Get In and Get Out: Maximize Gym Time by Avoiding These Bad Habits
You hit the gym almost every day and log many hours a week there, so if you're still not seeing results, then what gives? Make sure you're not sabotaging your workout with these bad gym habits.
- Repeating the same workout: You know you have to branch out, but trying something new instead of resorting to your old gym standbys can take time and be intimidating. But the same thing over and over not only leads to boredom, but also stops results. Keep your muscles guessing by incorporating different aspects into your workout — like yoga one day, followed by a circuit class another — to ensure your body doesn't plateau.
- Not taking classes: You've been a gym regular for so many years that people think you work there. So what do you think you can learn in a gym class? Actually, a lot, if you choose wisely. Even if you'd rather work out alone, attending a class every once in a while can give you new circuit ideas or offer you a form check when you watch your instructor demonstrate. Keep tabs on the new class schedules when they are released to see if anything new catches your eye.
- Not focusing on your workout: The treadmill may be the only time you feel like you're free to respond to emails on your phone or read that article you've bookmarked, but if you're multitasking while you're working out, then you're probably not doing either task very well. Save the reading material or the email replies for later, and focus on adding intensity to your workouts.
- Using ineffective machines: You spend hours at the gym and wonder why you're not seeing the pounds melt away. It could be because you're wasting your time on certain machines. Instead of wasting time at a machine that isolates just one set of muscles, like the crunch machine or the abductor thigh machine, incorporate full-body or multiple-muscle group moves to your routine. Try any of these gym workouts to strengthen your body without wasting time.
- Not warming up or cooling down: If you're skipping out on these, then your workout is suffering. A proper warmup primes muscles to perform at their best, while your cooldown — which should include stretching and regular foam rolling — helps rebuild your muscles so they grow stronger. Use this active warmup before your next workout to make your workout is the best it can be.