There are plenty of silly mistakes you can make at the gym that can ruin a good workout. Here are some of the things that you could be doing wrong and how to fix them:
Wearing workout clothes with cotton
Cotton is the worst fabric you could wear to the gym. It absorbs sweat, weighs against your body during movement and doesn’t let your skin “breathe.” Such discomfort will only ruin your workout and give you another excuse to skip sessions. Gym clothing for men and women usually don’t advertise the benefits of the type of fabric the apparel is made out of. That’s why you should do you research regarding what kind of material to buy. Generally, synthetic fabrics are known for their wicking ability; that is the ability to draw droplets of sweat off your skin. Spandex, polyester and Lycra are all excellent fabrics for intensive workout sessions that will involve a lot of sweating. Reserve those cotton pants for an evening stroll in the park, not the gym.
Having only one playlist
Have you been listening to one playlist on your iPod for the past three months at the gym? That is probably why your workout seems dull, boring and more chore-like each day. Research actually supports the benefits of a good playlist for your workout sessions. Booming music can give you a certain adrenaline rush and motivate you to keep going further. However, listening to the same ol’ playlist will make your workout session seem routine. Solve this problem by regularly adding new songs and updating your playlist to keep things interesting, and moving.
Workout sessions should be planned out and regular. Going to the gym on Monday and then again on Thursday because you feel like it does not constitute a workout plan. Technically, you should be working out all seven days a week in the beginning to get your body used to physical activity. Later, you should develop a proper timetable with intervals to let your muscles recover. You can only reap the most benefits of a workout with consistent commitment. Talk to a fitness instructor or research online now to develop a plan that you can stick to on a weekly basis.
Too much cardio
You can run four miles an hour for three hours straight on the treadmill. Before you pat yourself on the back, know that there’s such a thing as too much cardio. Exercises such as jogging burn lean muscle as well as fat, which is counterproductive when you want to gain muscle to burn more energy on the long term. Very long cardio sessions use up simple sugars for energy, rather than relying on stored fat. You can have a visual example by comparing long distance runners to sprinters. Look at how skinny long-distance marathon champion Paula Radcliffe is compared to Usain Bolt, the famous sprinter. The difference is in the length and intensity of the workout session. Shorter sessions at high intensity will make you gain muscle and lose stored fat.
Working out on an empty stomach
Avoid this at all costs. Your body will not resort to fat stores when you are hungry. Your body will instead become much more energy-efficient and slow down metabolism to burn as little energy as possible. This is not what you want; you want to burn as much energy as possible to lose weight, so do eat at least three hours before working out.
Stick to the above suggestions and you’ll save yourself a world of trouble at the gym.