10 main ways to sabotage your workout – part1

Part 1 (today the first 3)

Some of you are working out for weeks and get frustrated, that they don’t see the results they want. Others are not happy with their progress after some years and start calling themselves a slow-or hart-gainer. Isn’t it posssible, that you just implement some steps in your workout, that is holding you back from the progression you want? Please check the following main causes for self-sabotage:

#1 Not warming up

In lots of gyms around the world, there is always the traditional bicycle or elliptical trainer warm-up, which originally warms up your joints and trains the cardio vascular system. After some minutes, you start sweating a little and think that you are warmed up. But that’s not the case. Your aerobic training has only warmed up your legs and the blood flow starts rising. This only warms up your joints and not all your muscles. If you want to start jogging now, you are well prepared. If you want to lift weights, you are not.

To warm up the relevant muscle groups just start with only some pounds, that you get a feeling for the coming exercise and motion. So you start with light weights, that is – lets say – only around 10% of your max capability. That’s enough – this pre-workout should just pump some blood in the working muscle. A handful of repetition (5 to 8) is all it takes to warm up the muscles group. Ok, it’s annoying, but not a waste of time. Just take into account the weeks you have to wait, when you recover from injures. So a few of these minutes upfront are a good time investment.

#2 Not eating enough

A lot of people know that your fastest energy source is your glycogen store, build out of your carbohydrates intake. Followed by muscle protein and in the end, it’s body fat that will take their share to deliver energy. If your goal is to build more muscle, it’s a prerequisite that you have enough energy ready to burn. If not you are in a vicious circle of reducing your glycogen stores and muscle protein and only a little of body fat, but you will not gain muscle. Most people get frustrated because of this, followed by increasing their weights and/or start with “swing movement” to put on more iron. This will cause injuries regularly. So you have to wait to recover, start from new etc. I myself had that flaw for a long time, before I figured  it out.
So you HAVE to eat something after you did your exercises, because your body starts to repair the (hopefully only) slightly injured muscel fibers to make them stronger for the next training. The food intake has to be absorbed quickly, so it’s about an 1 hour window to provide the appropriate food intake to support the repairing process (no no this one “magic hour” is a myth ! but you should eat something after your exercises). Ideally your post workout meal consists of some protein (repair) and few carbohydrates (fill up glycogen) and water – to help the body transport all these nutrients. Luckily most people feel hungry after a workout, so it’s not a big deal to eat. The problem is to eat too much or eat the wrong food – like chips or Coke.

After this “hour of power” the ability to strengthen the muscle fiber against further strain is running out. That means that your training time was actually a waste of time. So you better eat something light like salad and chicken or drink your post – workout drink (of about 30 grams of whey protein). The fact that protein digestion takes some time (around 2 hours) opens the idea to implement whey protein in your pre- and in your post-workout drink. Best would be to take some 30gr of protein every 3 hours, so that the muscle has always enough energy and sources to repair itself.

#3 Not training full range of motion or only some parts of the body

In the gym you always see the right handers from a mile away. Why? Just check their bicep. In 99% of all people you can see that this one is much stronger, because it’s train in better way. If you compare against the pro-bodybuilders it’s another story – their main focus is symmetry, that means that both body parts show mainly the same strength. This is also a huge problem for people who want to become a pro. They build up their body symmetry will cost them years to catch up with others. It’s nearly the same with people who have a very strong upper body, but legs like 12 year olds. This can be seen similarly often. But lets say you are very happy with your bicep but your back is weak, so you will come to a point where your bicep growth is limited due to you strength of your back or your shoulders. So you are forced to train your back to catch up. To avoid injuries because of this muscular imbalance it’s better to train all body parts and keep them all “in sync”. So you can say – a chain is only as strong as their weakest part. It’s the same with your body.

… to be continued