Do You Know What You Should Avoid?

Have you ever heard anyone say "You don't know what you don't know?" I hear it all the time! And let me tell you it is so true! Especially when it comes to exercise. So many of us simply do what we "know" when it comes to training. Which seems like a great idea. Right? Why wouldn't we just do what we have always done? The short answer to that question is that our knowledge regarding exercise and fitness has grown immeasurably over the past 10-20 years. So don't you think that it is time to at least catch up with the times? It is time to throw away the exercise program that you grew up with and get some new and updated information!

Here are the most common mistakes that I still see people making:

1) Skipping the warm-up and cool-down portions of the workout.

We are all different but everyone needs to allow for time before their training session to prepare their body for the exercises that they will be doing during that session. After completing the session we also need to give a little TLC to the muscles and joints that were specifically addressed during their time in the gym. Using the five minutes before the session and five minutes after the session properly can be invaluable in allowing you to avoid injury and return to training the next day!

2) Go in with a plan and a goal (not just for this workout, but for the next one too!)

No one should ever step into any fitness facility without a plan! Your plan will be determined by your goals. Is your goal to lose weight? Bench Press 300 lbs? Run a marathon in under 4 hours? All of those goals will result in very different training plans. I spoke to a patient last week that admitted to me that she determined the sequence of her gym routine based strictly on the availability of the machines. If there was an empty machine that is where she went next. This approach will most likely not allow her to reach her goals as quickly as she could if she had a program designed to meet her needs.  

3) Doing cardio before strength training

Strength training, typically, demands more from our muscles than cardio does. Can you imagine trying to squat 200 lbs after running for a half an hour? Pretty sure that that is not going to work out well... 
4) Focusing on machines instead of free weights

Many people find themselves drawn to the machines in their gym for one reason... You really can't screw them up! The problem with machines is that they tend to isolate one specific muscle and train that one muscle, often to the detriment of other surrounding muscles. However, our body does not think about one muscle at a time. When we want to bend our elbow, our brain doesn't just contract the biceps it also engages (or relaxes) several other nearby muscles to allow the movement to happen. The problem is that if we only train the biceps while using the machine, we lose the opportunity to strengthen the supporting musculature.

5) Using light weights to tone

If I hear another person tell me that they want to use light weights because they just want to tone up... and then they continue to tell me that they don't want to get "bulky..." Seriously, where did this whole lie originate from? Let's be honest the vast majority of people (especially women) do not have the required testosterone to get "bulky" unless they have been able to sneak into Barry Bonds' medicine cabinet. I want you to think about something for a second if lifting 5 lb weights is your version of weight training then you must get a great workout everytime you go to the grocery store and lift a gallon of milk! A gallon of milk weighs a little over 8 lbs! 5 lb weights will not even help you "tone up!"

6) Working with the wrong trainer

I do not think that I can overstate the importance of choosing the right person to lead your training. Do they take the time to get to know you? Do they ask what your goals are? Do they tailor their program to fit your needs? How much experience/education do they have? Do you feel comfortable with placing your health in their hands?

We know that 2018 is almost upon us, which means that New Year's Resolutions are right around the corner. So before you decide to make changes to your routine make sure that you plan accordingly to meet and even exceed your goals. 

Next week we will have a special announcement about how we will be able to help you crush your goals!

 Movement is my Medicine,

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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