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5 Common Fitness Mistakes

Mistake #1: You Don't Balance Weights with Cardio
Finding the right balance between weight lifting and cardio can be tricky. Especially if you've been told a lot of misinformation from different sources. Weight trainers will be telling you that you can accomplish anything with weight training and that you don't need cardio. This is not only false, they're lying to you in an effort to get your business. By the same tune some cardio enthusiasts will be telling you that you should avoid weightlifting because it won't help you lose weight (which is partially true, weight lifting will help you add muscle [and weight] to your torso, but its not very good at shedding fat).
What you really want is a balance of both weight lifting and cardio. This can be accomplished via a variety of means and you will reap the benefits as follows.

A) Weight lifting protects your existing muscles and promotes muscle growth. You won't get much muscle growth however unless you are doing 3 things: 1. Lifting enough that it becomes painful and you feel muscles ripping. Ideally after a weight training session all of your muscles should be in a moderate to light degree of pain. Avoid over doing it because then you will need to rest longer to recover and will be back where you started by the time you are done resting. 2. Significant repetitions. If you are only lifting weights for half an hour it isn't going to make much difference. A full hour or 90 minutes is much better. 3. Diet. You need to be eating well and taking in enough protein, vitamins to be building the extra muscles you've just ripped. When people diet without lifting weights, research shows that 75 percent of their weight loss is from fat and 25 percent is muscle. That 25 percent may reduce your scale weight, but it doesn’t do a lot for your reflection in the mirror. However, if you weight train as you diet, your weight loss is more likely to be 100 percent fat. Think of it in terms of liposuction: The whole point is to simply remove unattractive flab, right? That’s exactly what you should demand from your workout.
B) Weight Lifting boosts your metabolism. Actually ALL exercise boosts your metabolism. Especially Interval Training. So what you need to be doing is alternating light activities with heavy weight lifting, mixing up your exercise routine. Doing so boosts your metabolism dramatically for 24 to 36 hours after the activity, according to some studies.

C) Cardio strengthens your heart. Want to know one of the leading causes of deaths for weight lifters / body builders? It is heart failure. Because of their over-emphasis on weight lifting they develop a weak heart. Combined with steroids use their heart becomes weakened to the point that it can't deal with too much stress and just sputters or quits. You need to balance weight lifting with cardio and build a stronger heart. Always remember that cardio means cardiovascular, meaning heart and blood pressure.
D) Running and Lifting both burn calories fast. Okay, so you want to cut the calories and fat from your waist. To do so you're going to need to burn calories on a daily basis. Ideally you want to be burning 1 lb per week so you don't end up with extra skin. It’s common knowledge that jogging burns more calories than weight training because most people don't have the endurance to weight lift for a whole hour. But if you alternate between weight lifting and jogging every 5 minutes during a workout you will find that you can maintain your rate of calorie burn at that pace. The alternating between the upper and lower parts of your body allows your muscles to recover a bit and your heart (and lungs) to catch up with the needed energy burn
Mistake #2: You Don’t Use the Right Dumbbells
A lot of women make this mistake. But so do a lot of men too. What happens is a lot of women get dumbbells which are super light weight and they're basically just going through the motions. It ends up being more like a cardio because the weight is so insignificant.
Your goal is to challenge your muscles and you should be lifting a weight that if you do 10 repetitions it should start to be a struggle.

For men its the reverse. Many men try to lift the big dumbbells, but they're stopping at 5 repetitions. Lets say they're lifting 30 lb dumbbells with each arm and they stop at 5. So they only lifted 150 lbs total with each arm. In contrast if they used 25 lb dumbbells but did 20 repetitions the result would be 500 lbs with each arm. See the difference? Which one do you think burned more calories? Which one was actually more of a struggle?

Well you might think the 30, but the answer is actually the 25. After the 10th rep the 25 will start to become difficult and by the 20th rep it will "feel" like you are lifting the 30 lb dumbbell.

Its all about balancing the right amount of struggle with a larger number of repetitions.

Want to challenge yourself with your dumbbell routine? Try balancing in different poses and doing bicep curls.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Work Your Lower Body
To cut inches from your waist, make sure you’re working the muscles below your belt. In a Syracuse University study, people burned more calories the day after they did lower-body resistance training than the day after they worked their upper body. “Leg muscles—like your quads and glutes—generally have more muscle mass than those of your chest and arms,” says study author Kyle Hackney, Ph.D. (c), C.S.C.S. “Work more muscle during your exercise session, and your body has to expend more energy to repair and upgrade them later.”

So the best approach, of course, is to hit every muscle each workout. Both in terms of weight lifting and cardio. So you want to be doing jumping jacks or skipping to target both your upper and lower body, and you want to be doing some kind of weightlifting where you are lifting with your legs instead of your arms.
Mistake #4: You Don’t Watch What You Eat
You can’t exercise properly a bad diet.

You can eat a 1,000-calorie fast food burger in just 5 minutes, but it’ll probably take you several hours to burn that many calories with physical activity. So make sure you’re not using exercise as an excuse to eat whatever you want. Exercising and then pigging out on 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of bacon.

FACT: A 500 gram package of mild cured bacon contains 1900 calories and only 50 grams of protein. 20 slices of bacon may sound like a great idea when you're starving, but that many calories will go straight to your waistline.

Over-eating and sneaking snacks will sabotage your workout goals. Ideally what you want is three balanced meals and if you feel like you need a snack, eat a fruit. Find a fruit (eg. grapes) that you love and use that as your go-to snack when you feel the need for a snack.
Mistake #5: You Skip Workouts
We’re all busy, but that’s really just a lame excuse. Even busy people can find time to exercise.

Plus when was the last time you heard someone say they regretted their workout? But you will regret missing your workout if you fall off the exercise wagon and go back to your old routine.

U.K. researchers found that workers were 15 percent more productive on the days they made time to exercise compared to days they skipped their workout because they can concentrate easier. They were also 15 percent more tolerant of their coworkers and 15% less stressed. Hmm. There is probably a connection there.

Now, consider for a moment what these numbers mean to you: On days you exercise, you can—theoretically at least—accomplish in an eight-hour day what normally would take you nine hours and 12 minutes. Or you’d still work nine hours, but get roughly 10 hours worth of work done, leaving you feeling more productive, less stressed and happier with your job, another perk that workers reported on the days they exercised.

And you can find plenty of times to exercise. While gardening. While spending time with your kids. During your lunch break. Before work. After work. Before bed (a little hank panky counts as exercise if you are energetic about it).

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