Why is it that sometimes in spite of working out hard and long, you are not losing weight? What are these silent strikers that are nullifying your training efforts and stopping you from reaping the rewards of a hard workout?
The good news is that most of these bad habits can be tackled and relearned to make your workout as effective as possible to get the results you desire. It all starts with identifying the bad habits so they can promptly be addressed.
Here are 5 poor training habits that might be killing your progress in the gym.
Now, you must be thinking, how is this a bad thing really? I love working out my arms and shoulders. I make sure I do my triceps and biceps workouts regularly.
Could you identify the problem here? The intensity is right, the motive is right, but the variety in training is completely missing. It took me a while to understand that working out just one group of muscles by doing the same exercises is not going to yield results for long. Next time you are frustrated about working out but not losing weight, pause and think for a moment.
You are only opting to do your favorite muscle groups, while delaying the ones you don’t enjoy so much, or are finding tough. Think of all the times you ran that extra ten minutes on the treadmill so that you could opt out of cycling.
It’s good to love the exercises you do, but not so much that you only do those. Our body gets used to repetitive exercise after a period of time. When that happens, these same sets of exercises will yield no response. They'll neither make you lose weight nor gain muscles or build strength. No response equals no changes to your body and no value added through exercise.
Early mornings or lunch hour workouts are better for your body than evening or late night workouts.
Why? Calorie-burning is at its peak post-workout. This happens because of accelerated metabolism. When you do intense cardiovascular exercises like sprinting or swimming for longer durations, your metabolic rate stays high for the next 7-10 hours. So, throughout this period, calories get burned quickly.
On the other hand, metabolism rate drops when you go to sleep. So working out in the evenings or night, just a few hours prior to sleep can prove to be counter-intuitive. Your body does not reap the benefits of the high-intensity exercises you just performed and all your efforts go to waste. Besides, aren’t you much likely to cancel a workout in the evening than in the morning?
You will have many excuses to not exercise. You will be more fatigued in the evening after a long day. On the other hand, in the mornings, the stressors of the day have not affected you yet. You'll have much less excuses and much more energy to perform and enjoy a good workout, and feel the stretches and lifts rather than performing them like a machine.
So you run on the treadmill and do the elliptical for 30 minutes? Ever considered sprinting for 5 minutes? Here’s a piece of information- you can burn equal amounts of calories by walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes or sprinting for 5 minutes!
The point we are getting to is, slow and steady may not always be the best way to do a workout. Workouts need to be of high intensity, make your heart beat faster, keep you focused, and make you sweat and hurt a little.
When you experience these during a workout, you are doing it right. Slow-motion exercise and low-intensity workouts may be good for relaxation purposes, but if your goal is to tone your body and get the muscles pumping, you need fat-blasting, high-intensity training.
Consider doing quick-paced cardio moves like burpees, skipping and mountain climbers between strength sets to lose serious weight and tone your body.
While it is true that sleep does lower your metabolism, sufficient sleep is mandatory to derive maximum results from your workout. If you have been getting less sleep, or sleeping at odd hours, the chances are, your body is getting a shorter recovery span from your workout. Shorter recovery phases lead to lesser benefits of the workout. Moreover, lack of sleep makes you feel tired, depressed, and you often end up eating more to counter these feelings of agitation. Our body recharges itself when we sleep and we wake up feeling more energetic, consequently working out better. The opposite happens when we don’t get enough sleep. So, get sufficient sleep at proper hours to receive the benefits of your workout.
So, now that you know these deadly training killers, it's time to work out smarter and eliminate habits that are obstructing you from receiving appropriate results. It’s also important to remember that the right nutrition is equally important to get your desired body. So eat well, work hard, eliminate the bad habits, and transform your mind and body.
Kyle Richey is the Founder and CEO of Strides App. Kyle has an obsession with productivity and setting and achieving goals. This inevitably has a significant influence on his commitment to health and fitness and maintaining a healthy body.