Lifting weights is a great way to build muscles fast while also slimming down and getting the physique you’ve always wanted. But if you make mistakes while weight training, especially when it comes to your form, you could end up injuring yourself and doing more harm than good.
What are the biggest weightlifting mistakes that you should avoid? Keep reading to learn how to have a safe and effective workout every time you hit the gym.
Using Weights That Are Too Heavy
Even though you may think that the heavier the weights you lift, the bigger and better your gains will be, the truth is that form and technique should come before poundage. A lot of bodybuilders end up using weights that they simply can’t manage properly and safely.
Stick with a manageable amount of weight until you can execute the technique perfectly, whether you’re working your back, legs, chest, or arms.
A good way to figure out where your poundage should be is by cutting back on all of the weights you’re currently using by 10%. Then make sure you have perfect form and technique before adding in some more weight gradually over the course of a month or more. This should result in new muscle growth.
Adding Too Many Pounds At Once
Another common mistake is adding too much poundage too quickly. You could hurt yourself and sacrifice your form if you’re adding 5-10 or more pounds to your routine.
Instead, add a pound at a time over the course of a week or more. Remember, after you’ve gotten over the beginner stage, you’ll be building strength more slowly, so you need to be patient and add poundage in a way that will allow your body to respond positively.
Not Giving Your Body Enough Recovery Time
Overworking your muscles every week, without giving them enough time to recover and repair, could tax the nervous system, reduce your performance, and cause sleep disturbances, depression, and other symptoms of overtraining. Over time, you could actually lose strength.
In addition to getting enough sleep and eating right by supplementing with healthy protein like that found in high quality protein bars, you should give your muscles 48 to 96 hours to recover from an intense weight lifting session.
The older you are, the more time you’ll need to recover. Also, larger muscles require longer recovery periods than smaller muscles.
A good place to start is to train three days per week. By splitting your overall workout program into three sections, you can hit each muscle group every week.
So, for example, on day 1, you might do your back and chest. On day 2, you can work on your lower body. On day 3, you can focus on the core and arms. Regularly change the routine to keep your body guessing.
By avoiding weightlifting mistakes, you can enjoy the gains that you’ve been waiting to show off. Remember that taking care of your body today will result in a healthier, stronger, and slimmer body tomorrow.
Eating healthy is challenging enough, thanks to all of the processed, frozen, canned, and packaged foods that are easy and available to eat on the go when you’re pressed for time. But sticking to a truly healthy diet is further complicated when you consider the fact that many “health foods” aren’t really all that healthy after all.
Below is a list of the top five unhealthy foods that are masquerading as health foods.
- Fruit Juices
Fruit juices are touted as healthy, but many of the juices that you’ll find on supermarket shelves aren’t made from actual fruit. Check ingredient labels and you may find high amounts of sugar and artificial flavors that are added to water to make it taste like fruit. Keep in mind that there are many names for sugar, so labels can also be misleading.
Even if you purchase 100% juice, however, you should do so in moderation because fruit juice, like fruit itself, has a high sugar content. Again, check labels and you may find that your favorite fruit juice contains roughly the same amount of sugar as any other unhealthy sugary drink.
Agave syrup is touted as a healthy alternative to high fructose corn syrup, but it can contain between 55-90% fructose, depending upon how it’s processed. Compare this to high fructose corn syrup, which has roughly 55% fructose, and you’ll see why this food isn’t very healthy after all.
Yogurt can be really good for your body, as it contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. But you should read ingredients labels because many brands use high amounts of sugar, along with artificial sweeteners, flavors, additives, and colors, officially rendering their foods unhealthy.
- Breakfast Cereals
So many breakfast cereals market themselves as being a healthy way to start your day, full of vitamins and minerals, grains and fruits – but be sure to double and triple check what’s actually in them to verify whether they’re something you want to put in your body. Most cereals are highly processed and full of sugar and chemicals – even the so-called “healthy” ones.
In spite of all the health claims margarine manufacturers plaster on their packaging, this is one “health food” that you’ll definitely want to steer clear of. Most brands have removed the trans fats that used to be part and parcel of using margarine, but this butter substitute is still basically just a bunch of chemicals – not something you want to be eating on a regular basis. Even though butter contains fat, it’s much healthier than margarine.
When shopping for healthy foods, it’s important to look past health claims on product labels and instead analyze the ingredients and nutrition facts. This will help you avoid falling victim to unhealthy foods pretending to be nutritious.
Luckily, Promax makes your choice easy, when it comes to protein bars, because Promax products contain high quality ingredients that are actually good for you. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.
Some people have an enormous amount of focus and drive that helps them to reach their workout goals. And once they’ve reached those goals, they want to set new ones. This is a pretty natural reaction. You’ve accomplished your fitness mission, but now you need something new to keep you on track and lifting, running, swimming, or whatever your workout consists of. But this drive can actually become detrimental if you don’t give yourself enough time to rest and recover. In fact, you may reach a state that experts refer to as overtraining.
Overtraining usually starts as an overreach in your fitness schedule. You feel fatigued or worn down, but instead of listening to your body, you push yourself to stay on track and continue training without sufficient rest. This can lead to overtraining, and it’s not a small thing for an athlete to deal with.
The symptoms of overtraining include a drop in performance, a decrease in training capacity and ability to recover, fatigue, frequent sickness, sleep disturbances, and weight loss.
