You've got the best of intentions. Sure, you enjoyed that #PSL this morning in lieu of your typical coffee, but you're heading to the gym tonight! You're sure to sweat out the excess calories so that you'll still look fabulous in your perfect little holiday dress... unless you're making these common mistakes.
1. You're doing steady state cardio.
Long gone are the days of walking on the treadmill. If you want to get some bang for you buck and burn serious body fat, you've got to do interval training. Instead of walking or running at the same pace, try 30 seconds at a difficult level followed by 30 seconds of "rest," or a slower pace. Too easy? Try 40 seconds of intensity paired with 20 seconds of rest. The time will fly by and your butt will thank you!
2. You're using cable machines.
I understand that the free weights are crowded by sweaty, grunting men, but you've got to get in there and get work done if you want to see real results. Sure, you can work your legs on the leg press machine, but what's that doing for the rest of your body while you just sit there? Grab a pair of dumbbells, throw them up and your shoulders and squat - you'll be working your core for balance, your arms to hold the weights and it will definitely get your heart pumping. Using that fancy bicep curl machine? Trade it in for some dumbbells and you'll start to notice your hamstrings and butt working to help your biceps! It's a win-win!
3. You're drinking something other than water.
It only takes one trip to GNC to feel like you're working out all wrong. Between pre-workout, BCAAs, Alpha Aminos, L-Glutamine, Creatine and all of the other fancy products you need to "get swole", you're drowning in powders and trying them all to get results. While they might sound important and helpful, nothing assists your body and hydrates your muscles quite like good old water. During your workout, it is imperative that you replenish what you're losing in sweat. That blue raspberry concoction might make you feel like superman, but your muscles only care about that sweet H2O.
4. You're following someone else's schedule.
Your best friend says you need to work out in the morning in a "fasted" state. Your brother says you will see better results if you work out after dinner so your body has carbs to burn. One time, a yoga instructor said you should work out at dusk when the planets are perfectly aligned. Everyone seems to have an opinion about the best time to get your sweat on, but I'm here to tell you that the best time to work out is whenever you can get it done. There's no optimal time for our bodies, only for our schedules. If you're a morning person and you can commit to an early-morning gym session, that's what you need to do. If you can make time at night between dinner and the latest episode of Game of Thrones, that's when you should go! The only way to make a habit of your workout routine is to make it convenient and achievable. You're an adult and you'll sweat when you want to!
5. You're worried about what other people think.
This one is tough, but you've got to take my word for it - no one is judging you while you work out. Most people are staring at their own reflection and admiring (or critiquing) their own physique. I know it's tough to look disheveled in public, but you've got to remember why you're there, and it's not to impress the girl on the bench next to you. Try putting on your favorite workout playlist and not looking at anyone else. The less you focus on what's going on around you, the more you'll realize just how hyper-focused everyone else is. Besides, if someone truly is judging you, rest assured that karma will take care of them with a dumbbell to the toe.
Make your workouts count by avoiding these rookie mistakes and you'll be staying in shape under that adorable flannel shirt all season long!