Getting in good shape and staying that way is all about attention to detail. Picking the right running shoes and a healthy spot for Saturday dinner can be just as important as making sure you get to the gym. You have to be aware of small fitness killers that can creep into your routine and stall your progress, making all of that hard work you’ve put in less valuable. Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer Adam Friedman gives us three seemingly small things that can be fitness goal blockers.
1) The Issue: Phone stops between sets.
The Details: Texting and talking between sets leads to bad gym behavior for two reasons. One, you might end up taking more time between sets, wasting valuable gym time and letting your heart rate slip. Two, while you’re typing away, your body wants you to be hydrating and stretching to recover from the work it just put in. This can throw off the overall rhythm of your workout and put you at risk for injury.
The Fix: Leave the phone in your gym bag or, if you use it as an MP3 player, put it on Do Not Disturb mode. Never rest more than a minute between sets to keep your heart rate up.
2) The Issue: The weekend.
The Details: It’s easier to stick to a diet plan during the workweek when you have a more set schedule. Once the weekend starts and your social life picks up, you might be tempted to slip, and a few drinks might cloud your judgment. Allowing yourself a cheat meal or two is fine, but you can’t outtrain an entire cheat weekend. High-calorie free-for-alls will ruin all the hard work you put in on Monday through Friday.
The Fix: If this is something that happens to you, plan your cheat meals around a social event where you know you’ll be tempted, pick restaurants that have healthy choices, and alternate alcoholic drinks with club soda or water.
3) The Issue: Single-minded cardio.
The Details: Sticking to one type of cardio can allow your muscles to adapt and get too familiar with the training—so you don’t get the same results you once did. Also, you might become too passive, logging just time instead of intensity.
The Fix: Your muscles like surprises, so switch it up. Try switching machines every 10 minutes (for example, stationary bike to stairstepper to treadmill). Also, don’t forget to add in some strength training—a cardio-only regimen is bound for a plateau.