Side planks are on my agenda today, and that's why I'm stalling by writing this post about 6 mistakes that keep you from losing fat. I hate side planks. I posted about that on Facebook and people are now venting about the exercises they despise. I wasn't shocked to see burpees on there. I have a love/hate relationship with burpees. I also have the same relationship with fantasy football. 2 - 12 is awesome. Who likes sarcasm? Mike Whitfield (this guy).
Between seeing the chaos at the gym and the questions I get from readers and people on Facebook, I was inspired to post about mistakes that you are making that are preventing you from getting the body you deserve and feeling better. I'm going to run down the list here and offer alternatives so that you don't jeopardize yourself. I'm also going to drink an energy drink called, "Anarchy", which has been known to make me feel like I can deadlift a semi-truck. That was an awesome sentence.
Before we dive into the mistakes, check out this comment from reader Greg after reading the post about avoiding holiday weight - "I told myself that I will not go back to carrying more weight than I should. The goal is to get the body fat down to 9%. Pretty freakin' aggressive for this time of year but I know if I gain 5 pounds I'll be miserable!"
That's what I'm talking about. Just because the holidays are coming doesn't mean you have to gain 5 lbs or more. You worked too hard this year, so keep that weight off... K?
6 Mistakes that Keep You From Losing Fat
Mistake # 1 - You're doing the same workout routine over and over. This leads to plateaus and overuse injuries, which will hold you back even further. Your body adapts to what you're doing, so you need to change up your routine every 3-6 weeks (I change mine and my clients every 4 weeks).
The fix - start changing your workouts every 4 weeks. This will allow your body to adapt just enough and continue losing fat.
Mistake # 2 - You are doing way too much cardio. Cardio is just not good time invested. For one thing, you know that calorie reader on the cardio machines? Bad news - they can be very inaccurate, especially once your body adapts to it. You may have burned 500 calories on the treadmill when you first started, but your body gets used to it and you don't burn nearly as many calories anymore. Sorry.
The fix - starting incorporating intervals and workout metabolic finishers. These take very little time (some are just a few minutes), but the afterburn of calories lasts as long as 38 hours. You should change your interval training and finishers every 4 weeks as well. You can't do that with long, boring cardio. With cardio, you just end up bored and sore with overuse injuries. Ha-ha, "bore and sore" - cool rap song.
Mistake # 3 - You're doing crunches, sit-ups and using the ab machines to sculpt your 6-pack. If you're doing these moves to burn belly fat, that's like watching Three's Company and being shocked that there was a misunderstanding in an episode. C'mon, you know better.
The fix - First of all, your nutrition must be in check. You must burn more calories then you consume in order to burn off the fat over your abs. Duh, c'mon. This is like the 5th time you have seen this sentence or one similar to it. Now to get your core stronger and start chiseling our your abs, you incorporate moves like mountain climbers, cross-body mountain climbers, planks, jackknives, and ab wheel/stability ball rollouts.
Mistake # 4 - You don't have a nutrition PLAN. I don't care if it's low carb, intermittent fasting (that's what I dig), carb cycling, calorie cycling, monkey cycling (that's not a diet plan - however, can you imagine monkeys on bikes around town? Seriously, that would be awesome) or any other nutrition plan. You have to have a game plan. If you decide on intermittent fasting, what day will you fast? If you plan to cheat (and yes, you can), what will be your cheat meal and when?
The fix - Ummm, plan. I shouldn't even have to type that. But plan your nutrition program. If you are planning on eating 5-6 meals a day (but you don't have to), then you must plan those meals out. If you are using intermittent fasting - mark you calendar what days you plan to fast. You can always adjust. Create a list before going to the store, and stick with it. Don't impulse buy.
Mistake # 5 - You're winging it at the gym. I've seen you wander mindlessly from one machine to the next doing random sets of random reps with no workout log or action plan. That means you won't get results and you will get frustrated. I can understand getting away from your program every once in a while and that's cool. But have some kind of plan.
The fix - Use a professionally designed fat loss program. Have your certified trainer design one for you based on your goals. Once you get your program, aim to hit personal bests to 1-2 exercises at each workout. Why?, because it gives you the warm fuzzies, that's why.
Mistake # 6 - You're doing vanity exercises. Bicep curls are fun, but they don't do much for fat loss. You can certainly keep doing them, but they can't be the main focus of your program. Use non-competing supersets like Squats and push-ups. Compound movements work much more muscle, burning more calories.
The fix - The ideal workout formula is this:
Total Body or Upper/Lower Split workout + interval training or finishers 3 to 4 days per week, while staying active on your "off" days (playing with the dog, going for a walk/jog, low intensity bodyweight moves, etc, etc.) Remember, keep it simple.
I'm so cool, sheep count ME in THEIR sleep <= that sentence makes no sense, but it's still pretty awesome.
Mike Whitfield, CTT, has been seen on the blogs of Men's Health and many others. You can get a free workout and his specialized bodyweight metabolic finishers at:
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