6 Ways to Not Cheat Yourself in the Gym
When you make the decision to lose weight and get in shape, you’re going to have to take valuable time out of your day to make it happen. It takes time to plan out your meals, go jogging, and get into the gym…and it takes quite a bit of it. If you’ve truly made the commitment, you will find the time to do all of these things.
So, here you are. You’ve made the schedule adjustments and are motivated! Your meals are planned, you workouts are scheduled and you’re ready to take on the world. In other words, you’re making the sacrifices necessary for success. Now, just make those sacrifices count and don’t cheat yourself. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
You know those hand rails on the treadmill? Don’t even touch them. Think of them as being there for decoration only. I’ve actually heard the term ‘fake walking’ referring holding onto the hand rails. There are a number of reasons to not hold on but, to me, the most important reason is that you burn 20 to 25 percent more calories when you don’t hold on. That’s a big difference! You’ll probably see people trying to run and hold on to the hand rails. Don’t be that person! Not only does it look funny but you are only cheating yourself and you aren’t doing your posture any favors.
2. Perform lifts with full range of motion
There used to be a guy in my old gym that we called “Twitch” because that was the extend of his range of motion. If you aren’t performing your lifts with a full range of motion you are either trying to go too heavy with the weight, you have flexibility issues, or you aren’t pushing yourself. Regardless, you are cheating yourself. If you aren’t sure if you are performing a lift correctly, just ask. There are plenty of resources to help.
3. Don’t neglect the “Big Lifts”
Many people neglect the big lifts for one reason…they are too hard. At the risk of sounding like my mother-in-law, suck it up! tricep pushdowns, bicep curls, and crunches are the least efficient way possible to lose weight. Hit the big lifts…squats, deadlifts, pullups, dips! In not doing so you will only cheat yourself.
4. Do your homework
On this blog, I have repeatedly listed online resources for weight loss and fitness. With all of the information at your disposal, there is no excuse for heading into a fitness and nutrition program without the knowledge you need to effect change. By doing your homework, you can avoid many of the beginner pitfalls and be well on your way to changing your life. You’ll get a sense of what works for most and what doesn’t. Most of all, you won’t be cheating yourself.
5. Don’t try to create your own routine
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you are just starting out, don’t try to create your own fitness routine. You aren’t an expert so why would you think you know how to do it? There are literally TONS of pre-made routines out there to get you started. Even this far down the road from where I began I still prefer pre-made routines by professionals. Right now, I’m doing Stronglifts 5×5. If you start with your own routine, you’ll only be cheating yourself.
6. Don’t rely on the cardio machine calorie count
The calories burned readout on your favorite cardio machine may make you feel good about your workout but it is hardly accurate. The algorithms used are very, very general due to the simple fact that there is no way they can allow for all body types. Usually, these machines ask your weight, some ask for your age, but none of the regular machines gather enough data to give an accurate accounting of calories burned. Instead of concentrating on calories burned, concentrate on improving your endurance. By not doing so, you’re only cheating yourself.