to work out anymore and may find yourself in constant and long lasting pain.

3. Weight training makes women bulky.

Women simply don’t produce enough of the hormone testosterone to build muscle mass the way that men do. If you see an over-muscled woman in a body building competition, chances are that she has used a synthetic testosterone such as anabolic steroids.

Weight training for a woman will strengthen and tone muscle, burn fat and increase metabolism, not build mass.

4. Over-Emphasizing Strengths

Sure, your arms are strong and you like keeping them that way. It is natural to focus on what you are good at; but when trying to get fit, you should instead be focusing on your weaker points in order to balance things.

Workout tips…For example, if your upper body is better developed than your lower body, make sure you assign at least two days per week to work only on this area.

5. Not Enough Variety

Boredom not only numbs the brain but it will also diminish the effects of exercise.

The effectiveness of any program depends on the degree to which it challenges your body. The problem is that familiar stressors are less challenging because the body get used to them. Each successive repetition of an exercise is less effective.

Workout tips…So shake it up a little. In boot camp, try different weights, or ask for the advanced level of an exercise. Use variations and free weights to change up a routine program. Stick with boot camps and break free of machine boredom in the gym.

6. Lack of Diversity.

This might sound like a contradiction to the previous point about variety, but getting stronger does require repetition, therefore you should not change your routine for every workout. For example, if you reach a new level with a target muscle and then switch to another muscle entirely for too long a period of time, you begin to lose the first gains you made.

Workout tips…One way to strike a good balance between diversity and continuity is to change half of your exercises every 4 weeks. We do this in small group training! Also be sure to regularly utilize complex exercises which use multiple joints such as rowing, squats,  dead lifts and lunges to maintain the levels attained.

Don’t let those muscles forget and remember that it is easier to maintain them than to rebuild them!

7. Improper Technique (Poor Biomechanics).

It is very common to see people attempting to lift or move more weight than they can reasonable handle. They try to work beyond their capacity in order to blast on the muscle. While it is important to strive to do better, using good technique will do the job more efficiently and with less chance of injury.

Workout tips…Generally speaking, if you’re lifting a weight correctly, you’ll feel tension through the target muscle but no pain or discomfort in the associated joint.

Note that… you will feel stress in the muscle but you do not want to feel pain in the joint. We always encourage heavier weights at boot camp, but you should be aware of what your own personal limits are.

Your movement should be precise and consistent from rep to rep, almost like you are a machine.

If you find yourself “shaking and quaking” under the weight, it is probably too heavy relative to your current abilities.

If it looks wrong, it most likely is. For example, if the bar isn’t parallel to the floor when you squat, dead lift, or bench press, it means you’re applying more force with one limb than the other.

Focus on changing up these common mistakes and you will see a real difference in the benefits from your workouts!

Adapted from: http://www.busywomensfitness.com/workout-tips.html

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