Whether you’re easing back into a fitness routine or you’re a seasoned gym rat, some things should be avoided in the gym. Here are the five pet peeves our fitness experts wish you would stop doing.
1) Don’t Try to Out-Train a Poor Diet
For changing your physique, the proper diet is key. “The clients who used diet as their primary weapon to slash fat were the ones who obtained the best result”, says fitness author and trainer Nate Miyaki. “They won – swiftly and quickly. The clients who tried to use exercise to offset a poor diet, or who thought they could eat whatever they wanted because they were exercising, obtained mediocre results at best.”
Most of us simply won’t look great without a great diet, no matter how hard we train. The right approach is to get your diet in order and then focus on the most effective workouts. If you don’t know where to start, check these 5 tips from nutrition experts on how to make your diet healthier.
2) Don’t Hate Your Body
Sure, you work out to improve your body and fitness. But don’t see working out as a punishment, says Nia Shanks, the Lift Like a Girl personal trainer and health writer. “Don’t worry about burning calories or fat and instead focus on what your body can do. Your sole goal should be to improve your performance, gradually, whenever possible. This way you’ll become a stronger, more awesome version of yourself.”
Check these 11 weight loss true stories of the women who found their strength and motivation to change their lives. Or the story of Katie Treichel who successfully overcame anorexia.
3) Don’t Train Like a Headless Chicken
Do you have a proper plan when you come to the gym, and do you actually stick to it?
“Time is precious and if you don’t arrive at the gym knowing exactly what you are doing, you will waste a great deal of time”, says Hayden-William Courtland, PhD, the senior coach at CrossFit Solace in NYC and ScienceForFitness.com blogger. “Your workout will suffer. Knowing what you plan to do means not only the specific exercises, but also the duration, sets, repetitions, and weights you plan to use.”
If you are starting a workout plan, give it time. If it works, stick to it. Changing your complete routine every 4 weeks makes no sense. Moreover, this is one of the reasons why people quit fitness programs. In this game, consistent results come from consistent training. Learn what 8 habits highly fit people have to keep to their fitness goals.
4) Don’t Ignore Flexibility and Mobility
Typically we spend most of our days seated, hunched over desk. No wonder 70% of Americans have pains resulting from bad posture. Flexibility and full range of motion are essential to performing well in sports and in life. Better flexibility also decreases your risk of injuries by helping your joints move through their full range of motion. Says Hayden-William Courtland: “Weight training can cause serious joint and muscle tightening, so spend time every day stretching and loosening up.”
These 26 moves will maximize your flexibility and will keep your muscles stretched.
5) Don’t Ruin Your Back
“I’d highly recommend that you avoid exercises like the Russian Twists or Windshield Wipers, both of which make me cringe every time I see someone doing them,” says Christian Finn of MuscleEvo.net.
“That’s not to say you should avoid training the muscles that twist the torso. But there are far better ways to do it than flexing and rotating the spine under load, which doesn’t do it any good.”
“Rather than rotation, think resisted rotation. For example, take Single Arm Dumbbell Rows. Although they work your back and biceps, the external obliques (the muscles on the side of your waist) are also involved. That’s because they’re actively preventing your torso from twisting.”
If you already suffer back pain, no need to rush to the doctor, first check these 9 daily habits that can stop your back pain.
Nia Shanks is a personal trainer and health writer who promotes sane and simple information that allows women to build the bodies they want by focusing on becoming the strongest, most awesome version of themselves. For more information about Nia and her Lift Like a Girl philosophy, check out her website at www.NiaShanks.com.
Hayden-William Courtland is a scientist, Ph.D and a personal trainer. Currently, Hayden is a Senior Coach at CrossFit Solace in NYC. Website: www.ScienceForFitness.com
Nate Miyaki is a fitness author, athlete, and coach. Nate’s work has been featured in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, and others. He has provided nutrition seminars and been a guest speaker for several corporate wellness programs including Zynga, Wix.com, Hanson Bridgette Law Firm, and Stanford Business School. He is a natural bodybuilding champion and has worked as a model and representative for several fitness brands. Website: www.NateMiyaki.com. Twitter: @NateMiyaki
Christian is a certified personal trainer with a master’s degree in exercise science. His articles and views were published in numerous magazines, leading industry journals and websites. Website: muscleevo.net.