There are numerous workout mistakes that hold people back from progressing in their weight loss and/or muscle building training programs. Some mistakes are quite scientific in nature, such as not getting enough proteins in your system after a workout, but most are as common sense as common sense gets. There’s no reason for these mistakes to be committed, yet we’re all guilty of making these mistakes from time to time, or even on a continual basis. In order to have a truly effective workout you need to understand the reasoning behind these mistakes and how you can correct them.
Workout mistake 1: Not eating immediately after a workout
Some people don’t take the time to ‘feed’ their muscles after a workout with the necessary protein and carbohydrates. You need to be taking in food within about 30 minutes after your workout to have the full effect. This window of opportunity means that you need a quick meal, something that doesn’t take long to prepare, making those protein and carb shakes the ideal post-workout meal. This will allow your body to recover quicker and help your muscles grow.
Workout mistake 2: Training without a plan
A lot of people train by going to a gym, lifting whatever weights are available, playing with whatever machine is available, and waiting for their favourite piece of equipment to become available. Doing this consistently is a complete waste of time. You need to develop goals as to why you want to workout, assess where you are now, and what plan of action will allow you to get to where you want to be. This will make your workouts more focused, and more effective.
Workout mistake 3: Repeating the same workouts
You don’t want to be repeating your workouts from one session to the next. You need to move your attention from your areas of strength to your weaker points, which means doing workouts that really challenge you. Make sure that you are continually improving after each workout, either by doing just one more rep, or adding a little more weight to the exercise, or doing an extra minute of cardio. Whatever it is make sure you are improving on your previous workout.
Workout mistake 4: Training without intensity
Some people tend to just coast through a workout; using light weights in low reps, low intensity cardio, and overall low intensity workouts. In order to make significant gains you need to train with intensity and push yourself to improve in each workout. Rather than relying on a long, steady cardio workout, try training in high intensity intervals. And instead of doing higher rep ranges with lighter weights, do lower rep ranges with more weights. The harder you train, the quicker you will see results.
Workout mistake 5: Thinking you need to ‘feel the burn’
Some people think that to have an effective workout you need to feel that burn in your muscles. That burn is a result of lactic acid building up during the workout and may actually slow down muscle growth, not speed it up. It has nothing to do with muscle growth, and nothing to do with how hard you’re training. You can reduce lactic build-up by training in a rep range of 5-7 rather than higher rep ranges of 10 and above.
Workout mistake 6: Comparing yourself to others
Don’t compare yourself to the professional body builders or the professional athletes who train for hours every day. Comparing yourself to others lowers your self-esteem and confidence, making you frustrated and unhappy. Focus on your own goals, and the results you want to see in yourself through each of your workouts. Compare yourself to yourself yesterday, or yourself during the previous workout, and make sure that you are improving on what and who you were before today.
Workout mistake 7: Making excuses for missing a workout
We all have excuses, and we’ve all used them, but excuses get us absolutely nowhere. We don’t gain anything from using our excuses, and we certainly don’t grow from them, physically and mentally. Drop the excuses. Some people don’t see results immediately so they stop trying, others say it’s too hot or too cold, and still most say they don’t have enough time. You need to accept total and absolute responsibility for your life. If you’re not seeing results find out why, maybe you need to train with more intensity, maybe you’re not eating properly; find out why, and rectify the situation. If you feel you don’t have enough time to workout, decide to manage your time so that only activities that are essential to you consume your time, and taking care of your body is as essential as it gets. If you want to workout in the morning get out of bed an hour earlier, which means you go to sleep an hour earlier. Take responsibility for all of your actions and create the masterpiece of your life.
The first step to rectifying any mistake in your training is identifying the mistake. Identify exactly what you’ve been doing incorrectly, learn from the mistake, and find out how you can correct the situation. The real mistake in training is knowing you’re making mistakes but doing nothing about it, and just repeating those same errors over and over again. Make significant progress in your training and you will be able to make significant progress in other areas of your life.
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