One of the most frequent complaints made by new exercisers is that they're experiencing a general lack of results or an insurmountable weight loss plateau despite hours upon hours spent at the gym or on a home treadmill. They're putting in the time and effort, these folks insist, but are not getting a slimmer physique or more noticeable muscle definition in return.
If this sounds like you, take heart. It's very likely that the required effort is indeed there, but you might also be committing some common mistakes and unknowingly torpedoing your results. The next time you settle in for a sweat session, make sure you avoid these 3 fitness no-nos so you can achieve a better workout:
Neglecting pre and post-exercise nutrition
Eating a light snack consisting of proteins and carbs prior to exercising can help power you through your cardio or weight lifting routine, while consuming a similar mix of macronutrients afterwards is essential for speedy muscle repair. Yogurt and a banana, peanut butter on whole wheat toast, a handful of roasted chickpeas, a protein shake, or chocolate milk are all healthy choices that can be consumed pre or post-workout (or both!) to give you energy and aid recovery.
Not paying attention to form
The reason every gym in the world has floor to ceiling mirrors is so exercisers can constantly monitor their form. Poor form, such as slouching or sagging while lifting weights or leaning too heavily on the handrails of a treadmill or elliptical, not only limits workout effectiveness but also promotes injury.
Wandering aimlessly from station to station
When you walk into the gym without a specific workout plan in mind, you'll likely end up wandering aimlessly from station to station. This wastes time and may even lead to overtraining or undertraining certain muscle groups as you naturally gravitate toward your favorite machines and skip the "hard" stuff. Instead, formulate a mental workout plan (e.g. upper body and cardio or lower body and stretching) and hit the appropriate stations with purpose.
Running into the proverbial wall is an obstacle virtually all exercisers must deal with at some point. If your results have been stagnating recently, don't let the momentary lack of progress demoralize you. Ask yourself if you're committing one of the fitness no-nos listed above, and then take the corrective measures necessary to kickstart your program.
What work out bad habit do you struggle with?