Blog 2


August 11, 2018

Designing effective workout programs is not rocket science, but it is still a science. And without knowing it many people are making some of the biggest workout mistakes. There is a reason that some workouts, while apparently similar, produce very different results. Personal trainers who design programs for a living understand what works and that one size does not fit all.

A good program strikes a balance between what you think you can do and what you need to do to meet your workout goals. A lot of people who decide to go it alone without a trainer end up being their own worst enemy as their ego, and preconceived notions of what it takes can hold back their progress.

MISTAKE #1: Doing way too much. This is easily the most destructive problem among beginners and experienced lifters alike. This stems from the hype put out by the exercise magazines, other media and pop culture. They tell us that If we want bigger muscles we need to do a lot of reps with heavy weights using different techniques. If you are training your whole body in one  session, one compound exercise per muscle group is enough, 2-3 sets each. Split routines may require a different plan.

MISTAKE #2: The weight is not appropriate for the sets and reps.  The selection of the correct number of sets and reps for the desired outcome is the first decision. Only then should a weight be selected that aims to exhaust the muscle at the last rep. If you are doing the wrong number of reps with an inappropriate weight, at best it will be ineffective and at worst may lead to injury.

MISTAKE #3: Doing too much of one thing, not enough of the other. For example, if the goal is a bigger chest, many people start doing many different chest exercises because they are eager to see their pecs grow. Unfortunately they are not thinking about the impact all that extra work will have on their shoulders, arms and upper back. A basic principal is” Whatever you do to one side of a joint, you need to do an equal amount on the other side”.

MISTAKE #4: Ignoring the little things. Don’t skip the warm up. This may take different forms but should always include stretching or foam rolling to promote blood flow and loosen tight muscle groups. Don’t forget the small muscles like the calves and triceps. Be aware of any immediate pain or discomfort. Get used to the idea that not every exercise you do will be glamorous, fun or immediately evident as a step toward your goal.

MISTAKE #5: Not understanding anatomy. This is related to #3. The body is not just a collection of disparate parts and every muscle group exercise has an impact on related muscle groups. For instance if you do squats one day, it would be unwise to a full back workout the next day which includes deadlifts, because the lower back got a lot of work from the squatting.

MISTAKE #6: Second guessing yourself and getting bored.  Consistency is everything! Set up a program with a trainer, work at it consistently and see how it goes, learn from it and make changes only when needed. With so much conflicting information available from multiple sources, it is easy to get confused about what to do. Find a trainer that you are comfortable with who can monitor your progress and provide regular input and support. That will be much more beneficial than making constant changes based on the latest trendy information.