Is it time to re­assess your ex­er­cise rou­tine?

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - kat Mil­lar

Are you ex­er­cis­ing reg­u­larly, but still not see­ing the re­sults you want? It may be time to as­sess your work­out to see if there are bet­ter ways to do it.

Here are three of the most com­mon mis­takes that I see women make in their fit­ness rou­tine.

Mis­take 1: Not spend­ing enough time do­ing weights.

Most fe­males need to change some of their car­dio work­outs for re­sis­tance work­outs. Many women of­ten end up los­ing mus­cle be­cause they do more car­dio than weights. As a re­sult, they can end up with a higher body fat per­cent­age than they did be­fore they started ex­er­cis­ing.

I un­der­stand the fear of get­ting bulky and los­ing your fem­i­nine look. I have per­son­ally trained hun­dreds of women and I have only ever seen a small hand­ful of women sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease their mus­cle. This was usu­ally due to lack of car­dio work and eat­ing a very high-calo­rie diet.

Women have around 1/50th the testos­terone lev­els as men and it’s hard to put on a large amount of mus­cle. Plus, it takes a very long time. We are also los­ing a small per­cent­age of our mus­cle ev­ery year, so we need to ‘use it or lose it’. Adding lean mus­cle to your body will not only im­prove your bone health, over­all longterm health, strength and look, but help you burn fat faster than car­dio alone. Even adding a small amount of mus­cle will in­crease your me­tab­o­lism, be­cause mus­cle is more ac­tive tis­sue than fat and uses up more calo­ries just by be­ing on your body.

My rec­om­men­da­tion: do a min­i­mum of two re­sis­tance train­ing ses­sions ev­ery week, with suf­fi­cient re­cov­ery time for each mus­cle group.

Mis­take 2: Avoid­ing free weights or lift­ing too light.

Many women spend too much time on ma­chines or us­ing weights that are too light. To in­crease your strength and mus­cle tone, it’s im­por­tant to get ‘com­fort­able’ us­ing heav­ier weights. Free weights gen­er­ally bet­ter mimic the moves we do ev­ery day. They strengthen the mus­cles we use most of­ten and help us avoid in­jury.

Weight ma­chines, on the other hand, usu­ally fo­cus on work­ing one mus­cle group at a time and they don’t al­ways suf­fi­ciently repli­cate the way we move dur­ing our daily lives. Also, most gym ma­chines are usu­ally de­signed to fit men’s bod­ies as they have a longer limb and an ex­tended reach.

It’s im­por­tant to let go of any in­se­cu­ri­ties about oth­ers in the gym watch­ing or judg­ing you. This can hold you back from get­ting the re­sults you de­serve. For max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency in your work­outs, per­form to­tal­body ex­er­cises that in­volve com­bi­na­tions of squat­ting, bend­ing, lung­ing, push­ing, pulling and ro­tat­ing.

Be­fore you start any new train­ing pro­gram, it’s im­por­tant to seek pro­fes­sional ad­vice to en­sure the ex­er­cises are suit­able for you.

Mis­take 3: Putting too much em­pha­sis on the scale or the mir­ror.

If you use the scale as your guide to whether you’re ‘do­ing well’ or not and your weight is not budg­ing – or worse, it goes up, it’s not go­ing to do much for your mo­ti­va­tion. Putting too much em­pha­sis on how much you weigh

or how you look can of­ten be dis­cour­ag­ing and dis­heart­en­ing. There are so many dif­fer­ent fac­tors that can af­fect what your weight will be, such as the time of day, wa­ter re­ten­tion, cloth­ing etc. Vis­i­ble change in our body takes time and it helps to have other ways to mea­sure our progress along the way, to stay mo­ti­vated. Our fo­cus should be on chang­ing our daily habits and the things we can con­trol; things that we can tick off ev­ery day. You may want to tick off a set num­ber of reps per­formed, calo­ries burned or how many push-ups com­pleted in a week. This cre­ates more of a pos­i­tive fo­cus and can feel very mo­ti­vat­ing. We feel a sense of achieve­ment right from day one, rather than wait­ing to see the out­come of all our hard work, which can take time.

Ac­tion Points:

1. Get a re­sis­tance train­ing plan de­signed specif­i­cally for you – one that in­volves vari­a­tion and pro­gres­sion. 2. Hire an ex­er­cise pro­fes­sional who can prop­erly teach you the cor­rect form.

3. Set re­al­is­tic goals and avoid the men­tal trap of re­ly­ing on the scale as your only mea­sure­ment. 4. Start with small goals that you can achieve and then grad­u­ally move to big­ger goals.

Now that you have spe­cific ac­tion steps to move for­ward to­day and avoid these com­mon mis­takes, you can be­gin work­ing smarter rather than harder to­wards op­ti­mal health and body com­po­si­tion.

Kat Mil­lar owns Get Re­sults Train­ing, ded­i­cated to help­ing peo­ple trans­form their health, mind & body. She’s a coach, speaker, award-win­ning fig­ure com­peti­tor, fit­ness lec­turer & NLP prac­ti­tioner. Her pas­sion helps peo­ple achieve life-chang­ing re­sults & ful­fill­ment, with a range of pro­grams for holis­tic health & body trans­for­ma­tion. Con­tact via Kat’s web­site or Face­book.


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