We all have been guilty of it at one point or another. We tell ourselves we are going to go in our workouts with 100% focus, we get sidetracked only to avoid our workout or not have enough time. To make the most of your time, here is what to look out for.
1. Not having a fitness plan: As a personal trainer for over 10 years, I have seen it time and time again, people wandering aimlessly from machine to machine not really having a fitness plan and not really knowing what to do.
My advice: If not working with a personal trainer, do your research. If doing strength, look for a workout plan online or maybe from a workout magazine to maximize your time. If doing cardio, research a fin interval plan instead of just steady state cardio. Challenge yourself.
2. Bad form: Along with not having a fitness plan, I see people workout in bad form. This is bad in 2 ways. First, you could injure yourself. Second, you are not maximizing the muscle properly for best results.
My advice: If new to the gym or exercise, you can ask a personal trainer at the gym to help you learn correct form. You can always Google or YouTube exercise and learn from fitness professionals.
3. Resting too long: I see many people nowadays on their phones. They will do a set of weights, play on their phones while resting way too long and then go back to do another set. Next thing you know, they have done 4 sets and wasted 20-30 minutes.
My advice: Keep rest periods short, about 60-90 seconds max. If using your smart phone for your music, set rules with yourself. No calls, text, and social media until your workout hour is over.
4. Being too social: Don’t make your workout hour social hour. Many of us workout at the same time and see the same people. It’s fun to catch up, but not when you are on a precious time crunch.
My advice: A simple wave and smile will do when you see a familiar face. If they want to chat, say that you are in a hurry. Another great avoidance tip is have your ear buds in and workout hard. They will sense you are focused and leave you alone and if all else fails, change workout hours.
5. Watching TV or reading a book/magazine while doing cardio: As soon as people get on machine cardio equipment, they end up losing focus and check out while doing their cardio. I get that cardio on a machine can be boring and reading a book or watching TV gets them through the workout, but not focusing on the task at hand could mean your cardio workout is suffering.
My advice: Be creative. Pick up the pace by doing intervals and playing music that speaks to your inner competitor. Studies say music can push you to workout harder than a TV show or book.
6. Waiting till the end of the day to work out: After a full day of work and errands, some people will wait till the end of the day to do their work out. This means they could be tired and not give it their full effort or they might skip it.
My advice: Try to begin your day with a work out; it will give you the endorphins to start the day.
7. Doing the same thing: If you do not have a fitness plan, chances are that you could be stuck in a rut. The same people that wander aimlessly in the gym are the same people that will do the same exercises over and over. Not good if you are really looking to change your physique.
My Advice: Your muscles have muscle memory. You need to change up the intensity, reps, or sets to challenge your muscles. That way you use different muscle groups and fibers. It keeps your body guessing.
Are you wasting time in the gym?