Are your workouts wasting your time? We all know we NEED to exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle and body, but some of your workouts may not be doing you justice. One of the main complaints people have about not being able to exercise is that they don't have enough time. So when you finally do get a chance to go to the gym or workout, why would you waste it? In a world where everybody is constantly on the go and working at a fast pace, thanks to things such as technology, you need to be able to make the most of every spare moment you have. I personally believe if you wish to stick to a successful workout schedule you must make time for it. This may mean waking up an extra 30 minutes earlier or taking less time getting ready in the morning, but whatever it is it can be done - trust me!
Here are some of the top workout wasters we are all guilty of:
Chatting & Watching The Scenery
Okay I admit, I think everybody has been guilty of this at some stage! I know it can be really tempting to have a good old "deep & meaningful" with the girlfriend that you haven't seen in ages, but doing that at the gym or during a workout is not the best place to do it. Reserve a time for chatting, this could be at the beginning before you start your session or afterwards when you have put in all the hard yards and sweat. An even better option is to workout with a training partner who is as serious as you are, and will not distract you. Your best friend is good for many things, but sometimes they don't always make the best gym buddies. When it comes to working out you need a partner you can depend on and will help keep you in the "mood". If you are going to sit on the same machine for 20 minutes spending more time talking about the new boy you met rather than doing exercises, you will waste your own time and probably everyone else's around you while they wait for you to finish! Fitness wise, the more you chat during your workout the less calories you burn and the lower your heart rate gets, making it hard to stay in your ultimate fat and calorie burning zone.
It can be very easy to get distracted by other people in the gym, I know what other people are doing can be so interesting but it is important not to waste to much time staring at that "really ripped dude" or your favourite TV show being played on the screens. These two things are such obvious "time wasters" but I'm sure if you actually calculated how much of your workout time these two things take up you would be very surprised!
Not Having A Plan
Going into any gym or getting ready for a workout without a plan is basically asking to fail. Sounds harsh I know, but in reality without a clear-cut idea of what you are doing, you will spend way too much time dawdling and resting, wondering what to do next. When I say workout plan, you don't need to have every exact movement written down in detail but here are the things you want to include:
- Figure out what part of the body you are working on that day - whether it be legs, abs and arms or a full body workout;
- How many sets of each exercise you will do;
- How many reps you will complete in each set.
It is as simple as that but trust me girls, it makes all of the difference! If you are a beginner and feel like you have NO idea where to start, my Bikini Body Training Guide is perfect as it has all the exercises and repetitions set out for you for 12 whole weeks!
Focusing Too Much On Cardio
Spending an hour on the treadmill each and every night probably won't give you the toned, lean body you are after. It can also become extremely boring very quickly! From experience, I have found that bodies respond better to a combination of steady state, interval and resistance training. Now this is not to say that cardio isn't an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but doing it alone will NOT give you the results you are after. Incorporating light weights, plyometrics and HIIT sessions into your training regime will not only give you much better results, but it will make your workouts much more exciting! Always try to switch out your workouts and the order you do them in, as your muscles do get used to the same routine day in and day out, causing a plateau.
Maximise Your Rest Periods
You are two reps away from your rest period, you are literally dying to get there and on the verge of screaming. Yes! You made it through, woohooo rest time! Then you somehow end up 'resting' for the next five minutes. I know many of us see rest periods as a treat and can get too carried away with resting for too long or too often. If you find yourself always low on time and constantly need to squeeze your workouts in, maximising your rest time can be super beneficial to you. Try to do things such as skipping, wall sits, burpees or stretches in your rest periods, depending on your fitness level these exercises can be low impact yet still keep your heart rate steady. Always look for things you can do, such as working on weak points or work on your posture. Remember when you go to the gym or workout you are focusing on improving yourself and creating a healthy lifestyle, this is reflected in all aspects of your body and fitness!
Isolation exercises are things such as bicep curls, tricep push downs, or crunches which only require movement at one joint. While many of these exercises are great to learn on as you introduce yourself to the world of working out, after a while they may not give the maximum benefit. Instead, I recommend introducing compound movements into your workout plan, for example weighted lunges or squats. These types of movements are not only time efficient but they work different parts of the body simultaneously, in turn giving you variety in exercises and movement.
I hope these points have helped you figure out what you may be doing wrong, you might not even realise you are doing these half the time! Remember girls, the results you achieve will be a direct result of the effort you put in.