Posted Aug. 22, 2008 – You’ve finally done it. After all of those months of talking about it, you’ve finally joined a gym. You go there consistently and you work out hard, but you’re not seeing results as quickly as you expected. I bet you’re wondering why.
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You’re on the right track. You’re fired up and you’re being proactive about your fitness goals. All you may need to do now is make a few simple adjustments. Use these ten tips by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to improve your technique and prevent injury:
- You believe in all or nothing.
If for some reason you don’t have a full hour to train, you skip the workout entirely. Don’t! Even fifteen minutes of training on one muscle makes a difference.
- Unbalanced weight training.
Many people over train the muscles that have the most impact on the way they look and forget about others, leaving them imbalanced. Make sure to train all of your muscle groups.
- Bad form.
Poor technique is a surefire way to get injured. Book a day to go through your entire program with a certified personal trainer to ensure your form is correct.
- Not progressing properly.
Doing too much, too often, too soon is a common error made by the overzealous gym enthusiast. Make sure to get proper rest between workouts. You don’t progress in the gym. Your changes and results take form during your recovery.
- Not switching things up.
If you’ve been doing the same routine for a couple of months, you’ve been doing it way too long. Your body is used to it by now and it’s not advancing or changing anymore. Switch it up.
- Not adjusting your equipment.
One size doesn’t fit all. Take the time to fit equipment to your body to decrease your risk of injury.
- Being distracted.
Focus on the task at hand. Reading or watching television is discouraged, as it may take away from the effort you’re putting forth. Also, never turn your neck around while lifting weights to see or speak with someone. Keep your gaze ahead until you complete your set.
- Not properly cooling down.
It’s crucial to take a few minutes to stretch and let your heart return to normal. This improves flexibility and gets you ready for your next workout.
- Poor gym etiquette.
Many things fall under this category, including not wiping down your machines, lingering too long while others wait or talking loudly on your cell phone. Be considerate of your fellow exercisers.
- Not setting an attainable goal.
If you aim too high at first, you will be easily discouraged and less likely to continue your new lifestyle. Start slow and be realistic.