It’s easy to make the (incorrect) assumption that working out and strength training is simple. All you need to do is to head to a gym, find something heavy, and then lift it and put it down repeatedly.
While that might cover the very basics though, the truth is that weightlifting for women is far from simple. In fact, there are a ton of variables and countless things that can go wrong if you don’t follow the right advice or if you don’t do your research.
With that in mind, what mistakes could you be making that are leaving gains on the table? Here are just a few.
Not Working Hard Enough
One of the biggest mistakes that people make in the gym is not trying hard enough. More specifically, they give up before they reach failure. Failure in the gym is the point at which you can’t perform any more repetitions of a given workout and you are physically forced to place the weight down.
If you aren’t getting to that point though, then you aren’t causing the necessary amount of muscle damage or metabolite build-up in order to stimulate maximum growth. You’re ultimately just spinning your wheels and wasting a lot of time that could be MUCH better spent.
Working Too hard
While many people won’t work hard enough at the gym, others will work too hard. As is so often the case, the best option is the ‘middle way’.
Or, to be a little more specific, while it’s important to work hard in the gym, it’s also important to take a good amount of time off in-between those workouts. If you push yourself too hard, too often, then you’ll reach a state known as ‘overtrained’. Your heart rate variance will drop, your body will produce excess cortisol and you’ll be far more likely to injure yourself. You can even gain weight thanks to that extra stress!
Rather than risking months out of your training, take the occasional week off or just go a little easier from time to time. This is what’s known as a ‘deload week’ in the industry!
If you’re a woman looking to get slim, then you may have made the mistake of using predominantly steady-state cardio exercise. We know that cardio burns calories, so surely this is a good fit… right?
Well actually, many women looking to get the perfect body would benefit greatly from adding more resistance to their routines. Muscle is metabolically active, so simply having more muscle can actually make you more likely to burn extra calories throughout the day.
Not only that, but muscle is great for toning and shaping the body in a way that will lead to the ideal shape. Body re-composition is more important than simply losing weight!
Using the Wrong Training Modality
Likewise though, it might be that you’re training like a powerlifter, when you would do better to train like a fitness model. Or maybe you’re training with light weights, when your body type would respond better to high weights. Make sure that the training modality you pick matches your goals and your biology. It might take a little while to find what that modality is, so be willing to experiment!
But the number one mistake that people make in their training?
A lack of consistency. Not training frequently enough. Or worse still… putting it off all together! If you’re someone who has joined countless gyms, bought countless training books such as BBG Workout, signed up for personal trainers and more, then recognize this for what it is: a delay tactic.
It’s time to stop beating about the bush. Time to stop making excuses. No matter HOW you are training, the most important thing is just that you TRAIN.