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A lot of those new to workouts naturally focus their attention on what to do right, but it’s just as important you learn what post workout mistakes are and how to avoid them.
The fact is you will only benefit from these workouts if you do them properly. If you want to be productive and get the most out of each session, keep these in mind.
The List of Common Mistakes During and After Workouts:
* Not Changing Gym Clothes
Wear loose, comfortable clothing before working out. What is ideal for you may not be for another so this is only something you can decide.
Do not wear jewelry or other accessories that could get entangled with the weights or machines you’re using. As long as your shoes and clothing are comfortable you’ll be fine.
After you are done working out, take a shower and change clothes. Do not wear your workout clothes any longer than you need to for hygienic and health reasons. Exposure to germs or bacteria on your gym clothes could make you vulnerable to all kinds of injuries.
* Doing Heavy Chores
Rest is an integral part of working out, so don’t skip it. When we say rest that means really resting and not doing any heavy chores.
It’s tempting to just keep working out to build your muscles, but rest is integral for muscle building.
If you must, take a walk or swim, but relax after working out.
If you’re having difficulty just keeping still, just try to relax and not force yourself to do any heavy work.
Now would be a good time to meditate and relieve your body and mind of stress.
* Not Eating After Working Out
The only thing worse than drinking beer after a workout is not eating. A mistaken assumption often made by beginners is you need to go on a diet to build muscles.
In fact, it’s the opposite because you need those extra calories to build mass.
When you work out your body burns fat and calories, so you will need extra calories to compensate for what you have lost. You can only do this if your body has calories and mass that can be converted into muscles.
It is not enough to eat: you have to eat foods that will provide your body with mass, not fat.
And instead of eating 3 meals a day, it’s better to eat 4 to 6 small meals a day. If you feel hungry, eat, and stop once you feel full. As long as you work out and are physically active, you will gain mass and not fat.
* Not Paying Attention to What Your Body is Saying
Your body will also tell you when it’s time to increase the weights you’re lifting and when it is time to change your routines.
It will also tell you when you’re hungry and full so listen to it. All too often beginners get caught up in how much weight they want to lift that they ignore what their body is indicating.
* Not Icing After Workouts
Ever feel the urge to go to a steam room or sauna after working out? It sounds fun, but it’s not going to do your body any favors.
Workouts put your body under a good deal of stress, and it is already working hard to cool you down (which is why you sweat).
If you go to a steam room, your body gets subjected to even more stress that could compromise your immune system.
A far better approach would be to take a cold shower or ice yourself. Icing or a cold shower will speed up your body’s healing process.
Either one is going to rejuvenate your tendons and muscles so you can do more high-intensity workouts later.
Have you seen athletes ice up after a game? That only goes to show how vital it is to muscle recovery and why you should be doing it.
It doesn’t matter how long you ice, what’s important is that you cool down after each workout.
* Not Hydrating
Rather than consume alcohol after the workout, it’s better to consume an electrolyte drink to help your body recover quickly.
Drink plenty of fluids after workouts to prevent dehydration and prevent fatigue from settling in.
Just as it is important to eat the right foods, so it is crucial that you consume the proper drinks.
You are probably wondering if those energy drinks are as good as advertised.
It depends on the quality, but as long as it has electrolytes then it should help. Do your research first and make sure you pick the right one.
* Sudden Stops and Starts
Your blood pressure rises when you work out to meet the demands of the workouts.
Suddenly stopping causes your blood pressure can make you feel sick or dizzy because your body's demand for more blood suddenly stops.
So apart from cooling down, it is also a good idea to reduce the intensity of your workouts as you near the end.
Doing so allows your blood pressure to normalize and your heart rate to go back to normal. Just as you don’t want to suddenly stop after running, the same rule applies when you exercise.
* Duration and Pacing
You don’t want to burn yourself out too quickly, but at the same time, you have to make sure you don’t take it easy either.
It really depends on what type of workouts you’re doing. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts you’ll be going at full blast and alternate it with a few seconds rest.
No matter what workouts you do, make sure your posture is correct.
* Poor Diet
One of the biggest post workout mistakes is not paying attention to your diet. While you do need mass to build muscles, that’s not an excuse to indulge in donuts and cherry pies.
Instead, do the following:
- Your diet needs to be rich in protein as your body needs it to build muscles after you work out. As to how much protein you need, if you weigh 70 kg then you’ll need 70 g of protein daily.
