No one’s perfect, especially when it comes to working out! It’s all too easy to make a mistake in your workout routine and not even know it until it’s too late. We see it all the time when gym goers suddenly stop coming because of injury, or come all the time, but never see results. Working out is an art form; you need to push your body beyond what it can handle to adapt, while without pushing beyond what it can handle to prevent injury. You literally need to do two opposite things at the same time, which as impossible as it sounds, can be done with these simple steps.
- Going too heavy
One of the first mistakes everyone makes is going too heavy too soon. It can be tempting to go harder than you know you should at the gym. You start warming up and feeling good, maybe your favorite song comes on, and next thing you know you’re going full beast mode! It’s nice to get so fired up for a workout, but all it takes is one wrong muscle twitch, or a little fatigue to cause an injury & set you back for weeks! The key is to keep your awareness of yourself, both your energy during the workout, and where your overall fitness was when you walked in. That being said, think of what the next couple steps ahead would be, and focus on those. So if your last bench press workout was 150lbs for 3 sets of 5, don’t go to 180lbs for 4 sets of 7. Pick one thing (i.e. # of reps), and focus on pushing that, one workout at a time.
- Going to light
Although we just said to tone it back, you still need to make sure you’re pushing your limit. One of the terms I use to describe some gym goers is “comfortably uncomfortable”. People like going just to the point where they slightly start to feel the burn and then stop. Which means right as the body is about to need to adapt, the stimulus is taken away To properly push it, you shouldn’t be comfortable, it should be hard, but not painful. There’s a difference between a good, strong burn, and actual pain. That being said, a great way to find the right groove is grab a personal trainer next time your in the gym and do a max test. This will tell you just how far your body can safely push, and where to set your next workout. It may surprise you what your capable of and just how far from your potential you were limiting yourself.
- Not Enough Rest
So often people forget rest is a part of exercise. Rest is where the real growth happens, it’s where your muscles do all the repair and rebuilding from your challenging workout. Think of it this way, to upgrade & remodel an old house, you must first tear apart the old walls, carpet appliances and other features. Once that’s done, you can get to work installing new flooring, walls and everything else needed to make the house better. This is the same process your muscles need to go through to grow stronger & leaner. The first step is the workout (tearing apart the walls), next is the rebuild which needs to take place during rest. So get your rest & let your body grow!
- Lack of Consistency
You’ll hear it everywhere, fitness is a lifestyle, it needs to be a way of life. Even to just to maintain, you need to be exercising on a regular basis. Unfortunately there are just too many ways a routine can be broken, and all it takes is a couple weeks for not working out to become a habit. So to help maintain your consistency, do everything you can to squeeze in a couple of 15 minute workouts in your day. Additionally, acknowledge that your body wont’ feel energetic or fired up for a workout and that’ll make it suck in the beginning; but the best progress is made from the toughest workouts. So do all you can to stay on your game and not let your routine go off the rails!