It is always great to learn new tips and tricks to help build on your foundations but before you can really benefit from these you need to make sure you are getting the basics right. Often individuals feel as though they are doing everything right only to learn they are not even hitting the bull’s eye on a basic level. Below are 3 of the most common mistake made in the gym, I bet you are doing at least one of them – let’s see!
Cardio Before Weights
Why does one need to spend 10-15 minutes on an aerobics machine before lifting heavy weights? Yes there are exceptions but if your primary goal is to reduce body fat and build muscle you are wasting your time. Doing this before a weight session will partially deplete muscle glycogen levels which is the main source of fuel to resynthesize ATP (the muscle’s energy source). If you are chasing personal bests and body recomposition then sack the pre-workout cardio and warm up with weights! Doing so shall help engage the muscle group (s) you are about to train, improve the mind to muscle connection and drive nutrient rich blood into the muscles aiding strength and energy levels – not to mention reducing the risk of injury.
The negative portion of the repetition properly known as the eccentric muscle contraction is often completely discarded by many gym goers. When you consider that it accounts for precisely 50% of the moving portion of each repetition it has the ability to generate an awful lot of tension on the muscle fibres. Another interesting fact is that you are going to be approximately 1.5-2 times stronger on the negative portion of the repetition – it is always easier to resist than it is to move which is another great reason why you need to utilise the negative portion of the repetition.
Abs ‘R’ Us
Generally speaking training each muscle group once and maybe a lagging one twice a week is about right, yet when it comes to abdominal training people seem to drop the rules through a glass floor! Like any other muscle in the body the abdominals require rest in order to repair and develop so training them every day, 4 times a week or even 3 times a week is going to become counterproductive in most cases. Instead hit your upper abdominals with one intense circuit for 15-20 minutes at the start of the week and the lower abdominals and obliques for 15-20 minutes at the end of the week! Simples.
So, were you guilty of any of these mistakes?