5 workout mistakes that can undermine results
You work out regularly? Good for you! You already have a head start on most people. However, while you’re at it, might as well fully benefit from it, maximize results and stay motivated! Here are several mistakes to avoid in order to maximize your chances of success!
Mistake #1 Lack of Intensity
To obtain results, intensity is essential! Complete 2 to 3 workouts per week or increase your heart rate to 85% of your maximum heart rate (MHR). To calculate your MHR, subtract your present age from 220 (women) or from 226 (men). For examples of HIIT programs, refer to these videos (French only): Bootcamp de 10 minutes or 5 exercices cardio haute intensité.
Mistake #2 Too much too soon
Overtraining is not better. You are risking injury. In order to improve your condition and reach desired results, you must listen to your body and give it time to recover. Healthy nutrition and a good night’s sleep are part of the recovery process. Alternating between high and low intensity workouts is recommended. As a result, you will be able to supply the necessary energy at every workout.
Mistake #3 Being « selectively active »
Let me explain that. Whether you wish to lose weight, maintain your present weight or prevent numerous diseases, don’t just depend on your gym workouts to reach your goals. Find ways to stay active. Get up from your chair at least 40 times a day, target 10,000 steps per day, climb stairs when you can, etc. All these actions, small as they may seem, do add up and will make a difference on your overall health, in addition to contributing to your daily caloric expenditure.
Mistake #4 Not planning ahead
What’s your objective? Tone and build body definition? Improve your strength? Decrease body fat percentage? The right amount of weight to lift, the number of reps and sets, the intensity of cardio workouts, proper recovery time depending on chosen activity will all vary according to your objective. When the goal is to tone muscle, we will generally aim for 2 to 3 sets of 12 reps. A qualified personal trainer can customize your programs to ensure achieving desired results by perscribing the right exercise at the right dose!
Mistake #5 Never changing your workout
This is not the ideal for two main reasons : 1- Repeating the same muscle movements can lead to injury. 2- If you always do the same workout for the same amount of time, you will eventually hit a plateau where you fail to see any additional change. Change your workout routines every 4 to 6 weeks and be sure to alternate between different types of exercises during the week. For example : do a Power Fit workout on Mondays and Wednesdays, jogging on Tuesdays and Fridays, yoga classes on Thursdays and Saturdays and take a break on Sunday!
Are you guilty of any or all of these common workout mistakes? Correct them one at a time and start seeing results!
By Karine Larose, M.Sc.