New Year, New You
The 5 most common Gym mistakes in January
It’s January and the new year brings about the reflection of new year’s resolutions.
This will no doubt involve some sort of new fitness regime
We all know the benefits of regular exercise, but what are the 5 most common mistakes that new comers and those returning to the gym make?
- The correct dose of exercise – The Goldilocks principle
- Consistency is key – You can’t get fit in one workout
- Dynamic Warm up – Save static stretching until the end
- Train Movements NOT Muscles – Train the brain
- Having a plan to your training – Let your plan be your guide
The correct dose of exercise – The Goldilocks principle
Exercise Prescribers here at Marylebone Physiotherapy, we are experts at getting the dosage of exercise correct for each client. Not too easy as to be ineffective and not too hard as to not be able to walk the next day. Not too cold, not too hot, but just right, is also known as the Goldilocks principle. Exercise can be defined as physical movement that is:
We can use the acronym RePPS to help us remember this
Repeating a movement is the very definition of exercise. You learn to master a particular movement, then you load it up with heavier weights or speed up the movement. You can also perform the movement under fatigue.
Planning your exercise is covered later on in this Blog.
Purposeful relates to your specific fitness goals. Remember that weight loss is a side effect of fitness training and not the desired goal.
Structured refers to the way your training session is broken down into its component parts
Below is an example of a typical gym session:
Dynamic Warm up
Use the RePPS principle for your next session.
Consistency is key – You can’t get fit in one workout
“You can’t drink the Ocean in one gulp!”
It is the same with exercise, you can’t get fit in one workout, just like you can’t live your life in one day.
The first six weeks of training you are unlikely to see any results. However, you are likely to feel better and have more energy. The best things come to those who wait, but in a society that wants instant gratification the wait can be frustrating.
Around 8 weeks the physical transformation becomes visible. We tend to lose body fat and gain lean muscle. Look forward to 12 weeks and things are looking even better
However, you will eventually plateau with your fitness gains and this is where you need to maintain it. Make time for exercise and be consistent.
Dynamic Warm up – save static stretching to the end
If you have not trained since your School, College or University days then things have changed. Wear warm layers and slowly strip them off as your body warms naturally with the heat generated from the movement.
We tend to favour a dynamic warm up in preference to static stretching. We can save that until the end of the workout. Because performing static stretches slows down your heart rate, lowers injury risk and helps reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) we tend to leave it for after the workout. The other reason for this relates to studies where over stretching muscles in the warm up loses the protective effect of the tendon reflex that is designed to stop over stretching.
Dynamic as the name suggests means we are moving through a movement rather than holding a static posture. This could look like Squats and lunges or Press ups and toe touches. Starting with partial movements and building into full range, listening to the body and not pushing into pain or restriction.
Movement sequences that open the hips and rotate the body and examples of dynamic stretching.
Train Movements NOT Muscles – Train the Brain
Unless you are body building or focusing on particular muscles, then we at Marylebone Physiotherapy would encourage you to train movements not muscles. That’s why we have our own Movement Specialist, Katia.
Movement is a skill, and as such it needs to be practiced and challenged in order to not just make it better, but optimise the movement. The brain knows nothing of individual muscles, it knows only movement.
There are seven level 1 functional movements that you should be familiar with, these are:
Hinge or bend
These seven movements form the basis of all functional movements the body has to perform.
Examples of Level 2 functional movements are running jumping and throwing.
Level 3 functional movements are the highest level and these require proficiency at levels 1 and 2 before attempting. Level 3 includes multi-directional movements or combinations of movements linked together.
An example of this is a Burpee.
This is a hip hinge into a press up, back into standing and then performing a jump at the top of the movement. The Burpee is normally completed at speed to add to the challenge of the movement.
Having a plan to your training – Let your plan be your guide
How do you get there if you don’t know where you’re going?
The answer is to have a plan. This will be based on your Fitness goals.
Are you doing a Couch to 5 km or Running a Marathon? Are you starting your first Boot-camp or competing at CrossFit?
Most Gym goers start with a “Push, Pull, Legs” Plan of three times a week
You could train one of the functional movements every day of the week. Or you could break the functional movements up into training each once during the week.
An example might be:
Monday – Push, Twist
Tuesday – Walk
Wednesday – Pull, Lunge
Thursday – Walk
Friday – Hinge, Squat
So, there you have it. The five most common Gym mistakes and how to avoid them happening to you.
Now it’s your turn to implement this new knowledge and have an injury free return to training.
This is your year to get fit, stay injury free and enjoy being healthy.