Sometimes aspects that seem insignificant and harmless to us can in fact turn out to be quite unsafe and call into question not only the effectiveness of sports, but also the state of health itself. Therefore, today we will talk about what points you should always pay attention to if you want training sessions to bring results. So, six mistakes to avoid when exercising regularly – what are they?
Mistake № 1. Dehydration
Surely, you visit the gym because you would like to maximize your fitness. However, a dehydrated body is simply not able to demonstrate high performance.
The fact is that blood, like muscle tissue, is 70% water, so inadequate hydration can significantly affect the effectiveness of training in a negative way.
Water should be drunk not only during exercise, but also before and after. Signs of dehydration can be very different – dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, and loss of concentration – but one way or another, each of these conditions is dangerous when you are dealing with weights in the gym.
Lack of water in the body can also cause side effects such as headaches and loss of tone and energy – but even two of these factors will be enough to derail your training plans.
Therefore, the first rule: always listen to your well-being. And the second rule: if you are in doubt whether you have drunk enough liquid, just make sure that you always have a bottle of water at hand in your gym bag. For most of us, 1.7-2.7 liters is enough water to prevent dehydration from occurring.
Mistake № 2. Overtraining
Consistency and enthusiasm are important ingredients in athletic progress and fitness, but make sure you give your body plenty of time and room to recover. Otherwise, you risk losing the positive momentum in building up sports results.
When you exercise, especially with resistance exercises (barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell), in fact, the muscles undergo micro-damage. On the one hand, this is not bad. After all, when muscles recover, these micro-breaks are built up with additional protein structures. Due to this, the muscles become thicker and stronger, and our statura is transformed.
However, at the same time, the body needs, so to speak, recharging. This is why it is recommended that you organize rest days in each training week. In addition, you should not train the same muscle groups several workouts in a row – vary the load.
For example, instead of doing a treadmill every day, try combining yoga classes with strength training from time to time. This will help avoid fatigue and better prepare the body for new stress.
If you notice signs of overtraining, such as unusual tiredness, persistent muscle soreness, trouble sleeping, or being physically unable to perform certain movements, try re-adjusting your training schedule to allow more time to rest.
Mistake №3. Working in the wrong heart rate range
Everyone, from the seasoned athlete to the aspiring enthusiast, should be aware of their personal maximum heart rate and target heart rate zones. In order to approach this issue wisely and rationally regulate the intensity of training, the heart rate must be controlled.
How to do it? To estimate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. This will give you the beats per minute that is specific to you. In addition, it is a good idea to consult a doctor or a trained sports professional before making significant changes to your level of physical activity, especially if you have any reason to worry about your heart condition.
After calculating your personal heart rate ranges for different types of exercise and appropriate counseling, start gradually – progressively increasing the duration and intensity of the exercise. For newcomers to the sport, it is especially recommended not to push your heart rate to the max.
Mistake №4. Exercising when you are not feeling well
If you are not feeling well, it is better to skip the workout. Otherwise, your health may not only worsen, but you yourself can become an agent for the spread of germs in the gym and infecting other visitors.
Do not convince yourself that training during illness is a demonstrative act of your motivation and unwillingness to skip training at any cost. In this case, it doesn’t work.
So that additional loads do not interfere with recovery, you should take a few days of rest. If you feel faint or dizzy, most likely your workout will not go well, you will not be able to give 100%, in other words, you will simply waste your time. Therefore, it is better to stay at home, make a full recovery, and then you can return with renewed vigor to hard work in the gym.
Mistake № 5. Ignoring acute pain
Mild to moderate muscle discomfort is an integral part of the training process, when you force the muscles to work harder than they are used to. But you need to understand how to recognize discomfort that signals something wrong.
Do not ignore the sharp pain that comes on suddenly and does not go away after you finish your workout. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult a medical professional or sports trainer.
Mistake № 6. Strength training with poor technique
This is probably one of the most common mistakes in the gym. Deadlifts with a rounded back, hunched shoulders, quivering knees while squatting will slow your progress at best and damage your health at worst. Incorrect technique is a direct path to muscle and joint injuries, and therefore, correcting these shortcomings should be taken care of as soon as possible.
If you’re not sure which technique is correct, take some time to watch the related video courses. You can also ask a coach to help you fix the gaps in the technique already in practice – because not always, even if you know how a technical execution should look like, you will actually do it correctly. And one more thing: don’t ask other gym goers for advice on technique – they don’t necessarily have to give you the right advice!