Back Into Routine The Right Way: Do’s & Don’t’s At The Gym!

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September marks the second busiest time of year at the gym (the other being New Years!). Kids are back in school, late night summer barbeques have taken a toll on the body, and it’s time to get back into routine! I’ll even admit it, I’m human, I took the last 3 months and went super easy on cardio, strength training, and diet…but I promise you the moment I got back at it last week, I felt like a million bucks!

Reality is none of us want to spend long hours at the gym, but you do want to get stronger, fitter, leaner, and feel/look good! Here’s a few tips for getting back in routine, and making the most of it:

1. Set goals – forget failure, set yourself up for success! Mark in your calendar the days you are going to go to the gym, make yourself accountable! Have a picture you wake up to in the morning of what your goal looks like (I wake up to my vision board EVERY MORNING!). Sure it would be nice to completely revamp your diet and lose fifteen pounds in a month, but is that really going to happen? When we set unrealistic goals for ourselves, we set ourselves up for disappointment when the inevitable “failure” happens. Goals need to be baby-steps toward the bigger picture. Pick goals that are achievable, but still inspiring.

2. Limit your workouts to only 1 hour – it’s better to do a high intensity workout for a shorter amount of time, than bounce back and forth from machine to machine for a longer period doing a low intensity workout.

3. Have a gym buddy

4. The importance of water, protein, and carbs – when it comes to protein, many people don’t pay enough attention to getting the right amount for their muscles to rebuild. Having a source of protein and carbs (ie. banana or yam) within 30 minutes of finishing a workout helps the body to repair. When it comes to water make sure to hydrate throughout the day, as your body takes a couple of hours for it to absorb.

 

Using Incorrect Form or Technique
Learning the right way to exercise is essential to getting results. Form does matter, especially when doing any strength training exercise. Incorrect form or technique also sets you up for potential injuries, pain and soreness. To learn proper technique, there’s no better place to start than with a personal trainer or coach.

1. Holding your head while doing crunches

2. Rounding your back on squats, and deadlifts

 3. Hunching over a treadmill, stair climber or stationery bike with a death grip on the handrails is not only ineffective, it’s also dangerous. Better to go at a slower speed without relying on the equipment to keep you upright.  

4. Incorrect pushup position