With a Holiday Season beginning and a New Year starting soon, take time to examine some of your worst fitness habits, and get on a path for success!
Most fitness enthusiasts have been guilty at one time or another of overtraining. Overtraining is especially dangerous because it can lead to burnout, increased risk of injury, and more serious problems health problems. More does not always equal better or faster results. Rest, recovery, and an appropriate nutrition plan is necessary to achieve true athletic or fitness goals.
Signs of overtraining can include:
- Persistent fatigue – are you more tired than you should be?
- Elevated resting heart rate – this may be especially evident first thing in the morning.
- Frequent illness – does it seem like you catch every cold and virus going around?
- Decreased strength and performance – are you getting weaker and slower despite your workouts?
- Insomnia – are you tired all day, but have difficulty sleeping at night?
- Chronic muscle soreness – are your muscles always sore and tender?
- High Cortisol levels – you may notice it’s hard to get rid of the weight around your mid-section.
- Depression – loss of motivation and enthusiasm.
Undertraining is a less common habit, but still a roadblock to getting real results. Undertraining is usually a combination of lack of consistency, intensity, and intention. Going through the same program with the same weight, intensity, duration, and rest is considered undertraining. Try a new workout, get a coach, or have someone qualified and experienced program workouts for you.
Signs of Undertraining Can Include:
- Getting bored when you workout.
- Performing the same routine or going through the motions.
- Lack of results, or progressing too slowly towards your goals.
- Spending too much time resting or talking at the gym.
Staying in Rut
Staying in a rut can also be connected to the bad habit of of undertraining. If you stick with the same routine you will quickly get bored and not see results. Check your nutrition plan and supplementation to make sure that you are fueling your body for success. Find a workout buddy to keep yourself focused and on track. Use an online journal to track your results overtime. CrossFit is a great program to try if you need to step up your workouts, and you want constantly varied, challenging, heart pumping workouts each day.
Bad Technique and Form
Bad Technique and form is not only a dangerous habit, but just plain lazy. When you train, technique and form are critical to progressing, training appropriate muscle memory, and preventing serious injury. A big mistake that many athletes make is compromising form or technique for speed in a workout. If you are unsure about your form, find a certified and experienced coach in your sport of choice to give you proper direction.
Skipping Out on Mobility and Flexibility
Most of us have been guilty of skipping out on the mobility and flexibility portion of our workouts. You workout hard, you are short on time, and stretching is the last thing you want to do. Planning ahead to program your workouts include mobility and flexibility work in your allotted time frame is essential for the long term health of your body.
Sample 60 Minute Strength and Conditioning Workout With Flexibility and Mobility Included
Mobility Work (10-12 Minutes)
Hip Capsule Mobility
Wall Supported Squats
Skill Development (10-12 Minutes)
Heavy Turkish Get Ups On Each Side
Workout (15-20 Minutes *including set up of equipment)
AMRAP in 10 Minutes
5 Strict Push Ups
10 Heavy Kettlebell Thrusters
15 Box Jumps
Flexibility (10-12 Minutes)
Downward Dog Stretch
Upward Dog Stretch
Hip Flexor Stretch
Shoulder Opening Stretch