Day after day at the gym I see people doing things that are just not effective and possibly counterproductive or even harmful. Stop wasting your time in the gym – work smarter NOT harder!
Here are the 10 things I’d like to tell everyone at the gym:
1. Ladies, please, lay off the damn cardio. Not to be mean but most people I see day after day on cardio machines are not in good shape. IT’S NOT WORKING. Endless cardio is actually counterproductive and can make you fatter. Google it.
2. Also ladies, use heavier weight. Yes, I promise you, your arms won’t fall off if you use more than 5 pounds. Your purse probably weighs 10. Go for 15 and make me proud.
3. Men, stop trying to be tough. Drop the weight and perform the exercise correctly. The dudes around you are secretly laughing at you. The women are not impressed.
4. When doing the lat pull, you should be working your lats, not your shoulders. When doing bench, use your chest (puff your chest up ladies, shoulders down and back). Shoulders are smaller, and therefore, weaker muscles. If you increase the weight, you won’t be able to overcompensate with your shoulders because they’re not strong enough to do what your back/chest can do.
5. Learn what exercises work which muscles. Bodybuilding.com is your friend. If you don’t feel those muscles working, you’re definitely doing it wrong.
6. If you can’t bend to 90 degrees during a squat, lower the weight!! Your ass (and lower back) will thank me.
7. Don’t use momentum to lift a weight. Use your strength. If you don’t have it yet, build up to it by using lighter weights, full range of motion and slowing the F down. Weight lifting isn’t a race!
8. STRETCH!! It’s so good for your muscles (post workout) and can help you relax and de-stress. You know you wanna.
9. Drink water. I am amazed at the high % of people that don’t have water bottles in the gym. Being dehydrated actually makes you weaker and less energetic. It also makes you fatter. Drinking enough water is the single easiest way to keep your metabolism revved up.
10. Eat at least 80% whole foods (things from the ground and/or with one ingredient – fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, etc.). If you don’t, none of this other crap will make any difference. Not only is this the “secret” to getting/staying fit, but it will give you energy for days, improve your sleep and mental focus, decrease your stress and greatly increase the odds that you will live long enough to see your grandkids grow up.
Treat your body well and it will return the favor!