Productivity. It’s the key measure of all successful endeavors. Exercise is no different. The key to productivity in the gym is to know that exercise is a stimulus to force the body to make a positive adaptation. And the key for producing results in the gym is knowing the difference between doing things the right way and the wrong way.
So we asked the expert! T.J. Lux of The Exercise Coach shares his insights on what he see's people doing wrong at the gym.
Here are 5 things you are doing wrong in the gym:
1. Moving too fast
Exercise and specifically strength training should be focused on activating and fatiguing muscles. When lifting and lowering a weight too fast, excessive momentum is brought into the equation which translates into less activation and muscle fatigue. Not only that, but the faster you move a weight the greater the risk for injury.
2. Stopping too soon
Sometimes the focus in the gym is wrongly about completing a certain number of repetitions rather than fatiguing the muscles. An exercise should be done until you can’t complete a repetition with good form. So when your muscles start burning and your heart rate starts escalating the work is just beginning!
3. Breathing too slowly
One thing to be sure to do while exercising is to always breathe. Sounds obvious right? It can be slightly more complicated than that. Interestingly, one of the biggest mistakes people make is by holding their breath or trying to restrain their breathing. First off, if you’re raising or lowering a weight with the proper speed, then it will take multiple breaths to complete a repetition. What’s more, if you hold your breath especially when trying to move a heavy weight or when your muscles are fatigued, you increase your risk of dizziness or even what’s called an Exercise Induced Headache and those are no fun. Plus, if you’re breathing rate increases it’s a good sign you’re being productive.
4. Staying too long
This is music to most people’s ears. Gone are the days when workouts should last 40-60 minutes. Too much research exists now proving the benefits of brief but intense workouts. When exercise is done properly, the activation and fatigue of muscle fibers leads to the stimulus we want. The length of a workout is inversely proportional to the effort. So the harder you work, the shorter the workout and the greater the stimulus.
5. Going too often
This is also music to most people’s ears. Gone are the days when exercise needs to be done five to seven days a week. This, again, is because exercise is a stimulus. When exercising, you are temporarily weakening yourself. All of the benefits of exercise happen during the rest and recovery process. So be sure to give your body a chance to realize the benefits of all your hard work. Exercise can be made too complicated. When the focus is on muscle activation and fatigue you will notice the results and free up a lot more of your time. Better results, less time… greater production.
T.J. Lux is the Director of Training and Development on The Exercise Coach corporate team and is also a multi-unit franchisee. Lux is an all-star athlete who returned from his pro basketball career in Europe to join The Exercise Coach team. Cutting-edge technology and fitness routines carried him through a successful athletic career at Northern Illinois University.