If you’re geared up to start a solid fitness routine in order to improve your health and quality of life, going to the gym is the best place to do so. You can get an awesome workout using a variety of equipment, which can help you burn fat, build muscle, and reach your fitness goals. I recommend a gym regimen of at least three times a week, focusing mostly on strength training workouts and incorporating cardio at the end. Although going to a gym is awesome and should be an integral part of your routine, there are some mistakes you may be making that are counter-productive and can do more harm to your body than good.
These are the three mistakes at the gym you may be making which can shorten the quality of your life or decrease your overall performance. Read on to learn more about these mistakes at the gym you should ditch ASAP, and next, be sure to read The 6 Best Exercises for Strong and Toned Arms in 2022, Trainer Says.
Although it’s important to challenge yourself and force your muscles to work harder, it’s not good to constantly train heavy or max out all the time. Heavy level means 5 reps or above. The reason? Constant training in that zone can be hard on your nervous system and joints—especially as you reach 40 years of age and above.
Joint health and injury-free status become more important the older you get, and you want to do everything possible to enable you to train consistently for the rest of your life. Rather than performing exercises at a heavy level on a regular basis, cycle through different phases (two to three months) of your training, alternating between heavy periods and moderate weight/higher rep work.
Related: The #1 Weight Training Workout To Reverse Aging After 40, Trainer Says
Many people who are living an active fitness lifestyle consume pre-workout supplements such as powders or drinks regularly in order to get them amped up for a workout. Although they may be effective, they’re not something you should be using consistently.
Many pre-workout supplements are filled with junk ingredients or high amounts of caffeine. It’s easy for trainees to rely on them and feel as though they have to take them in order to have a great training session—especially if they’re tired or didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Unfortunately, this routine can lead to an overload of one’s nervous system, resulting in a decreased sensitivity to stimulants. For general health, I recommend minimizing your intake of pre-workout supplements and switching over to coffee instead.
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An important part of every workout that can sometimes be overlooked is warming up properly. It’s essential to go through a warmup routine, as it helps improve your range of motion and flexibility, increases your core temperature, and gets your nervous system primed for the exercises you’ll be performing.
If you don’t warm up properly, you can increase your chances of injury and experience a sub-par workout. So take five to 10 minutes to go through a dynamic series of movements such as squats, lunges, shoulder circles, and pull-aparts to prepare your body for the training session.
For more mind and body news, check out This Floor Workout Is the Best Belly Fat Burner, Trainer Says and Lose Saddlebag Fat Fast With These 3 Easy Exercises.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more