How to Change Your Workout
to Get the Results You Want
Did you know the average health club exerciser quits
after just six months for one of the following reasons:
- Not Enough Time
- Not Seeing Results
Sadly, most people become frustrated and quit exercising
before they see any real results. But it's not surprising
given the common mistakes many people make with their training
programs. Are you making these workout mistakes?
Common Reasons Your Workouts Don't Work
- All Quantity, No Quality
Take a look around the gym (if you haven't quit going
yet) and see how many people are really getting a quality
workout. I'm always amazed by how many people are wandering
aimlessly, walking leisurely on a treadmill while reading
a book, lifting weights so light that not one hair moves
out of place, or simply look bored. A lot of exercisers
head to the gym out of habit, and as if on automatic
pilot, put in some time and head back to work or home.
If you are one of these people, ask yourself, "What
do I want to get out of this?" If you want serious
results, you need to do serious exercise. That doesn't
mean you can't enjoy it and have fun. But it does means
you need to focus on what you are doing and increase
the quality of every movement. Once you start exercising
with a real purpose and pushing both your aerobic capacity
and your strength you will find your workouts take half
the time and give better results.
- Overestimating Your Exercise
Most exercisers are far too generous with estimates
of exercise intensity and time, weight lifted and the
frequency of their workouts. To avoid overestimating
it's helpful to keep an exercise log and track these
items. Additionally, many people mistakingly believe
that if they exercise at a moderate pace for 30 minutes
they have burned lots and lots of calories and fat.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple. While exercise
does burn calories over time and consistent exercise
is one of the best ways to lose weight and keep it off,
it's hard to lose body fat through exercise alone. Which
brings us to the next mistake. . .
Short, High-Intensity Exercise Burns More Calories
- Underestimating Your Eating
Many people are in denial about the foods they eat and
especially the quantity consumed. If you really want
to lose weight you need to be honest with yourself about
what you put into your mouth and how that helps or hinders
your weight loss goals. To get real with yourself, write
it down. Tracking what you eat in a food diary will
help you break the cycle of food denial. (Besides, you
are the only one who needs to know).
- Doing the Wrong Type of Workout
Where did you learn your current exercise routine? Watching
others at the gym (who are exercising incorrectly)?
From your friends, coworkers, the web, tv, newspaper,
the latest research findings, or perhaps your 5th grade
gym teacher? What you are doing for exercise directly
determines the results you will get. To learn what you
should do, there is no better place to start then by
writing down your goals and then working with a professional
trainer to design the right workout to meet those goals.
Haphazard exercise will provide haphazard results.
to Design Your Own Exercise Program
- Never Changing Your Workout
When you do the same thing day after day, you get very
good at it. In exercise this is called the principle
of adaptation. It basically means that we become very
efficient by doing the same exercise over and over.
This is great for sports performance, but not that great
for weight lose, strength increases or physical fitness
progression. If you always do the same workout for the
same amount of time you will eventually hit a plateau
where you fail to see any additional change. One way
of overcoming this plateau is to modify your workouts
every few weeks or months. You can change the type of
exercise you do, the length, the amount of weight lifted
or the number or reps. This is why professional athletes
change their program during the off-season.
- Using Incorrect Form or Technique
Learning the right way to exercise is essential to getting
results. Form does matter, especially when doing any
strength training exercise. Incorrect form or technique
also sets you up for potential injuries, pain and soreness.
To learn proper technique, there is no better place
to start than with a personal trainer or coach.
You Need a Personal Trainer?
- Setting Unrealistic Goals
So, what are your goals? Are they realistic for you?
If your goal is to be the next Lance Armstrong, and
you only have 30 minutes a day to train, or wanting
to lose 25 pounds in a month, well, how realistic is
that? Again, it comes back to being honest with yourself
about your abilities, your level of commitment and your
lifestyle. We need to set appropriate goals that start
from where we are and progress at an attainable pass
or we are sure to get frustrated and quit.
Setting for Exercise
Started and Sticking with Exercise
- Measuring the Wrong Results
Many people think their workout isn't working because
they don't measure the right things. Looking for proof
in a scale is often a set-up for disappointment because
some new exercisers build muscle and lose fat, but the
scale doesn't provide information about body
composition. Better ways to measure your fitness
progress include tracking your heart rate at a given
pace, measuring the distance you can cover in a certain
amount of time, tracking the amount of weight you can
lift, or even writing down how you feel -- physically
-- at the end of each day. Many of the benefits from
exercise are subtle and not visible by looking into
the mirror, but things such as cholesterol level, blood
pressure, and the ease with which you can do daily chores
are every bit as motivating -- if you monitor them.
Many Benefits of Exercise