Naturally, you want to see great results from your workout. After all, it's hard, it's sweaty, and oftentimes, it hurts. So where are your Michelle Obama arms or your Jennifer Aniston abs? If you're getting frustrated with the lack of progress from your time in the gym, you might find the reason why in this list: 5 ways you're sabotaging your workout.
1. "I want to lose weight, so I’m just doing cardio." This could be the #1 biggest way to sabotage your workout. But it’s been drummed into us that cardio burns fat, right? Well, get this: after a session of strength training, your body continues to burn calories at a higher than usual rate for up to 48 hours after your workout, depending on the intensity. It’s called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption). While it happens after cardio too, strength training gives you more bang for your buck. Don’t fear the weights, ladies! They make you lean, mean, calorie-busting machines!
2. "I don’t understand why I’m not seeing results -- I do the same workout in the gym three days a week, but I’ve hit a plateau!" Okay, you just answered your own question. Our bodies are crazy adaptable. If you do the same workout over and over, your body becomes more efficient at doing it. That means less calories burned and fewer strength gains. What can you do about it? Mix it up! Try new exercises, a new class, or get involved in a different sport. Then you’ll see results.
3. "I burned 300 calories in the gym! Now I can have cake!" Not so fast ... think about what you’re trying to achieve before you order the double chocolate cupcake with your coffee. If you’re trying to lose weight, you want to be in a calorie deficit, and at anywhere from 250 to 700 calories, a slice of chocolate cake isn’t going to help. If you’re training for an athletic event, or to build strength, you want to be reaching for lean protein and complex carbs to refuel, not junk food. Repeat after me: "Just because I worked out doesn’t mean I can eat anything I want!"
4. "My clothes aren’t fitting right, but I eat a healthy diet. What gives?" You may eat a healthy diet, but what kind of diet do you drink? Sneaky liquid calories add up, sabotaging all that time working out. Start making note of what you’re drinking -- milky coffee drinks, soda, juice, cocktails -- you may be surprised if you count the calories of your weekly beverages. Find ways to cut back, or look for healthier replacements to see a difference in the way your clothes fit.
5. "I spend hours in the gym, but my body looks the same!" Are you really focusing on your workout? Making the most of your time at the gym doesn’t mean reading a magazine on the elliptical, taking breaks between sets to text, check Facebook, or chit-chat with your gym buddy. Anything that’s distracting you from your workout is wasting your time. If you have an hour at the gym, use every minute to work hard!
Are you guilty of any of any of these workout busters? What else would you add to this list?