Tips To Clean Up Bad Fitness Habits
Spring is here which means summer is right around the corner. While most clean up there yard, garage and closets in preparation, you should also clean up bad fitness habits. Before you know it, beach and pool parties will be here and everyone wants to feel comfortable walking around in a swim suit. Below are tips to “spring clean” some bad fitness habits.
Not Having A Plan
Your ready to get in shape, buy a gym membership, some new workout clothes and head to the gym fired up. Now what? You don’t want to get into bad fitness habits of jumping from one exercise to another or one form of workout to another. Have a plan that goes 3-4 weeks, whatever amount of days a week you are planning on working out (hopefully at least 3). Forget all the new fads and doing something different every time. Focus on giving your body parts you have designated to workout the benefit they will receive from consistent exercises the same way for 3-4 weeks at a time.
Not Working Hard Enough
Regardless of how long it’s been since you were in the gym or even if you are just beginning, you need to work hard at the gym. You are the only one who knows how hard you are working but use this tip – you should only be able to barely finish your last rep. In the beginning you want to lift around 560% of your max for 12-15 reps but by the time you hit that last rep you should feel a burn in whatever muscle you are working. Don’t make it so painful it hurts (this leads to overtraining) but that muscle should feel tired. On a scale of 1-10 (one being easiest) your intensity at completion of a set should be 6-7 for beginner, 8-9 for intermediate. Anything less and you are not working hard enough.
Using Poor Form
Getting rid of bad lifting technique is a must to clean up bad fitness habits. Never sacrifice good form for trying to lift extra weight. Not only is it not working the muscle you are trying to focus on, it can easily lead to injuring yourself. Keep your abs engaged, spline long and focus on your rep counts, using perfect form. Don’t “throw” your weights down when you finish your last rep and don’t “jerk them rapidly when you are starting your first rep. Using good for is by far the safest way to ensure you will not hurt yourself during lifting. Never worry about how much weight you are lifting, it will come in time as long as you have a plan and work hard.
Not Being Focused During Your Workout
The only thing you should use your cell phone for while working out is to listen to music or if you have workout software on your phone. Don’t take calls or text friends while you are in the gym, it will pull you out of your “workout zone”. Same goes for not spending time talking with other people in the gym. I see people all the time standing around chatting, having a social hour. Your there to work, hopefully with a plan. Only take your designated ret periods between sets. If you are superseding and take a 2-3 minute break between sets, say a quick “hi” if you must but make sure you are timing your rest and ready to get back to work at the designated time.
Do Something Active On Non Lifting Days
Because you are taking a day of rest in-between lifting days doesn’t mean you should lay on the couch or sitting in your favorite chair. Go for a 30 minute walk. Go for a 30 minute bike ride, take a swim or even better pick up a sport. Tennis is my favorite thing to do on non lifting days. You can play flag football, golf, racquetball, join a running group, the possibilities are endless. Especially in todays technological world, look on the internet for a group near you. It’s always a great idea to surround yourself with like minded people in anything you do, getting fit is no different. There are tons of groups on meetup.com.
Not Drinking Enough Water
When you are working out make sure you bring at least 20 oz of filtered water with you. It is important to stay hydrated while working out. Dehydration will cause a negative effect on your workout performance. Ideally, try to drink 10 oz of water before even leaving for the gym (if you go in the morning, coffee works, that’s what I do). Remember to drink water throughout the day after working out too. Aim for a minimum of 8 cups, preferably 16 as being hydrated will not only make you fill full it will give you energy to get through the day.
Do you have any bad fitness habits you need to correct? Please comment below.