3 MORE Common Workout Mistakes

Written by Libby Norris


Time is precious. It can be extremely challenging to budget time for your workouts so you definitely want to make sure you get the maximum results for the time and effort you spend.


Whether you're just starting out or a veteran fitness enthusiast, it's a good habit to regularly evaluate your program, technique and tactics. This will help you to avoid bad workout habits and keep your program safe, efficient and effective.


Here are a few common mistakes to look for.


Doing the same workout for too long. Establishing a consistent routine helps many people stay on target with their workouts. Although it's ideal to set a regular workout schedule, you want to make sure you vary your workout within that schedule. This can often be a challenging balance to strike.


When you repeat the same workout over time, you actually end up burning fewer calories. This results from the principle of specific adaptation of imposed demands, or S.A.I.D. As your body becomes accustomed to the activity, it becomes easier. Although this may seem like a positive point, in reducing the challenge you reduce your results.


The more complex the exercise or activity, the longer it takes for adaptation to occur. By varying your workouts, even slightly, you avoid this adaptation and continue to challenge your body. Variety keeps your workouts interesting and motivating. It doesn't have to be time-consuming or complicated but does involve some advance planning. Some simple ideas for variety:
- Add one new exercise
- Do your cardio before weights one week and after your weights the next
- Change the order of your routine
- If you're heading outdoors, change the direction you walk, run or bike


Focusing on quantity not quality. You definitely need to commit time to your workouts to get results. The quality of your exercise, however, is equally important. Doing exercise without the proper technique or focus can result in both injury and frustration.


Proper technique involves starting an exercise in the correct posture and alignment and then executing the movement with the right movement, range of motion and control. This decreases the risk of injury because the body is in a strong and supported position.


Focusing on the quality of the movement also increases your results. When you execute a movement properly, you end up being more efficient at recruiting muscle fibers. When you recruit more muscle fibers, you not only tone your body, you also burn more calories.1


Too much cardio. Cardiovascular training has many benefits. It builds a stronger heart and lungs, reduces stress, increases your endurance and it burns calories. You can, however, get too much of a good thing! One common mistake is spending too much workout time on cardio exercise. People very often say they want to do cardio and lose weight before they start doing any resistance training.


If burning calories is your focus, cardiovascular activity is one option but shouldn't be your only strategy. Strength training may not burn as many calories as cardio, but adding more lean muscle to your body increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR) which helps you to burn more calories 24 hours a day.


By taking the time to plan and evaluate your exercise selection and execution you could end up reducing your workout time while increasing your results.

1. Dick FW, Sports Training Principles, A&C Black 4th edition, 2002


Always consult your health care professional before making any significant changes in your dietary habits or your physical activity routines.


*©, 2013 Trademark of Kellogg Company used under license by Kellogg NA Co

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