Mistakes at the gym are bound to happen. They’re part of the learning curve. I still make changes to my workouts and diet plans after 15+ years of training. The beauty of making mistakes is that if you learn from them, they make you better.
The five entries below are meant to shed some light on common mistakes women make at the gym, and how you can avoid them to improve your overall health, strength, and performance.
1 Way Too Much Cardio
You should avoid steady state cardio and focus more on high intensity interval training (HIIT). Increase your workout intensity, but lower your duration. Try something new (kickboxing, circuit training, sprints, or intervals on different machines) and continue to switch things up to keep your body guessing. HIIT improves your hormonal state and your body’s ability to burn fat and build lean muscle.
2 Avoiding Weight Training
You will NOT get “bulky” and lose your curves. You can throw this fear and misconception out the window. Weight training is extremely beneficial for your bone health and overall long-term health. Lean muscle improves your body composition and metabolism better than cardio.
We all want flat abs but doing endless crunches is not going to get you there. Your abs are made in the kitchen with a great diet. Eat real, whole foods and avoid the processed junk and you will be well on your way to the stomach you want.
4 Carb Loading
Lower to moderate carb intake is the most effective way to get lean. Athletic performance is different than weight loss and training for body composition. If you are competing in marathons and triathlons you may need to eat a few extra carbs before your 2–8 hour workouts but if your primary purpose is to get a lean fit body, then stop eating carbs before your workout.
5 Unrealistic Expectations
Give yourself a break! Your body will not change overnight and you need to be patient. Changing your body and your eating habits takes consistent effort over time and you must have a plan and stick to it. Stop your obsession with the scale and instead notice how you feel, how your body looks in the mirror, how your clothes fit, and how you perform in life on a daily basis.