Are You Working Out Effectively and Efficiently?

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Many gym users are guilty of making common errors when fitness training and getting stuck in a rut with their programmes…..

These Common Issues Can be Easily Solved if You Know How

Not planning your session or following a programme 

It is really important to set yourself SMART goals, even if they are small goals they will keep you motivated and focused on your training. Once you have set your goals it will help you to find structure to your training and find the exercises to help you reach your goals. Hopefully this will stop you from just heading for the cardio equipment, spending an hour on a treadmill and not achieving what you set out to do! Ask for advice or download a programme from our website or app today!

Ask for some advice from a trainer or download a programme from our website thefitnesslink.uk

Over using the cardio equipment 

If you’re trying to get fit and strong, spending an hour on the cardio equipment every time you go to the gym, and not making use of the other equipment will not help you to achieve this! Running and cardio training is great training, especially if you are training for an endurance event but in moderation. Cardio training for 20-30 minutes combined with some resistance training is a more varied way of training and uses both aerobic and anaerobic systems. If you do enjoy running on the treadmill try a variety of different types of training for example interval training and incline training. Also be aware of the effort you are putting in and make sure that you are challenging yourself so that your body continues to adapt to your training and does not reach a plateau, which will in turn stop you seeing any more results.

Don’t spend all your time in the gym doing cardio – mix your training up with some weights.

Lengthy workouts do not necessarily mean faster results

This really depends on the type of training that you are doing, but spending hours in the gym training is not the most efficient way to train. Firstly, if you are putting in moderate effort you should be getting tired and hot after 45 minutes to an hour and after this there is the increased risk of injuries if you continue. It has also been proven that higher more intense workouts for a shorter period of time can have more effective results particularly for fat loss than long endurance training. This type of training is called HIIT (high intensity interval training) and workouts can be as short as 25 minutes. Also do not use cardio equipment to count calories, this is only a guide to your calorie expenditure, as everyone burns calories at a different rate.  

Just remember to get results work out harder not for longer!

Not using the correct weights  

This is dependent on your goals. It is important to use the correct weights to get the right adaptation in the muscles. It is quite common to see men lifting too much weight and therefore have poor technique and women not lifting enough weight and therefore not achieving their results. For example if you are looking to bulk and build muscle then you should use heavier weights with lower reps (2-3 sets of 6-8 reps per exercise). However, like most women if you are looking to tone and define your muscles, then you should use lower weights with high reps (2-3 sets of 12-15 reps per exercise). It is important to make sure that the weights are heavy enough, so as a guide the last few reps of each set should be hard work, and you should need the rest for recovery. This will tire the muscles encouraging definition rather than building muscle. Women are fearful of using weights in case they build muscle, but it is hard for women to bulk up, due to the small amount of testosterone we have on our bodies. Testosterone is an essential hormone needed to build muscle as is a high protein diet.

Remember it is very hard for women to bulk up.

Poor technique

This is very common in the gym amongst gym users who are lifting weights that are too heavy and this could result in an injury. If a weight is too heavy to lift then people use momentum and sway to help them lift the weight or achieve their desired amount of repetitions. Many back injuries and muscle tears could result from this, causing training to have to cease while muscles recover. Following the guidelines for sets, reps and desired results should prevent this happening as well as seeking advice on how to perform an exercise correctly.

Use our extensive exercise library full of videos on how to properly execute exercises: thefitnesslink.uk

Not warming up or cooling down

Some gym users skip a warm up and a cool down due to lack of time and not having an understanding of their importance. Warming up prepares the brain and the body for exercise, it doesn’t need to be any longer than 3-6 minutes. This allows the brain to release extra hormones into muscles and joints which helps to prevent injury. Cooling down and stretching allows your body to gradually return to its pre exercise state. This enables your body temperature and heart rate to return to normal, as well as slowing down the rate of blood pumped around the body helping to eliminate any lactic acid build up out of the muscles.

Don’t forget to warm up and cool down.

 

References:

Huffpost.com 10 common mistakes you’re probably making.

www.bodybuilding.com

Womens Health Magasine -7 mistakes everyone keeps making.