Photo: Hannah Mae Photography
Whether your goal is to reduce body fat, add muscle mass, increase endurance, prepare for a competition, or improve a health condition, we are trying to improve our health and ourselves. What some don't realize is that there are other factors outside the weight room that may be ruining their potential progress.
1. Eating poorly. You cannot out work a poor diet. How you feel and how you look is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise. If you don't eat well, it's going to impact your progress significantly. One beer or a couple cookies per week isn't going to have a huge effect, but making these daily habits will. It's all about creating balance. Eating healthy most of the time will do nothing but benefit your exercise routine.
2. Avoiding rest days. Your body needs at least 1-2 days of rest per week, especially if you're working out vigorously day after day. (Read why rest days are important.) Now, I'm not suggesting you sit on the couch and watch TV all day; you still need to move around. If you didn't have big plans for your rest day, go on a nature walk, practice yoga, or do some stretching. Active rest days allow your body to still get some blood pumping without the excessive sweat or muscle fatigue.
3. Lack of sleep. Your mentality affects your workout, as it does the rest of your day. If you are exhausted, it is highly unlikely that you're going to have a great workout. You might find yourself unfocused and a bit weaker than usual. Take a quick nap, and then get movin'! Try to get back on track with a regular sleep schedule as soon as you can in order to receive 7-9 hours of shut eye per night.
4. Improper form. You may have some killer exercise routines, but if you aren't using correct form it can affect your progress. Not only are you putting yourself at risk for an injury, you aren't engaging the proper muscles. My advice I tell all of my clients is to ALWAYS engage and tighten your core, keep your back flat and head in a neutral position, and really focus on the mind-to-muscle connection when squeezing the intended muscle(s).
5. Doing the wrong exercises. Each exercise has a purpose. If one person is doing a heavy deadlift, that doesn't mean the next person should be doing heavy deadlifts too. Everyone's goals are different, therefore, everyone's workout routines may be different. For example, I would never give the same workouts to someone preparing for a powerlifting competition as someone training for a marathon. Ensure that the workout program you are on aligns with your goals. If you're interested in finding the right program for you, reach out to me through my website or email me!