5 Bad Fitness Training Habits & How To Overcome Them To Achieve Peak Performance
After months spent training, few things are as rewarding as finally achieving that hard-won fitness goal. Whether it’s losing a few pounds before a much-needed vacation, or simply trying to cut down that mile time, setting fitness goals can be a great way to stay motivated. Unfortunately, attaining these goals is rarely a smooth process, and poor training habits can lead to lack of progress and frustration. If you want to avoid the fitness doldrums, here are 5 bad training habits and how to overcome them to unlock optimal performance.
1. Not Using Protein Supplements Correctly
Ask any serious fitness aficionado about whether or not it’s worthwhile to include training supplements as part of an everyday fitness regimen, and they will immediately begin to describe the benefits of using items like organic whey protein powder, and how collagen protein supplements can promote joint health and younger looking skin. Ask them when to take these supplements, however, and the conversation becomes a bit more muddled. While it has long been believed that simply eating enough protein throughout the day will ensure that you’re maximizing your workout gains, the truth is that when you’re consuming that protein is very important in achieving optimal results. A 2012 study on protein timing and its effects on building lean muscle mass through strength training showed that individuals who used protein supplements as part of their natural pre-workout and post-workout routines led to increased lean body mass, strength, and a shorter recovery window. It would appear that, as in all things, timing is everything.
2. Not Resting Between Training Sessions
The refrain that is often heard today is that people don’t exercise enough, that people need to workout more and more in order to prevent the damaging effects of an inactive lifestyle from setting in. And while it’s true that being overly sedentary can have many negative consequences on a person’s health, over training is also one of those bad workout habits that you should avoid. There is such a thing as exercising too much, and in fact, rest plays a very important part in an optimal workout routine. After exercising, your muscles are in a strained state. As you rest, your body begins the process of removing the metabolic byproducts of exercising (lactic acid and hydrogen ions), restoring blood flow to muscles in order to promote oxygen delivery, and the balancing of electrolytes throughout the body. Without adequate time spent between training sessions, the body loses the ability to perform at peak levels, leading to diminishing returns and, potentially, injury.
3. Improper Form
It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar; someone who’s exhausted after a long day of work heads to the gym and instead of committing fully to their workout simply goes through the motions. What they believe is that a bad workout is better than no workout, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Using proper form helps to ensure that all your muscles are correctly engaged in the workout, helping to burn more calories and increase muscle mass. When bad workout form is used, fewer muscles are actively used, putting an increased strain on parts of the body that may not be most efficient at handling intense burdens. This can lead to muscle strains and tears, and force you to spend weeks healing before you’re able to get back to your routine.
4. Not Drinking Enough Water
Although staying hydrated seems like a relative no-brainer, many only drink when they are thirsty, or after exercise. Amanda Carlson, a trainer who works with some of football’s top athletes, observed that some 98% of college players who were preparing for the NFL combine did not drink water before their workouts. As a result, they began their morning evaluations dehydrated, and their performance suffered. Water should be consumed at a minimum of 15 minutes before any physical activity begins. Proper hydration is one of the most important things an athlete can do to sustain proper performance and gains.
5. Skipping Workouts
There are going to be days where training just isn’t very much fun. Or maybe you’re exhausted from the stresses of the day. It’s perfectly normal (and even healthy) to want to take time away from your training regimen, but skipping workouts can lead to losses in whatever progress you’ve made. Schedule days off into your training schedule so that you reward yourself with some much needed rest and provide that extra boost of energy to help you realize your goals.