Time is valuable. We’re all multitasking/juggling/scheduling/squeezing things in just to keep up. Gym time is even more valuable. It’s often the only time in your day that’s devoted just to you. But just making it to the gym isn’t enough; you also want to get the most out of your workout time. To help us boost productivity and results, I went to Chance Pearson, the District Manager of Core Concepts Personal Training at Mountainside Fitness. Chance has his degree in Exercise Wellness, and in his 13 years as a trainer, he’s seen every workout mistake in the book. Here he tells us the biggies to steer clear of for better results in less time…
Mistake #1: Sticking to a routine
It’s human nature to seek out and religiously follow a routine. We’re creatures of habit, and have an innate desire to go into autopilot whenever we can. But this doesn’t always turn into results in the weight room. If your routine isn’t changing, you can bet your body isn’t either. After 6 exposures to any strength training routine, your body’s adaptation process will plateau. If you want to ensure your efforts in the weight room aren’t in vain, make sure you are getting out of your comfort zone on a regular basis. Working with a Personal Trainer is a great way to ensure you are always being exposed to new challenges, keeping up with the newest trends, and staying away from the same-old same-old.
Mistake #2: Doing abdominal work in hopes of shedding fat from your stomach area.
Six-pack abs don’t come from eating a moderately healthy diet and doing crunches 3 days a week. Behind every 6-pack, there’s a dialed in nutritional program. If you want to give yourself your best shot at seeing your abs, speak with a Core Nutritionist about your diet and use your valuable time in the weight room focusing on your major muscle groups. If you just focus on a small muscle, like biceps, you’ll get a small metabolic reaction. But if you focus on the larger muscle groups (legs, back, and chest), you can get a much larger metabolic response. This is the best way to maximize fat loss through strength training.
Mistake #3: Static stretching before lifting weights
Many of us have carried bad habits with us from PE class or high school sports. Before we so much as touched a ball back then we were taught to sit and stretch (static stretching is when you hold a stretch for at least 30 seconds). The idea was to prevent muscle injury. Research has actually shown no correlation between static stretching pre-workout and a reduced risk for injury. In fact, engaging in static stretching prior to weight training can negatively affect performance. If you want to decrease your risk of injury, first raise the body’s internal temperature through dynamic stretching, calisthenics, or cardio and use static stretching post-workout to increase flexibility.
Mistake #4: Not working hard enough
The body won’t react, evolve or change until we ask it to do more than it’s already capable of. This typically involves taking the body to its physical limits while not compromising proper form or technique. For example, if my body is capable of doing 22 push-ups and I stop after 15, do you think my strength is going to increase? The answer is no. If I’m capable of 22 and I attempt 23 and fail, my body will respond to the challenge by getting stronger. Soon enough I’ll successfully execute 23. Too often people have a number in mind prior to starting a set. Once they reach that number they’ll stop regardless of whether or not they’re capable of more. Push yourself past your “number” and make sure the weight you choose is heavy enough to where performing the final reps is a difficult challenge. I recommend using a spotter or a personal trainer whenever taking the body to failure.