9 Mistakes You May Be Making at the Gym

  1. You don’t warm up.  Warming up is vital to get your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles ready for the more intense work to follow.  Including a warm up can lead to a better workout and therefore better results!                                                                                                  
  2. You use poor technique, which can increase your chance of injury and decrease your chance of results.  Observing others and copying them can be a recipe for disaster.  Seek the help of a personal trainer if you are not sure of proper technique.
  3. You use the same weight all the time (and it’s usually too light).  This can prevent you from getting stronger, from building muscle and from losing body fat.  Try to increase your weight, over time,  in any given rep range.
  4. You only do cardio and don’t lift weights.  Weight training builds muscle, which raises your metabolism, which helps you to lose body fat.  When it comes to fat loss, building muscle usually trumps cardio.   Make weight training your priority if increased strength or improved body composition is your goal.
  5. You take too long to rest between sets.  Resting too long can compromise your muscle building.  The heavier the weight you use, the more rests you need.  For example, a set of 8 reps may require 90 seconds rest, while a set of 15 reps requires only 60 seconds rest.
  6. You sit down for every weight training exercise that you do.  Seated exercises typically don’t engage many core muscles, don’t burn as many calories, and are usually not as functional as their standing counterparts.  
  7. You do only crunches and sit ups for your core workout, which can be damaging to your back.  The repeated flexing of the lumbar spine and the rounding of the upper back can lead to problems over time.  Choose “anti-flexion” and “anti-extension” exercises like planks, side planks, and bridges.
  8. You use the same mode of cardio all the time.  Your body gets used to repetitive movements, making for a more efficient activity.  Efficiency, unfortunately leads to fewer calories burned.  It can also lead to overuse injuries.   Alternate between the treadmill, rower, climber, bicycle and others.
  9. You hold on to the treadmill, which alters your gait, possibly leading to injury.  It also makes the exercise much easier and therefore less effective.  Walk at a speed and incline that challenges you without the necessity to hold on.

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Marty Musikant

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We help individuals over 40 embrace a healthier lifestyle that’s filled with movement and activities. From weight loss to strengthening, nutrition to mobility, we help Union County, NJ residents live better. Start to life your best life, and love the way you look and feel.

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