- Avoid processed food. There is no need to go over the health risks of processed food as they’re well known. For the bodybuilder, however, processed foods are the worst because they offer little to no nutritional value..
* Lack of Skin Care
Do not make the mistake of waiting to wash your hands and face until you’re home, as that increases the chances of germs and bacteria spreading.
Keep this in mind if you work out in a gym as a lot of other people use the equipment you’re working with.
Bottom line: wash your face and hands after working out. Wash your gym clothes too. This is as much about hygiene as it is about making sure your immune system is not compromised.
* Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you can take a nap after a workout then you should do it. Even a 10 or 15-minute catnap going to help.
Whether you can get naps or not, it’s important that you get 8 to 9 hours of sleep. We have already mentioned how vital rest is and there is no better way to rest than getting a good night’s sleep.
* Putting Off Your Meals
We have already pointed out the importance of eating meals, but even more so you need to make sure that you get replenished.
Give your body around 15 minutes to relax after work out and then eat. Make certain you eat something within two hours after working out as your metabolism is at optimum levels.
* Lifting Weighs Every Day
Lifting weights every day is a surefire way to weaken your body and immune system.
The ideal set up is to work every other day. Resting is also essential if you want to get the most out of your workouts.
Once you are comfortable with the amount you’re lifting, it’s time to increase the weight as well the reps and sets.
You have to experiment and decide which one to increase, but what’s important is the consistency.
* Not Cooling Down and Skipping Stretches
After workout stretches are critical because it allows your body to cool down after working out.
You may already know that warm-ups and stretching are essential to loosen up your muscles, but what you do after working out matters too.
By cooling down, you let your body’s temperature go down, and stretching is good for your muscles and prevents tightness.
* Not Improving Your Flexibility
Have you been feeling stiff and unable to progress? That is a sign your body is not flexible enough and needs more stretching.
By doing stretches as suggested above, your body becomes more flexible and less vulnerable to injuries.
You can also do stretching exercises every other day, but it is important that you do them post workout.
* Avoid a Stressful Lifestyle
This might be difficult to avoid as you juggle workouts with work and other activities. However, your mental and emotional states have a direct effect on your workouts.
For instance, not getting enough sleep is going to take its toll and make it harder to work out. Not eating a lot or going an emotional eating binge will affect the results of your workout.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to deal with stress. Yoga and meditation are two of the more popular ones and should complement your workouts.
* Not Training Hard Enough
While not eating after a workout is a common mistake, another one is not doing enough workouts.
Lifting weights once a week isn’t going to cut it. For optimum results, you have to work out 3 to 4 times a week. You also have to train consistently otherwise you won’t get any benefits.
To make it perfectly clear, there is no point exercising, doing cardio or lifting weights if you’re only going to go through the motions.
A halfhearted effort won’t do as it could end up hurting yourself. This is the reason why a lot of people don’t get the results they’re looking for.
* Training Too Much
This is the opposite of under training and is just as detrimental to your development.
Lifting weights you’re not yet fully capable of makes you vulnerable to injuries.
If you’re doing heavy workouts, make sure you have time to rest and recover. Remember, your body repairs and builds muscles after each workout.
Remember that everyone has a different built, capability and limits. You have to make sure that you don’t hurt yourself and that you can do the routine consistently.
You also need to take the proper steps to ensure that you don’t force yourself.
* Not Monitoring Your Progress
So you’ve been working out for a few months now, but do you have any idea how you’re doing?
How many pounds have you gained or lost? How much weight have you been able to add? Have you reached a plateau?
If you want to progress in your workout, keep track of what you are doing. Whether it’s how many miles you’ve run, how many crunches you can do, how many reps and sets you can lift and so on.
Tracking your progress will also motivate you to keep going. You’ll be able to track your progress and if you’re on the way to meeting your goals. This also makes it easier to make adjustments to your workouts if necessary.
Hopefully, this guide has provided some insights so you’ll get more out of each workout. As has been pointed out here, it takes more than just heavy lifting to get in shape.
You also need to make sure you don’t make mistakes that could lead to injury or slow down your progress. By avoiding post workout mistakes you’ll be able to speed up progress and build up strength.
In case you have used some substances to boost your workout effects and you feel the negative side effects you should consider using post cycle therapy.
Check this Post Cycle Therapy Guide to learn how to do it properly.