You start on a journey to work out with great enthusiasm and excitement, you sweat, you strain, and you huff and puff and then you don’t see the results you were promised. You are disappointed not to see a change in the mirror, the scale hasn’t budged and your clothes are still too tight. The question that strikes you is – Why???
Here are top ten reasons why you might not be getting the most out of your workout.
Warm-up – Always remember that if you don’t warm up your muscles properly you are opening yourself to muscle strain and other injuries. Don’t you let your car warm up before you drive it, so why aren’t you warming up your body before you work it? You must always stretch the muscles to be used before you can put any additional stress on them. Take a walk, jog in place, jump rope to get your heart rate up in order for your body to handle the increased activity about to take place. Let the warm up period last for 5-10 min followed by another 10-15 min of either, progressive or static stretching.
Your form – Always remember that each exercise must be done properly in order for that particular muscle group to obtain the maximum benefit from the workout. Do every movement correctly, each relaxation and contraction of the muscles must be completed or positive growth will not take place. Watch yourself in the mirror or have a trainer watch you and help you to maintain correct form during your workout.
Number of repetitions – make sure you do the correct number of repetitions for each exercise, always go to muscle fatigue, in other words lift the same weight how ever many of times you are capable comfortably. Starting out with eight to ten reps at each weight. Once you are comfortable with the weight being used, start increasing the weight. This is the way muscle tissue break down and then repairs them to increase size and muscle tone.
Number of sets – do at least three to four sets for each body part in order for each muscle group to get a complete workout. Larger body parts like legs and back can take a four set workout each week and the smaller body parts like arms will do fine with three sets for biceps and three for triceps.
Rest and repair – Give sufficient time in between workouts to the muscles for rest and repair in order to obtain maximum growth. For instance, if you work your legs on Monday, lay off them at least forty-eight hours before working them again, until Thursday.
Cool down – Always cool down properly after a workout. A proper cool down from exercise also helps to prevent muscle soreness after a workout.
Nutritional Supplements – discuss supplements with your physician or dietician to make sure your body has all the proper vitamins and minerals it needs to not only maintain itself, but to assist it in muscle growth.
Water -Remember, your body needs plenty of water to keep itself properly hydrated during weight training. If you feel thirsty, it’s an indication that your body is already dehydrated. So make sure to drink a minimum of eight- ten glasses of water daily and more during your workout.
Balanced Diet – You must have the proper balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats in order for your body to work efficiently and expedite muscle growth. Without the proper fuel, your body will not function correctly. Fad diets & fasting will only deplete your muscle tissue and drain off important fluids and electrolytes from your body. Take in fewer calories and burn off more fat. Remember, a lean body automatically burns more calories.
Sleep – your body will recover faster, put on better muscle tissue, and you will look and feel better after getting a good night’s sleep. Never exercise within four hours of bedtime, don’t eat a heavy meal before bedtime and avoid caffeine before bedtime. If you have been through a good, productive workout during the day, your body will probably be ready for a good, sound sleep.
If you find that you have neglected any one or more on the above list, correct the problem, give a few weeks and you should start to see that you really can get the most out of each and every workout. And soon you will start to look and feel great and be even more motivated to keep working out.