A lot of people exercise on a regular basis and just hope they get a perfect body. Others think they can go hard at the gym 7 days a week and continuously see incredible gains. Here are five things that are really holding you back from your goals.
1. Not taking a rest day.
Rest days are just as important as gym days. Your body needs time to rest, and you should rest one day for every 4 to 6 days that you work out, depending on how hard your workouts are. I feel guilty when I take a rest day because if I have the time, I know I could be working out, but I need to remind myself that rest days actually keep you healthier and will help you reach your goals fast.
2. Exercising as punishment for a bad choice.
Listen, we all have those days. Maybe you’ve over-indulged in alcohol, Chinese food, pizza, whatever your guilty pleasure is. The key here is that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet….ever. The gym is a hospital to get you better and healthier, not a place for torture and punishment. If you continuously do this, you are setting yourself up for failure by developing bad habits. There’s nothing wrong with doing a workout to make yourself feel better after you’ve overindulged. Working out always inspires me to get back on track! But do it because it will make you feel better, not because it’s a torture session.
3. Doing the same workouts over and over.
^^^^ I love being this girl! I was doing a kickboxing training session recently and working kicks with bungee cords attached to my legs. My coach commented that I was kicking faster, higher and stronger than the guy who brought the bungee cords into the dojo! This is because I work my legs in a lot of different ways, and they’re the strongest part of my body.
Everyone hits a plateau in their fitness sometimes. The people who continuously find success are the people who switch up their workouts. Switching up your workout causes muscle confusion and makes your body to work harder so you drop weight and tone faster. If you do the same thing 3 or 4 times a week, your body will get used to it and you’ll stop seeing results. Switch it up by choosing a different activity or workout, targeting different muscle groups, or work the same ones in a different way. Your body will thank you for it.
4. Spending too much time at the gym.
It’s great to work out often, but it’s not great to spend hours at the gym each time you go. You can get a solid full body workout done in an hour. If you’re spending more time than that, you might be spending way too much time at the gym. Spending more time at the gym can actually hurt you. Overexercising causes injury, particular in your hips, knees and feet, and puts additional stress on your body. It can negatively affect your mood, causing depression and anxiety if you feel you aren’t giving it your all at the gym.
You may see gains at first when you’re over-training, but they won’t last. If you are feeling run down, go home, and cut back a little bit. You can still get a good workout done in a short period of time.
5. A lack of direction and goals.
Exercise should always be results based, even when you don’t have a particular goal in mind. Your goal could be an event-based one, like training for a race or a competition, or it could just be a goal of working out a few times a week to reap the benefits of light exercise (more energy, feeling better about yourself, losing weight, etc.)
If you’re exercising because you want to look hot in a bathing suit, what exactly does “hot” look like to you? A toned stomach? Nice arms? These are the specific things that you need to think about so you can work to achieve those goals. That way, you won’t be disappointed when you like the number on the scale, but you feel you still don’t have that bikini bod.