If you fall into the category of working out a lot but not seeing the results, this article is for you. There are too many people that are leading a healthy lifestyle, eating all the right things and doing the right exercises but still not getting where they want to be.
This is likely because they are practising bad habits before exercising that inhibit how effective the workout becomes.
Here are 5 fitness habits that are hurting your workout.
1. Too Much Cardio
While cardio can an effective way to burn calories and lose weight, doing too much can be damaging your body.
Overdoing cardio leads to a loss in strength because when the body is low on energy, it wants to find a source quickly that replenish it. Muscle is far easier to break down and so instead of burning fat, you burn muscle. Also, once you stop doing cardio exercise, you stop burning the fat and your metabolism returns to its normal state. This means you will have to do more and more to see great weight loss but equally end up losing more muscle.
Instead of doing a lot of intense cardio, replace it with high intensity weight training. This will burn calories quicker and over a longer period of time, while building more lean muscle.
2. Poor form
For those just starting to work out without a trainer or coach, poor form can creep into your exercises, causing bad posture and potential injury.This is particularly important when performing the three heavy, compound lifts: deadlifts, squats and bench press. Make sure you are seeking advice from the beginning. Ask a trainer to watch how you perform an exercise properly or show you how it’s done correctly. If a trainer is unavailable, ask someone else in the gym. All that matters is that you have the correct technique to perform the exercise safely and effectively. Frequently performing an exercise incorrectly can be harder to overcome at later stages.
3. Not enough protein
If you are looking to lose a few pounds, weight lifting is the best way to do this. This is because when it’s time for the body to repair and refuel the muscles, protein takes a lot energy to break down. This burns calories and so fat is required to provide the energy to break down the protein. However, with this comes the need for a higher level of protein intake and this where a lot of diets fail.
Protein is essential for muscle repair and recovery and it should be eaten with every meal. It is also important for increasing your metabolism. Ideally, your diet should be consisting of 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of your body weight each day. This sounds like a lot but with the correct diet, it is simple to implement and maintain. This can be through eating more protein rich fuel or using premier formulas supplements. Tune your diet to include more protein to repair the damaged muscles and you will see much more effective and noticeable results.
4. Not Getting Enough Sleep
After a high intensity workout, your body requires sufficient time to rest, recover and repair damaged muscles. It’s also important for your body to recoup the energy spent throughout the day. If you don’t get enough sleep, your workouts will feel tough, but you won’t be working out at maximum intensity, leading to worse results. Sleep is also vital for the release of the growth hormone in the body and reducing levels of cortisol, a hormone that prohibits muscle growth and recovery. You need to be getting at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are not sure about how much you are getting, you should think about buying a sleep tracker. Not getting enough sleep will also see you become more agitated and less motivated to be active due to the lack of energy.
Go to bed earlier, switch off mobile devices and find relaxation methods like warm baths or stretching are ways to help you get more sleep.
5. Exercising on an empty stomach
If you go for a brief 10-minute jog every morning, without intensity, as soon as you wake up and eat breakfast, there is some benefit here. However, if you are training with high intensity on an empty stomach, you are hurting your workout. When you exercise on an empty stomach, blood sugar levels are very low and so when it runs out, the next best way to replenish this energy comes from the muscles. This is the same effect of doing too much cardio. You will also experience dizziness and weak during the training session. Before working out, ensure that you have eaten foods that provide a lot of energy. Fruits like bananas and berries in particular are great.
Breaking these 5 habits will see you reach your fitness goals and take you to new heights.