The first hurdle is making it to the gym. The second is actually getting the most out of your workout there. We spoke to fitness expert Pauline Nordin to find out the most common exercise mistakes women make so you can have the most effective workout in the least amount of time.
MISTAKE #1: Not lifting weights
This is a big one. In order to build to burn fat, you have to build muscle and that only comes through strength training. If you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” fear not. “It’s impossible to get bulky when you follow a fat loss diet and weight train to sculpt,” says Nordin.
MISTAKE #2: Using The Thigh Machine
According to Nordin, sitting inside the Seated Hip Adduction Machine—the one where you squeeze together your inner thighs—is a big waste of time. To tighten and tone the inner thigh area, real results come from squats and deadlifts, she says.
MISTAKE #3: Not working out on your “Cheat Day”
When you are following a rigorous diet plan, many allow for a day when you get to “cheat,” i.e. eat that slice of pizza you’ve been dreaming about or have dessert. However, a lot of women take this as a total “day off,” from working out too says BeFiT trainer Scott Herman and that can be harmful to fitness goals. “I’d rather you cheat around the time you’re working out, as opposed to when you’re just being sedentary,” he says. “Then at least you’re getting that bad food moving through your system—you’re mobilizing some of the junk that’s getting put into your body and burning those extra calories.”
MISTAKE #4: Doing too Much Cardio
An hour on the elliptical or the treadmill is too much time. “You can get an amazing workout in 10 to 15 minutes,” says Herman. Short bursts of activity, followed by short rest periods, is the best way to get your heart rate up and burn more calories overall. “The faster you can go, the more calories you’re burning in a short amount of time. So pick three to four exercises, do thirty seconds to one minute intervals and take a fifteen to thirty second rest period in-between those intervals to keep your heart rate up,” says Herman.