With all of the things that you have going on in your life, it is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed and like you just don’t have time to workout! I continuously run into the same frustrations and setbacks with client after client. Maybe you can relate?
Biggest Workout Mistakes
Are you are sick of wasting hours of your life doing cardio?
Are you frustrated because you workout and don’t seem to get the results you deserve?
Have you read and heard enough conflicting information in the media to absolutely make you crazy?
Unfortunately, this is the norm and you are surely not alone. I have identified the top six workout mistakes that I see women making on a daily basis. When you take action and avoid these mistakes, I promise that you can improve your body with less work, less time, and far less frustration!
Too Much Cardio
You need to avoid steady state cardio and shock your body! Get off the treadmill and the elliptical and start mixing things up. Increase your workout intensity, but lower your duration.
Try something fun and new (kickboxing, circuit training, sprints, or play a new sport) and continue to switch things up to keep your body guessing. By lowering the amount of traditional steady state cardio, and replacing it with higher intensity and shorter duration exercise, you will actually improve your hormonal state and your body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle.
Ignoring Weight Training
I understand that you are afraid to get “bulky” and lose your feminine look, however you need to throw this fear and misconception out the window. Strength training is extremely beneficial for your bone health and overall long-term health.
Additionally, lean muscle will improve your body composition and help you burn fat faster than cardio. One key ingredient is finding the proper environment or facility to learn to strength train and losing your false insecurities that others in the gym are watching you or judging you. More about this later…
Trying to Isolate Your Abdominals
I understand that you want your abs to look like Cameron Diaz! However, your abs are made in the kitchen with a great diet and not by performing an insane amount of isolated abdominal movements.
As you begin to strength train, you will want to do multi-joint functional movements (Ex: squats, dead lifts, pull-ups, kettle bell swings) where your abs are engaged throughout the entire workout. Fortunately or unfortunately, all of the isolation crunches, bends, twists, etc. will never out do or overcome a poor diet.
More is not Better
It is absolutely important to work hard in the gym and get after it. However, you need to also listen to your body and work to develop a set training schedule. If you are overtraining and pushing your body too far, more time in the gym will not equal better or faster results.
Lack of sleep and too much training is counter-productive to your results because you will be putting your body in a poor hormonal state and you will be taxing yourself mentally as well. As previously mentioned, shorter and more intense workouts are the best way to burn fat and build lean muscle.
Carbohydrate Loading Before Workouts
There are many misconceptions about carbohydrates, but most experts would agree that lower to moderate carb intake is effective to get lean. We must also understand that athletic performance is different than weight loss and training for body composition. If your primary purpose is to get a lean fit body, then stop eating carbs before your workout.
Try working out on an empty stomach in the morning or if you need to have a snack try eating something with just protein and fat in your pre-workout meal. Many people will get leaner and feel better with ketogenic, low carb, or cyclic low carb diets. Here is a good video that explains the pros and cons of carb consumption for working out.
WSetting Unrealistic Expectations
You can’t be so hard on yourself and you must understand that your body will not change overnight and you need to be patient. Changing your body or anything in your life will take consistent effort over time and you must have a plan and stick to it. You must immediately stop your obsession with the scale and instead notice how you feel, how your body looks in the mirror, how your clothes fit, and how you perform in life on a daily basis. Set a realistic time frame for your goal.
I would recommend setting a date of at least six weeks and preferably eight to twelve weeks before you judge your results. You must also remember that diet, sleep, and stress are arguably even more important than what you do in the gym. So make sure these aspects of your life are also in check so you do not sabotage your well deserved results!
In order to take this information and put it to good use in your life today, you will need to do several things: Get a workout plan that involves variation and has a focus around strength training. You must find an environment that you are comfortable in and hire a coach that can properly teach you new things. If you have budgetary constraints, start by reaching out to an experienced and “fit friend” for some initial guidance. Have realistic expectations and set goals for at least six weeks out and avoid the mental traps of the scale. Have equal focus on your diet, sleep, and stress levels so you can get the results that you deserve from your workout program. Moving towards a real food diet will be a great start. Now you have specific action steps to move forward today and you can begin working smarter and not harder towards the body or your dreams.
What has been your biggest struggle with fitness? Have you made any of these workout mistakes?