If you want to get more out of your workouts, you need to do them right. This is why I am writing this post on the top exercise mistakes that women make. These are the workout mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to lose weight, get fit, tone your body and improve your health without turning into a gym slave.
If you find that you’re committing any of these mistakes, don’t feel bad or blame yourself. These mistakes are common. Simply pick yourself up and vow to do better from now on. Here are the exercise mistakes that you need to avoid:
Doing Too Much Cardio
I love doing cardio, especially running, but I don’t base my entire fitness routine on it and I do it in moderation.
Cardio is great and offers many health benefits, but it is not the most efficient way to lose weight, especially if we’re talking about doing a lot of cardio at a steady pace.
If you’re doing a lot of cardio, you’re likely doing too little resistance training, meaning that your metabolism is slower than it could be, you’re weaker than your potential and your muscle tone leaves something to be desired. It is also likely that you spend way too much time in the gym. Apart from regular daily walks which I take, I do 3-4 cardio workouts a week tops and I make sure to do 3 strength workouts each week as well.
Not Lifting Heavy Weights
Many women fear lifting heavy weights. They believe that this will somehow create big muscles which will make them look manly. This is one of the worst exercise myths I’ve come across because it prevents women from realizing their full potential. Women should lift heavy weights and most would have little to worry about. Most women simply don’t have the hormonal makeup to get bulky like men can. They don’t have sufficient testosterone.
Heavy lifting creates a more effective workout routine and actually leads to a more tight and dense muscle growth. If you don’t believe me take a look at Nia Shanks, a record holder at weight lifting and see how far she is from being bulky. Flavia Del Monte, author of Full Body Licious, is another example of a trainer who does heavy lifting and looks very feminine.
Not Doing Big Lifting Exercises
In my previous post I talked about the self-limiting beliefs that many women have and how these keep them from achieving their physical potential. Among these are the fact that many women avoid doing some of the BIG and most effective strength exercises. These include pull-ups, push-ups (regular style), and barbell lifting.
While you may not be able to do these exercises right now, you should work to build this ability simply because these are great exercises that guys do for a reason: they WORK!
Above all, you shouldn’t avoid exercises simply because you think only guys can do them. If you’re not sure about a specific exercise ask a trainer at your gym, but be sure to be positive about your own capabilities when doing so.
Not Pushing Yourself
Spending time at the gym is not enough. It’s how you spend your time there that counts. The main thing is that you need to work hard. You can’t expect to see results unless you’re ready to put in the effort.
In my years at various gyms, I saw plenty of women who simply pass the time away doing slow cardio workouts on the elliptical machine or treadmill or spend their time doing endless reps with light weights. This isn’t the way to get results. You need to put in the work to get the payoff. It’s true in every field and fitness is no exception.
Trying to Tone Specific Muscles
I know that you may be more worried about your abs or thighs than any other body part. Each of us, male or female, has body parts which we’re less pleased about. However, trying to tone these body parts specifically is actually counter-productive.
The reason has to do with how our body burns off fat: not from the body parts we train. The desire to spot reduce fat is common and seems logical, but is completely false. The muscles you work won’t burn the fat around them. The fat you burn will melt off your entire body, based mostly on your genetics,
So, it’s pointless to focus your workouts on specific body parts. You should focus on fat burning exercises and work to burn the most body fat. Your entire body and trouble spots will get leaner in the process.
Working to Lose Pounds
This may seem strange, but working solely to lose pounds may not be the best move for you. The reason is that weight isn’t everything and some women weigh more yet look much better than others.
For instance, as you build more muscle mass you will gain weight simply because muscle tissue is denser and weighs more than fat. You will lose inches, but the scale may not show it. In addition, losing weight says little about your physical ability. It doesn’t mean that you’re getting stronger or faster. It is much easier to challenge yourself during your workouts with speed, pace, or weight than by weighing yourself.
I believe that it’s better to work towards greater strength and ability than to focus on weight. It will be easier to stay motivated.
Doing the Same Exercises Over and Over Again
When you do an exercise or a workout routine the first few times it is hard. Then, your body gets used to it and it becomes less and less hard. As your body adapts to your workouts they become less effective. This is why you should change your workout routine every 6-8 weeks by introducing new exercises and variations into your routine. Don’t get too comfortable with your workouts. They’re supposed to challenge you.
Naturally, there are more exercise mistakes that women make, but the 7 I listed are some of the top ones to avoid. If you stop committing these mistakes, your workout routine will improve and you should see faster and better results.
What about men, don’t they make mistakes? Of course they do and in my next post I’ll talk about the exercise mistakes that men make. Until then, have a great workout.