When you stick to a routine, it’s easy to become, well, stuck. We fall into a comfort zone, and we keep doing the same thing even when we’re not seeing any improvement. If you’re not trimming down, toning up, or feeling any fitter, it’s likely due to one of the following exercise errors. Read on for how to reboot — and get the body you want, pronto!
Mistake #1: You Rely on Cardio to Peel Off Pounds
For most women, sweaty aerobic exercise alone isn’t enough. “Research shows that weight loss is minimal if it isn’t accompanied by proper eating. We may compensate for the extra energy we’re burning during physical activity by doing less the rest of the day, or more commonly, we feel famished after working out, so we eat more.
The Solution: Keep your nutrtion in check. To drop a pound, which is 3,500 calories, in one week, aim to eat 300 fewer calories every day (300 x 7 = 2,100) while burning 300 calories from exercise five times a week (300 x 5 = 1,500). Plus, to beat the post-workout hunger attack, pack a low-cal snack like a piece of fruit. You plan for exercise. You need to plan what you’re going to eat afterward. Drinking lots of water helps too.
Mistake #2: You Race Through Your Reps
Two things could be going on here: Either your weights are too light, which is often the case for women, or they’re too heavy, and you’re letting momentum or gravity take over. Either way, your muscles aren’t being sufficiently challenged, which is why they’re not getting more toned. To see an improvement in definition, you need to have an increase in the protein content of muscle fibers, and that happens when the muscles are stressed and being called on to exert more force.
The Solution: If you don’t believe you’ve done just about all you can do by the end of a set, pick a heavier weight. You want there to be a bit of strain on the second-to-last and last reps. Reach for a lighter dumbbell when you aren’t moving the weight with steady control as you lift and lower.
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