Going to the gym is a great habit to create. But not everything that people do at the gym helps to support their fitness goals.
Here are five common fitness habits that are good to break.
Using the elliptical. If you’re new to the gym or have injuries that prevent you from engaging in a high intensity workout, then using the elliptical is fine. For the rest of us, let’s face it… The elliptical just doesn’t accomplish that much. The elliptical is popular because it’s easy. And although it’s better than sitting on the couch, it’s a poor substitute for something like hill sprints on a treadmill.
Working out with your smartphone. Depending on your goals, you might rest for something like 30 or 60 seconds between sets. Having a smartphone in your pocket and texting during breaks will undoubtedly extend those rests and decrease the intensity of your workout. You’ll spend more time at the gym and get a less effective workout. It’s also a distraction that can make it harder to focus. Leave your phone in your locker.
Getting into workout ruts. If you want to look different than you look now, you will need to do something different than you’re doing now. The biggest and most common workout rut is not changing your workout to help you progress toward your goals. If you want bigger biceps, then you’ll need to progress to heavier and heavier weights until you reach your goal. Your muscles only grow when they’re forced to grow, so constantly progress and evolve your workout to get the results you want.
Holding your breath. If you don’t breath, bad things happen. As logical as this is, many people hold their breath during challenging exercises, like the bench press. Resist the urge! Breathing keeps your blood oxygenated and your body moving. Without proper breathing, exercises actually become more difficult – and you may become lightheaded or even faint. Breathe!
Lifting too light. If you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, then you’ve probably been told to aim for 10 repetitions or less. This is true. But it’s also true that your muscles should be fully fatigued on your last repetition. If you’re aiming for 10 repetitions, then you should be unable to complete to complete an 11th repetition in good form. If you can keep going, then it’s too light. Lift heavier. And keep increasing the resistance over time as your muscles become stronger to keep within your target rep range.
What are some more fitness habits worth dropping? Let me know in the comments below!