4. Asking a trainer for nutrition help
Along the same lines, don’t turn to trainers in the gym for diet pointers. Trainers are meant to motivate, correct form and implement training workouts. But most are not qualified to diagnose problems or give supplement and nutrition advice. They’re not doctors, and they’re not dietitians. Always keep that in mind. Doctors and dietitians (and certified sports nutritionists like yours truly) are the only ones who should be giving you that info.
5. Not working through the full range of motion
Look around the average gym. Most people are going through about half the range of motion they should be. For example, a guy will “bench” 300 pounds, but he won’t bring the weight all the down to his chest and press it all the way up. (Same with the guy who does “20” pull-ups or “50” push-ups.) Not only is this halfway technique incorrect, it can lead to injuries. To build the most strength—and the most functional strength—you have to go through a full range of motion. It’s better to do that with lighter weight or fewer reps than to half-ass it and brag/lie about how much you “lifted.”
6. Spending the whole time on one machine
Too many people train one-dimensionally. They come in, spend 45 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical and leave. This is a poor use of your time, and it’s not going to lead to the results you want. Instead, try shorter, more intense bursts of exercise. Do jumping jacks. Jump rope (fact: 11 minutes of jumping rope is equal to 30 minutes of jogging on the treadmill). Pound a tire with a sledgehammer. Do cable exercises. Do planks. Do lunges. You can save yourself a lot of time and get fitter if you’re willing to up the focus and intensity. That’s true for a lot of things in life, and it’s definitely true in the gym.
Jay Cardiello is Made Man’s fitness and nutrition expert. As a top certified strength and conditioning coach, personal trainer and sports nutritionist, Cardiello has worked with Hollywood A-Listers, Fortune 500 CEOs and NFL stars. His accelerated body transformation program, JCore, is available here, and his new book, Cardio Core 4×4, is available here. Got a question for Jay? Leave a note in the comment section, and he’ll do his best to address it in a future column.