In a world where information on nearly every subject ever known to mankind is available at the touch of a keyboard, it really is amazing how much misinformation is still processed through into placid acceptance by us.
It has been calculated that over 95% of regular exercisers tend to work out incorrectly?
It’s an alarming figure and one that should be paid close attention to. No, not should – must!
The problems really escalate when people seek to move beyond the basic fundamentals. On the one hand, this could be specialist advice based upon the individual requirements of top athletes, and on the other, the quick buck marketing machine ready to take your money and run.
Whichever it is you lose out: not simply by virtue of wasted time and money but by the fact the ore incorrect training methods you take on board, the more they become habits which, even if they don’t result in current injuries, may well have a severely debilitating effect in later life.
To counter this, let us almost go back to square one, and this time, with hindsight, look objectively in the manner in which we undertake out workouts; let’s locate where we’ve been going wrong and remedy it.
1. Slopping Styling
This is the bitch bear that can really get you in later life, even if it doesn’t give you repetitive minor injuries now. Two often improper procedures of technique are allowed to form into habits that are harder still to break free from.
Seek advice from someone you respect; investing in a qualified personal trainer if only while helping you respect an efficient manner or style to train is a good plan.
Not only will a correct style prevent injuries, it will enhance the efficiency of your body’s development.
2. Over – Weighting
A greater poundage in weights lifted will be reflected by larger muscles gained. However, if your form is not correct, you are doing yourself no good, and if the weight is too much can worsen it, circumventing the actual muscle to emphasize muscle power because of the momentum required to spring the weight back up.
Potential injuries here include ligament damage and tendonitis.
3. Under – Weighting
The reverse principle occurs here, as with too little resistance brought to bear upon the muscles being worked there will be little resulting discernible difference.
A weight of 50% of your maximum single weight rep lift within a sets-and-reps routine is what’s needed to develop muscle shape and not just, hopefully, tone it.
A combination of good form and a steady increase in weight poundage is a good route to adhere towards.
4. The Missing Parts
We all tend to rush headlong toward stereotype in our training – men do their damndest to work up their biceps and chest while women make war on their thighs and anything else in close proximity, but friendly fire is a fool’s game.
What most of us truly desire is an overall symmetrical figure, and if we develop certain muscles to the detriment of others due to social conditioning it becomes all the more difficult to rectify the visual imbalance later.
Far better to ap out a strategy whereby attention will be accorded equally to all the muscle groups.
5. The Unfortunate Choice
Going by the book is a sure guideline for physical improvement, both in your training and nutrition approach, but we are also individuals; unique in our bodily and emotional design rather than limited by it.
As with certain foods that cause allergies to some, so can exercises.
Accentuate what’s best for you. Those with thick waists should avoid side bends, and exercising the trapezius will only make you look narrower if your shoulders are that way inclined.
Be objective about the individual strengths and weaknesses of your physique, taking into account proportion and how to visually compensate what you are lacking, and then devise, or seek help, in planning your own practical routines – ones that work with you rather than against.
6. Order of Merit
‘Tried and true’ should be your motto for those routines undertaken and the order in which they are enacted. Years of experience, scientific research, and simple common sense should be collated in your strategies.
Here are some general rules of thumb: train the larger muscles first, this allows the smaller muscles to warm up, thus saving time and reducing injury; when working the upper body save specific arm training to last, since the arms will be used to some degree in all your upper body training, and they become fatigued first your chest and back training will suffer considerably.
7. Lack of Concentration
Do you really need to be told how serious a problem this can be?
Don’t let your mind wander. You are training for a specific reason. don’t let outside pressures or forthcoming happy events get in the way. If somethings playing on your mind don’t go to the gym. If your there and your mind wanders, snap out of it and refocus it,
That includes daydreaming about the would-be sexual conquests across the room. Overwise you’re going to look a right plonker when that barbell falls on your head; bruised egos take much longer to repair than those to the flesh.
8. Excessive Resting
There’s constant reinforcement of the need to rest between sets and reps within the pages of any bodybuilding mag. However, this shouldn’t be abused and seen as a chance to slack off for 5 minutes.
Why? Because when it comes time to begin once more your muscles will have turned cold again, bringing them a greater risk of injury. 45-90 seconds should prove an effective duration for your rest periods between sets.
Less than 3 minutes between exercises and 5 minutes between bodyparts will stimulate muscle growth.
9. Training Sporadically
Dedication is key.
Your genetics and good habits can go take a hike if you haven’t got it. Sporadic training is pointless exercising, whereas dedication, taking into account all other points mentioned here when utilized in the form of regular and productive workouts will produce positive results.
10. Advanced Routines
‘Where fools rush in, angels fear to tread’, goes the phrase, and highly applicable it is in the case of those who on seeing the figures of the latest Superman or Wonder woman try to emulate in their training routines.
First off, it takes time to develop and look like they do. Time spent working through the principles you’ve been reading about on solid foundation, before moving on specific to their personal genetics and sense of idealization. Your body just might not be designed that way.
By all means, be inspired, but don’t copy where it’s redundant, and perhaps as yet beyond your physical parameters.
The basics and fundamentals of training are healthy habits that should last you a fitness lifetime.
References & Acknowledgments
Excerpts taken from the excellent article ‘Mission Impossible?’, Author – John Stewart FIT BODY magazine