Once you’ve been hitting the gym for a while, and have a solid base of strength and conditioning, it can get harder to make consistent gains and improvements. If you’re looking to take your training to the next level, make sure you’re not making these progress-ruining mistakes!
1. Not Taking Rest Days
The mantra ‘go hard or go home’ is often thrown around the gym and, where there is definitely truth in the ‘go hard’ part of it, it’s actually quite important to take advice from the ‘go home’ part! Rest days are imperative to helping your muscles heal and, ultimately, grow. Training each and every day with no breaks will not only slow your progress and give your muscles time to develop and grow, but can also result in injury. So, remember to to take a couple of days out each week.
2. Not Fixing Your Nutrition
To reach that next level in your training, you’ll need to fine-tune both your nutrition and hydration. For example, you may find that your training needs require more of a macronutrient (carbs, for example) than you originally thought. Or maybe you require pre-workout nutrition to help power you through intense sessions, and better post-workout nutrition to help your recovery.
Fixing your nutrition also requires a bit of sacrifice. A couple of beers or sweet treats throughout the week is totally fine, but too much alcohol or nutrient-deficient foods (such as junk food) will hinder your progress and make it much harder for you to reach your goals.
3. Not Respecting Your Sleep
We all know that we should be getting 8 hours of sleep each night, but what about the actual quality of the sleep you’re getting?
What time do you go to bed? How dark is your room? Is your mattress comfortable enough? All of these factors, and more, make a huge difference to your sleep quality and, therefore, how restorative it is. So, switch off all screens and make sure that your bedroom is dark, cool and quiet.
4. Sacrificing Overall Fitness For Singular Goals
If you’re focusing on training only one aspect of your fitness (ie – strength), then something else has got to give. For example, if you’ve moved from a cardio background into a training plan solely built around lifting weights, then your previous cardio stamina will have deteriorated slightly. Remember to maintain the levels of fitness you’ve already built up whilst focusing on your new training goals – it’s all about variety.
5. Not Fine-Tuning Your Technique
Make sure that when you’re training, you’re using the correct muscles, you’re positioned correctly and that everything is aligned properly. Record yourself lifting from all angles to be sure you’re not making any mistakes, or ask a trainer at the gym to look at your form – a simple tweak by an expert eye can quickly help you sort out your technique.