It’s getting to the middle of summer, so right now you should be enjoying the fruits of all your workout labor. All of your spring training sessions went perfectly, right? You easily achieved all of your workout goals, hit your body composition numbers right on the head and are basking in the sun with your six-pack, right? Or no? If your fitness program has been less than perfect, and you’re struggling to hit your goals, then you’re right where you need to be!
In truth, at Nimble Fitness we know that health and wellness is a continual, highly individual process that can take a lifetime to get right. And in the spirit of a lifetime of improvement, here are some (very) common potholes on the road to fitness that we’d like to help you avoid. Please be sure to give us feedback. Let us know about your progress and your questions–we’d love to hear from you!
Here we go:
You do the same exercise routine every week.
If you do the same routine over and over-or play the same sport, or take the same class every week-your muscles will quickly adapt and hit a plateau, with each workout becoming less and less effective. However, if you challenge your muscles by adding or alternating exercise routines and movements periodically (think every 4-6 weeks), you’ll get significantly more fibers into the act and develop more tone and strength.
You’re exercising too hard, too often and don’t get enough rest.
If you don’t rest enough between hard cardio or strength workouts, you’ll stop making progress and may even lose some of the muscle tone you’ve gained. You are also likely to burn out on exercise! Overtraining is real—and can lead to serious consequences for your body. Taking some time off, resetting your intentions, and letting your body heal may be the best way to break a plateau.
You’re not challenging yourself with enough cardio variety.
Sticking with the same aerobic workout can sabotage your results just as much as pushing too hard. To truly boost your fitness and burn more calories with less effort, you need to venture outside your comfort zone a couple of times a week. Interval training, for example, is a great way to get out of your cardio rut. Try increasing your intensity for shorter bursts, then resting in between.
You perform your reps too quickly when strength training.
When you use momentum instead of muscle power, you don’t stimulate the muscles properly. You are also more susceptible to injuries. Slow it down, feel the burn and work through the entire range of motion. You’ll reap the benefits and get much more work out of lighter weight.
You avoid weight training or don’t do it properly.
If you don’t lift weights at all, you could be selling your body short. Weight training will give you improvements in strength, tone and bone density. Cardio exercise is only part of the health equation. Add resistance training into your routine and you will instantly see positive changes, both in your body strength and your cardio.
You are chronically dehydrated.
Being chronically dehydrated leads to reduced endurance and results in increased body temperature, heart rate and perceived exertion. Dehydration also impedes your recovery. Bottom line: If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your workouts will suffer and you won’t progress. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Make sure you drink plenty of water a few hours before each workout and on your rest days.
You are not addressing your injuries.
Whether an injury is acute or chronic, there is never a good reason to try to work through the pain. It is just going to prevent you from training at your best. Whatever the cause of your injury–improper use of equipment, lack of conditioning, insufficient warm-up, overtraining, an accident, whatever the reason, you have to make a conscious effort to remedy the problem. That might mean simply resting, seeing a physical therapist or getting a proper assessment to look at your training routine and your body’s imbalances. The sooner you find and remedy the cause of your pain, the faster you can progress with your workouts.
If you have further questions about improving your workouts, or if you’d like to schedule an assessment with one of our expert trainers, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.