‘Fitness Routine: Three Mistakes’ written by Kat Millar and published in Great Health Guide (August 2017). Are you exercising on a regular basis but not getting the results you want? Perhaps it is time to reassess your workout routine to see if you are making some common mistakes which could affect the efficiency of your workout. In this article, fitness expert Kat Millar discusses the top three most common mistakes that people make and how to tackle those issues to create a better workout.
Read other Fitness articles on Great Health Guide, a hub of expert-inspired resources empowering busy women to embody health beyond image … purpose beyond measure.
Fitness: Fitness Routine: Three Mistakes
written by Kat Millar
Are you exercising regularly, but still not seeing the results you want? It may be time to assess your workout to see if there are better ways to do it.
Here are three of the most common mistakes that I see women make in their fitness routine.
Mistake 1: Not spending enough time doing weights.
Most females need to change some of their cardio workouts for resistance workouts. Many women often end up losing muscle because they do more cardio than weights. As a result, they can end up with a higher body fat percentage than they did before they started exercising.
I understand the fear of getting bulky and losing your feminine look. I have personally trained hundreds of women and I have only ever seen a small handful of women significantly increase their muscle. This was usually due to lack of cardio work and eating a very high-calorie diet.
Women have around 1/50th the testosterone levels as men and it’s hard to put on a large amount of muscle. Plus, it takes a very long time. We are also losing a small percentage of our muscle every year, so we need to ‘use it or lose it’.
Adding lean muscle to your body will not only improve your bone health, overall long-term health, strength and look, but help you burn fat faster than cardio alone. Even adding a small amount of muscle will increase your metabolism, because muscle is more active tissue than fat and uses up more calories just by being on your body.
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My recommendation: do a minimum of two resistance training sessions every week, with sufficient recovery time for each muscle group.
Mistake 2: Avoiding free weights or lifting too light.
Many women spend too much time on machines or using weights that are too light. To increase your strength and muscle tone, it’s important to get ‘comfortable’ using heavier weights. Free weights generally better mimic the moves we do every day. They strengthen the muscles we use most often and help us avoid injury.
Weight machines, on the other hand, usually focus on working one muscle group at a time and they don’t always sufficiently replicate the way we move during our daily lives. Also, most gym machines are usually designed to fit men’s bodies as they have a longer limb and an extended reach.
It’s important to let go of any insecurities about others in the gym watching or judging you. This can hold you back from getting the results you deserve. For maximum efficiency in your workouts, perform total-body exercises that involve combinations of squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, pulling and rotating.
Before you start any new training program, it’s important to seek professional advice to ensure the exercises are suitable for you.
Mistake 3: Putting too much emphasis on the scale or the mirror.
If you use the scale as your guide to whether you’re ‘doing well’ or not and your weight is not budging – or worse, it goes up, it’s not going to do much for your motivation. Putting too much emphasis on how much you weigh or how you look can often be discouraging and disheartening.
There are so many different factors that can affect what your weight will be, such as the time of day, water retention, clothing etc. Visible change in our body takes time and it helps to have other ways to measure our progress along the way, to stay motivated.
Our focus should be on changing our daily habits and the things we can control; things that we can tick off every day. You may want to tick off a set number of reps performed, calories burned or how many push-ups completed in a week.
This creates more of a positive focus and can feel very motivating. We feel a sense of achievement right from day one, rather than waiting to see the outcome of all our hard work, which can take time.
Get a resistance training plan designed specifically for you – one that involves variation and progression.
Hire an exercise professional who can properly teach you the correct form.
Set realistic goals and avoid the mental trap of relying on the scale as your only measurement.
Start with small goals that you can achieve and then gradually move to bigger goals.
Now that you have specific action steps to move forward today and avoid these common mistakes, you can begin working smarter rather than harder towards optimal health and body composition.
Author of this article:
Kat Millar owns Get Results Training, dedicated to helping people transform their health, mind & body. She’s a coach, speaker, award-winning figure competitor, fitness lecturer & NLP practitioner. Her passion helps people achieve life-changing results & fulfillment, with a range of programs for holistic health & body transformation. Contact via Kat’s website or Facebook.