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Training Gaffes

So you’re busting your butt, but after all the sweat sessions you’re not seeing the payoff? Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a hardcore gym buff, you’re probably making some common blunders.

Article
Ryann Gordon
Photos
Courtesy
Posted
February 1, 2017

Have you been keeping up on your New Year’s resolution? Staying true to your diet?
 Are you still hitting the gym regularly? Spending hours working toward your best imaginable bikini bod in time for vacation season? You should be seeing results by now — but are you?

Well, it’s officially February, and if you can’t look in the mirror and tell that you’ve been bustin’ your booty for a month straight (maybe even longer), then we’ve got a problem.

Getting in shape can be a harrowing task — especially when you aren’t seeing any results. ere comes a point in time, though, when you must realize when something isn’t working and make a change. We all slip up sometimes when eating, and just about everyone makes mistakes at the gym — both gym rats and newbies — but what is it that is putting a damper on the progress?

From the machines you’re using to the methods you used to contract your muscles, there are many common blunders that you could be making at the gym. Are you eating right ahead of time?

Targeting the right areas for the type of muscle you want to build? Balancing in cardio and strength training? Coming to the gym prepared?

Don’t let simple mistakes hold you back from the body of your dreams. Break out of your bad habits now, and you will have time to sculpt that supermodel bod just in time for spring break.

What to Eat and When
Trainers agree that one of the biggest problems people have when trying to achieve a certain body goal is the food they’re eating. Not just the weekly binges that might throw you o your diet for a couple of days, but the types of food you’re eating before and after your workouts. Everyone must eat before they work out at some point so that your body has enough energy to power you through a decent trip to the gym, but it’s what you’re eating after that could be affecting your weight loss/muscle gain. For those looking to cut fat, small portions of protein-rich food should be eaten after a workout; however, for those looking to build muscle mass, you’re going to want to eat a lot more. Large amounts of protein that is very low in fat content will work toward the quickest post-workout muscle regeneration.

Gym Necessities
Nothing cuts a gym trip short quicker than an uncomfortable environment. Make sure that you are prepared for the gym every time so that you have
no excuse to try and dip out early. Wear shoes and clothes that you know are not going to bother you and get a locker for your keys, gym bag and other possessions to save the stress of your things being left unattended. Bring your own water bottle so that you stay hydrated without having to find a fountain every five minutes. And whatever you do — don’t forget your headphones! That’s a for-sure way to retire just about any gym trip early.

‍Although there are different workouts for different types of training, you should never limit yourself to solely cardio or strength training.

Mixing Up Exercises
Although there are different workouts for different types of training, you should never limit yourself to solely cardio or strength training. Remember: variation equals weight loss. Utilize different types of workouts to meet every need. Yoga is a simple form of strength training for those who are not into lifting weights and using complicated machines regularly. And for those who continuously skip cardio in their weekly workouts, throw in a jog a couple of days a week or try something in between like barbell workouts; these workouts often provide strength training while also working up our heart rate and giving just enough cardio to make you sweat.

Utilize Small Equipment
Don’t act like the gym is only good for the big, fancy machinery — they’ve also got a wide range of gym materials that are just as beneficial. When you look at the range of exercises you can do with small gym equipment — hand and ankle weights, resistance bands, rollers, jump ropes, stackable step boxes, balance trainers — it really questions why we automatically think of machines when we go to the gym. Utilize the small materials that the gym offers just as much as large machines to sculpt new muscles and learn new workouts for the future; you’ll probably save time you’d normally spend waiting on the treadmill.

Embrace Your Inner Mechanic
You’re probably using many machines because they are the only ones you know how to operate. However, some of those might be wasting more of your time than building and breaking down muscle. Common machines to avoid are the elliptical, exercise bikes, leg curl and extension machines, abductor/adductor machines and most of those used to work your abdominal primarily. Google any questions you have before getting on a new machine, and don’t be afraid of the big, scary ones — you might be able to get several workouts in one from a single machine.