1. Excessive Cardio
No wonder many ladies HATE going to the gym. If I had to endure 45 minutes of running, but not actually moving anywhere, or cycling 30km’s but in fact still being in the exact same spot 2 hours later then I would be RAGING! What a cheat! At least if you are on the road cycling you have the pleasure of being in the fresh air, take in the sites, stop , start, maybe greet a few fellow cycling enthusiasts, and at least have the feeling that I achieved something. I personally think that doing lots of cardio in the gym is a waste of time, not just for the boredom factor, but it’s a very ineffective way of getting lean, and the repetitive nature of it can make you more susceptible to picking up an overuse injury.
Yes yes, you want to lose that tummy fat that you have been trying to shift for ages. Remember this. The best place to lose fat is in the kitchen, and the best exercises are big compound exercises that use of muscles and joints. ‘Doing lots crunches’ or sit ups will eventually give you a sore back, and encourage poor posture. Not exactly what you are going for is it?
3. Staying away from the weights section
Some conventional gyms can be unwelcoming places, especially ‘that area down the back with the dumbbells where all the macho men hang out’. I can tell you from vast experience that most of the men in most conventional gyms do not really have a clue what they are doing anyway, so don’t be afraid! If you are lucky enough to work in friendly gym with a great atmosphere, get stuck into the weights (under proper instruction), but if you find it hard to bring yourself down to the dumbbell section, give it a try a few times and I bet you that you will feel at home once you have a few basic exercises mastered. Overcoming the challenge here is well worth it as resistance training with free weights can really fast forward the results you see with your training as well as bring great variety to your sessions.
4. Not having a program
Going to the gym for a bit of this and a bit of that can pass away an hour, but I can tell you that it wont make you toned, fit, or strong. There are certain principles that apply to training that are need to be followed if you desire results from you training. They include selecting exercises that suit you as an individual, progressing those exercises in the right way, and changing them up at the right time. When you have a good program, it allows you to go to the gym and apply yourself much more, have more confidence that what you are doing will bring the right results, and the assurance that the exercises you are doing are safe and effective for your own body.
5. Giving up due to perceived lack of results
It can be easy to fall off the wagon due to lack of results when you are going to the gym, or starting out on a new positive healthy lifestyle because you think ‘its not working’. Its important to keep things going for at least 16 weeks when you are building new exercise habits. Along the way you will have roadmarks that might show you what small course corrections to make to get the most out of the training. However, with the correct guidance and support, you will get there. Don’t throw the baby out of the bathwater if you don’t immediately see the results you desire. Real results take real time so be kind to yourself, and keep on truckin’!
This Article is By Ainle Ó Cairealláin MSc CSCS
Ainle is Owner of ACLAÍ Health and Performance, and strength and conditioning coach for the Cork Senior Football team. In the past he has worked with Adelaide Crows Football Club in Australia, lectured in the University of Limerick PE and Sports Science Department, has contributed to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, and also works as a tutor with Strength and Conditioning Institute, Setanta College.
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