By default, women want to lose weight. No matter how thin you are, there is a pressure to be size zero or two, just because that’s what you see on TV and print media. Of course, brilliant minds realize this need and decided to make money out of it – which explains why there are tons of diet programs and workout plans that promise this and that.
Unfortunately, not all workout plans will work for you. As a result, you have no choice but to hop from one program to another, until you finally realize that hey, you’re not losing weight, after all. So, what went wrong?
Well, there are a lot of factors. The truth is, your before, during and after workout routines are crucial when it comes to the success of your workouts. If you want to see results and not a ballooning waistline, here are 10 things you need to watch out for to make sure your workout routine will work for you.
1. Too Much Cardio
Cardio is an important part of every workout plan. It pumps your heart and helps it function well. More importantly, it helps you lose weight.
Did you know that too much cardio exercises are not good for you, too? If you stick to just running alone, then that may be the reason why you are not losing weight. In fact, this is a common workout mistake among women, so yes, you are not alone.
What You Can Do: Instead of focusing on the treadmill at a moderate pace, try to change things up in terms of intensity. Go slow for two minutes, then run fast for a minute. Aside from running, try other cardio workouts, too.
Swimming, biking, jogging and even dancing are also cardio routines. Regardless of your choice, make sure to change the intensity all throughout the routine – and to change the type of exercise, too. Change it up to challenge various muscle groups in your body.
2. No Weight Training
Admit it. You probably don’t want to build muscles like a weight lifter. Although some women today like to have big, muscular arms, the look isn’t for everybody.
And let’s face it, it’s hard to maintain, too. This is the reason why most women skip weight training because of fear of bulking up. However, that’s not how it works.
What You Can Do: Here’s the truth: unlike men, women don’t bulk up easily. Aside from this, adding strength training into your routine is beneficial for your overall health. Yes, a bit of lean muscle helps burn more calories, too – even when you’re not in motion.
However, you don’t have to lift weights. Plyometrics, which involves high-powered, weight bearing moves, and Pilates, too, can be excellent weight training exercises. Once you’re ready, pick up some dumbbells as you do your squats and lunges. You can find Pilates and other weight bearing workouts online at YouTube, for example, and in many mobile apps, too. Some libraries carry DVD collections, including workout DVDs, as well.
3. Bad Form
There is a reason why physical trainers are available in gyms. Aside from devising a workout program suitable for your needs and weight loss goals, they also need to make sure that you are doing every routine properly and correctly.
Unfortunately, many women exercise in bad form. It may not seem a lot but an improper form hinders your progress, makes you more prone to injuries and doesn’t helps you build muscle. If you’re going to take the time to do it, why not do it correctly, right?
What You Can Do: Take advantage of the free training sessions offered by most gym facilities. And, as mentioned above, YouTube, mobile apps and even your local library, are all good sources for instructional videos or DVDs.
Professional trainers can guide you as to the proper form when doing squats, lunges, push-ups and other forms of exercises. Aside from this, do your workouts in front of a mirror. This way, you can easily see whether you are doing it correctly or not.
4. More Time In The Gym Does Not Equate To Better Results
Whoever said that the longer you work out, the better the results does not what they are talking about, as studies have proven.
Of course, you need to spend some time, so you can see results. However, this does not mean you should spend half of your day in the gym to make workouts more effective.
What You Can Do: Develop a training schedule. Allot one to two hours of your time for workouts, which includes pre and post-workout preparations. At the same time, listen to your body. If your body screams for rest and fatigue, then stop and get some rest. Overtraining and pushing your hard too much will lead you nowhere. Plus, it won’t yield faster results too.
Bottom line: take it easy. Give your muscles a day of rest between workouts to allow tiny muscle tears to heal up.
7. Working Out On An Empty Stomach
Do you eat something before you work out? Do you always bring water with your during exercises? If you answered yes, then you’ll be fine.One of the common mistakes among women is exercising on an empty stomach.
Most people work out first thing in the morning or after work, which means you have not eaten for hours. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s supposed to be, since your body needs some source of energy.
What You Can Do: Grab a healthy snack or a small meal at least an hour before your scheduled exercise. It is pointless to train on an empty stomach, because your body needs to burn something and convert it into energy. Oh, and before you hit the gym, always bring a water bottle with you. You need to keep hydrated, too.
6. Skipping The Stretching And Cooling Down Phases
Did you know that an effective workout routine comes in different phases? Before and after you do cardio, weight training and flexibility exercises,
you need to do stretching and cooling down, too. Apparently, not everyone is going through this process. And yes, skipping this could make you more prone to injury.
What You Can Do: Don’t skip it, it’s as simple as that. Before you start your workouts, take five to 10 minutes of your time to stretch. Once you’re done with your exercise, allow your body to cool down. You need to let your blood pressure and heart rate return to its normal levels to minimize injury. This reduces cramping and muscle pain, too. Doing some stretches also reduces soreness the next day.
7. Focusing On Crunches
Someone told you to get those perfectly toned abs, you need to do a hundred and more crunches everyday.
Whoever said that definitely doesn’t know what they are talking about. If you need to get your body bikini-ready by summer, then crunching it up all the time won’t solve your abs problem.
What You Can Do: Crunches only target the upper portion of your muscles. To get toned abs, you need to work on the midsection, side abs and lower muscles. This is where basic planks come in. This position targets your abs from all angles to make sure you are bikini-ready. Do planking, hold it for up to one minute and repeat it three times everyday.
8. Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Here’s the truth: there is no such thing as overnight success when it comes to workouts and weight loss.
You need to dedicate a lot of time, patience, determination and effort before you see any improvement in your waistline.
Believe it or not, constantly looking at your weight and comparing yourself to other women can make you gain weight instead of losing it.
What You Can Do: Kick that obsessions away. Every woman is different and how your body responds to a certain routine may be different from others. Instead of obsessing and pushing yourself to get that impossibly-perfect body, focus on yourself, your specific needs and stick to your weight loss goals.
Remember this: weight loss is a process. You can’t go to the gym and end up 10 pounds lighter in just two hours. You may not see any improvement now, but in the long run, you will see the difference. Just stick to the plan and eventually, it will work out for you.
9. Skipping Snacks After Workouts
Admit it. Eating snacks after an intense workout makes you feel guilty. You lose a few pounds already. Why would you want to gain it right back?
What You Can Do: Food pumps you up before you start sweating. This is also where your energy comes from, which helps you in your workout. Therefore, you need more food to help facilitate muscle repair after you workout. However, this does not mean you can eat anything you want. Post-workout snacks must be healthy, too.
Ideally, a combination of protein and carbs is what you need. For a healthy fix, go for Greek yogurt with nuts or fresh blueberries.
10. Not Getting Enough Sleep
What does sleep have to do workout routines? The truth is, a lot. Sleep allows your body to recover after an intense workout.
This is also the time where your body starts to heal and build stronger muscles. If you are not getting enough sleep, then this could be a problem, muscle wise.
What You Can Do: Experts recommend getting at least six to eight hours of sleep everyday. Your body needs to recover and sleep will do that. If you have trouble getting a good night’s rest, then establishing sleeping habits, such as a soothing music or a warm glass of milk every night may do the trick.
Don’t let all your efforts go to waste. Watch out for these 10 workout mistakes and let your exercise routines work out for you.