Working out seems like a simple concept. You just have to lace up your trainers, head over to the gym, do a couple of sets on the weight machines, try and squeeze in some cardio, and call it a day. With that kind of thinking, you couldn’t be more wrong.
Training, just as with any other undertaking, requires that you are well-versed in it. This will not only ensure that you get the maximum bang for your buck from your workouts but will also make sure that you do not injure yourself. You will also be less likely to quit.
This article will highlight some of the most common mistakes committed by beginners when they embark on a fitness program. Avoid them, and you will reach your fitness goals in no time.
Not Having a Workout Plan
A lot of beginners fall into this trap. You show up at the gym without a clue of what you should be doing. Typically, the beginner will try and imitate what a super-fit regular is doing. After all, if this is what they usually do for them to look that good, then it must work for you too, right? Wrong. Workout programs are different depending on the level of experience, and body type, you have. Additionally, there is a very good chance that you will not use the proper technique or form while executing the exercise. You will not only be wasting your time, but you may also injure yourself. The remedy? Get a workout program.
A quick Google search will reveal thousands of free workout programs for beginners. Do not stress yourself about finding the best program out there. The best workout plan is one that is effective, safe, fun, and sustainable. Nevertheless, you will still need a trainer to coach you through the techniques to ensure that you are performing the moves correctly. The best of both worlds is to take a class so you can have a trainer and have a plan made just for you.
The most important takeaway here is that technique is everything. For you to develop a flowing physique, you have to get your form down to a tee. This way, you will never develop bad habits such as performing quarter squats or swinging when performing curls. Proper technique lays the foundation for quick strength gains as well as enhanced athleticism. Bad technique, on the other hand, sets the foundation for becoming a lifter who is injury-prone, as well as being slow to realize your gains.
Not Mastering Your Calories
When most folks decide to adopt a fit lifestyle, they think that their biggest challenge is the physical exercises. This can’t be farther from the truth. The biggest battle when getting in shape is faced in the kitchen. Diets are the first, and most important, step to a lifestyle change. Thus, changing your diet will change how you look. For instance, if you are looking to build lean muscle, you would probably want to increase your protein intake while ensuring you are weight training. If you are looking to lose weight, then you might want to cut back on the calories. When done correctly, techniques such as intermittent fasting can help you realize that slim waist sooner without compromising on your muscle size.
It is imperative that you seek the advice of a professional such as a nutritionist to help guide you through the complicated waters of dieting. Remember, crash diets almost never work, and that being fit is a whole shift in lifestyle, and not just a momentary change.
Overdoing it on supplements
Thanks to commercials, there’s a widespread misconception that taking special protein powders and expensive supplements of substances you’ve never heard of before is the only way to get results from your workouts. The fact is that unless you’re trying to gain a lot of muscle mass, a healthy, balanced diet is really all most people need to hit their goals. And while most exercise supplements are fairly harmless (aside from making a sizable dent in your wallet), others can have alarming consequences. For example, although anabolic steroids are great for bulking up, they can cause brain chemistry changes that trigger unexplained aggression, irritability, and poor judgement.
Not Warming Up
It is very tempting to skip your warmup under the pretext of saving time. And even though you might get away with it without any severe consequences, skipping warmups is setting yourself up for a lackluster training session or even worse, injury. Warming up will raise your metabolism and get your fired up and motivated for the session. Additionally, it gets the blood rushing through your muscles. Training a muscle that has not been well warmed up is the fastest way to an injury.
Nevertheless, a warm up should never be intense. Keep it light and fun with the goal of priming your nervous system and heart for exercise, and to avoid fatiguing prematurely. Thus, you should not run for 30 mins on the treadmill before your weight training session as you will be depleting your energy reserves.
Only Doing Cardio
Cardiovascular training is indeed essential. However, if that is all you do, then you are missing out on a lot. As we get older, we progressively get weaker. This, coupled with a slowed down metabolism, is what causes older people to collect fat around their abdomens in addition to feeling lethargic and having a low drive. Weight training, therefore, is an essential staple of any fitness program as it makes your muscles stronger and bones denser. This makes you less susceptible to injuries in addition to being able to move stuff with ease.
The most significant advantage of weight training, perhaps, is that it enables you to shed off those extra pounds faster. This is because resistance training is a form of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT involves performing an exercise in short bouts at maximum intensity. Its benefits are that it builds more muscle while burning off calories long after you have left the gym. Additionally, muscles burn more calories than fat while at rest. This explains why sprinters have bodybuilder-like physiques while marathoners typically have no muscles.
Having that warrior mindset where you want to give 100% every day is very admirable but might work against you in the long run. Overtraining, especially, at the beginning is something that is easy to do. With it, comes symptoms such as lethargy, being irritable, being sore constantly, and more. Not only will it impede your goals but may likely result in quitting altogether.
As such, ensure that you always get enough sleep while being sure to train four days a week at most. Also consider using healing techniques like massages and hot water baths to speed up your recovery process.
Joining a gym and embarking on a physical transformation journey is one of the most fulfilling undertakings you will ever take on. However, for it to be rewarding, you will have to approach it the correct way. Use this article as a guide on the mistakes you should look out for to ensure that you are getting the most out of your training.
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