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The Worst Exercise Mistakes That Are Stalling Your Progress

Struggling to build muscle and lose fat? Do you exercise day and day out but with no results? In this case, you might be doing something wrong. Common mistakes, such as skimping on protein or going overboard with cardio, can stall your progress in the gym.

Don’t freak out – even the pros fall into these traps. Luckily, it’s never too late to learn from your mistakes and get back on track.

Let’s cut to the chase and see the worst exercise mistakes that are stalling your progress:

Thinking More Is Better

Spending hours in the gym doesn’t guarantee better results. What matters is workout intensity, not duration. A short, intense 30-minute session can yield better results than a two-hour workout.

Intense training burns more calories and shocks your muscles into growth. On top of that, it raises your heart rate and metabolic. If you do it right, you should feel your muscles burning.

Most gym goers can not sustain an intense workout for more than 40-45 minutes. If your session lasts for a longer time, you’re training hard enough. Keep your workouts short and intense to reap the benefits.

Doing Too Much Cardio

Unless you’re an endurance athlete or training for a race, keep cardio to a minimum. When done in excess, steady state cardio slows your metabolism and raises cortisol levels.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, affects testosterone production while causing your body to store fat. Moreover, it increases hunger and drains your energy, leaving you fatigued.

Another problem with low-intensity cardio is that it burns both muscle and fat. In other words, it puts your body into a catabolic state where muscle loss occurs. The less muscle you have, the fewer calories you’ll burn.

What if you’re overweight or obese? In this case, swap cardio for HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This form of exercise will skyrocket your metabolism and increase EPOC levels. As a result, you’ll torch calories during and AFTER training. It’s a proven way to burn stubborn fat and increase energy expenditure. Eventually, do 10-15 minutes of cardio after HIIT.

Trying to Spot Reduce

Like it or not, you can’t spot reduce fat. Don’t waste your time with hundreds of sit-ups, crunches, or squats. This won’t give a six-pack or leaner legs.

A well-designed workout plan will help you lose fat overall. No matter how hard you try, you can’t torch fat from specific areas. Fat distribution depends on a multitude of factors, such as your genes, body shape, and body composition. Additionally, what you eat accounts for over 80 percent of your results.

To get leaner, use a mix of heavy lifting, high-intensity training, plyometrics, and full body circuits. For instance, you can lift weights and do HIIT three times a week, and complete a full body circuit once or twice a week. Eventually, dedicate a day to high-intensity work, such as tabata and sprinting.

Remember to watch your diet and eat for your goals. Stay in a calorie deficit to lose fat, and aim for a calorie surplus to build mass. Choose whole, minimally processed foods and increase your protein intake.

These are just a few of the many workout mistakes that hamper your progress. Keep a training log to track your results. Write down what exercises you do, what you eat, and how your body changes from one month to the next. Adjust your diet and training plan accordingly.

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DISTRICT BEAUTY GUIDE (DBG) is a print guide and online directory listing the best beauty salons, spas and wellness services in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV).

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