Overuse of Cardio for Weight Loss
Along with increasing confidence levels and overall wellbeing, most people come to the gym to lose weight and improve their physique. But for those trying to lose weight, the most common approach we see is people jumping on the treadmill or bike for an hour.
While this type of exercise will certainly help you burn calories and work up a sweat, cardio alone won’t lead to the toned figure you’re likely chasing. Incorporating weight training and HIIT into your workout will get you to your goals much faster than slaving away on the treadmill.
Using Too-Heavy Weights
Have you ever seen someone pick up a weight and not be able to finish a set? Using weights that are too heavy for your current abilities only leads to poor technique, which will target all the wrong muscles and effectively waste your time.
Start with light weights (or none at all) to perfect your technique before you add in more kilograms. Increase the weights gradually until you start to see a drop in performance. At which point, go back to a slightly lighter weight. Failing to do so could lead to injury.
Not Having a Plan
Our bodies are smart. If you’re doing the exact same run for twenty minutes every day, your body will adapt and learn to preserve energy and fat that would otherwise be spent. The same goes with completing identical sets and reps of weight exercises every week.
Spend some time thinking about your fitness goals and devising a solid plan that will help you get there. If you’re not sure where to start, chat to one of the trainers at your gym – they’ll be more than happy to give you a few pointers. To keep things interesting and ensure you see results, make sure you incorporate a diverse range of exercises.
Skipping Your Warmup
This is easily the most common mistake we see people making. And it’s a sure-fire way to walk away from the gym with a nasty injury. Most beginners will run on the treadmill for a few minutes before starting their workout, but this is not an adequate way of preparing your body for weight training or HIIT. Do some research into active stretches to find out how you can prepare your joints, muscles and nervous system for a quality gym sesh.
Setting Unattainable Goals
The number of times we hear, “I’m going to start running for an hour every morning at 6am” only to see people bow out three days later? Setting unrealistic goals will only lead to feelings of deflation and failure. And as soon as you feel like you can’t keep up, you’ll lose the momentum and motivation to keep exercising at all.
The best way to start an exercise regime that sticks, is to set super small goals (as small as you can make them), that increase in difficult every week. For example, if you’re only hitting the gym once a week at the moment, aim for two sessions next week. If you end up going more than that – it’s an added bonus!
And if you’re still in need of a motivation boost, group fitness classes, bootcamps and small group training sessions offer friendly faces and extra encouragement to keep you coming back week after week.