Overtraining ends up suppressing the immune system because the athlete isn’t getting enough recovery time, and this can lead to colds and illnesses. It also affects them psychologically, leading to a lack of sleep, irritability, and even depression. And lastly, overtraining leads to a vicious cycle in performance. Athletes want to perform better, but they can’t. So they try harder to improve their performance, which only exacerbates the problem.
So how does an athlete get himself or herself out of this vicious circle? The simple answer is rest. Significantly reducing training, or stopping it altogether is the only way to really see an improvement. Within two weeks you should start to see some improvement, but that doesn’t mean you should immediately jump back into training as soon as two weeks are up. During your extended rest you should eat healthy, nutritious foods, get as much sleep as you can, and try to relax and stay positive about your workout routine.
Anyone with a typical “type A” personality is probably more at risk for overtraining. Being driven, high achieving, and successful are all good qualities, but they can easily lead to an overreach in running, lifting, or any other type of training.
Only with proper rest and nutrition will you be able to recover and get back to training. If you’re in an overtraining state, you’re already setting yourself back, so stopping as soon as possible is the best way to get yourself back on track.
So if you’re feeling worn down or see your performance slipping, take a step back and evaluate your workout regimen. There’s no sense in pushing yourself so far that you no longer see returns on your workout. And if you do need some help recovering, pick yourself up a Promax protein bar. Packed with protein and the nutrition your body needs, they’ve got everything you need to recover and get back to training.
Getting in a workout can be a struggle for anyone, even when they have plenty of time on their hands. But for a mom, free time is practically nonexistent. Plenty of parents leave their fitness goals behind when they’re raising young children, simply because they don’t feel like they have the time or energy. The thing is, making time to work out will actually give you more energy throughout the day. The tricky part is finding time to do it, and it may mean changing up your old workout regimens.
Less Is More
Before you had kids, you may have had a workout routine that had you at the gym a few times a week for an hour or more. Raising children means that might not really be an option anymore. Instead, break your workouts up into smaller portions that you can do throughout the week. Ten minutes of high intensity exercise done several times a week can be just as beneficial as your longer workouts. In fact, a recent study found that just one minute of high intensity training, with warm ups and cool downs, was as effective in improving fitness as a forty-five minute workout.
Workout As A Family
This one also works with the idea that you might have to change what you consider a workout. Your kids can’t do an hour on the treadmill with you, but they can go on pre- or post-dinner walks around the neighborhood. And there are plenty of other ways you can involve your children in your fitness routine.
If you’re watching their favorite show together, make commercial breaks a time for exercise. A quick game of tag or bodyweight exercises will be beneficial to everyone. If you take them to the park, you can use that time to get a workout in on the jungle gym. Look for opportunities in your day that you might be missing out on.
Block Out “Your Time”
Maybe you don’t necessarily need to change your workout routine altogether, but instead you just need to make the time to keep doing it. So mark certain times on your weekly calendar like you would for a doctor’s appointment. That time is blocked out specifically for you to do your workout—whatever that may be. Schedule it with your significant other, and make it non-negotiable.
Find Some Partners
Every mother with young children is going through the same thing—tons of commitments and not a lot of free time. Find a friend who is willing to work out with you, and help support each other and keep up with your fitness goals. And if you don’t have someone locally to work out with, you can go online to find support and tips on Facebook groups or blogs.
It’s tough to find time to work out when you have young children, and so is finding the time to prepare a protein packed meal after your workout. At Promax, we have a number of delicious protein bars that are packed with the nutrition you need to get you through your workout, kids and all. Try one today!
The NBA playoffs are here again, and while Golden State looks to defend their title, we get to witness some of the world’s greatest athletes going head to head over the course of the playoffs. Sometimes we take that greatness for granted when we watch them play. It’s easy to say that those players simply have loads of natural talent, but we should remember that they beat out literally thousands of other players along the way to get to where they are. Natural talent is pretty random, but no one is born with an insane work ethic.
You can be certain that the players who’ve made it to the playoffs are some of the hardest working athletes around. That level of dedication is an inspiration to us all, but not everyone has the dream of an NBA career to keep them motivated. So next time you’re feeling unmotivated before your workout, use these tips to get you going.
Give Yourself Visual Cues
Keep your dumbbells in plain sight in your room. Leave your running shoes by the door. Prop your tennis racket in a corner you see every day. Visual cues send messages to your brain that can help keep working out in the forefront of your mind. The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is actually pretty true when it comes to fitness motivation.
Find A Workout Buddy (Or Two)
There’s no better motivation than getting a text from your friend asking if you’re coming to the gym today. Knowing that you’re missing out while your buddy is getting a workout in should make you think twice about that Netflix marathon you have planned. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone, and working out with a friend will give you the edge you need to push yourself. And having a bigger group can help you when one of your friends really can’t make it to one of your workouts.
Really Reward Yourself
If the only reward you’re giving yourself for working out is the knowledge that you’re in slightly better shape, then you might end up with some motivational problems. A vague overall goal simply isn’t as effective as something tangible that you can have directly after your workout. A smoothie, protein bar, or even a few episodes of your favorite show as a workout reward can help get you up and moving.
Identify What’s Stopping You
It’s easy to imagine how good you’ll feel after, and even during, a workout. However, we all know that doesn’t always get you out of bed. Take some time to really think over what’s stopping you from going to work out, and once you identify it, it’s easier to come up with a plan to keep yourself from flaking on your workout regimen.
You may not be an NBA superstar, but that doesn’t mean your fitness goals should be any less important to you. So check out our blog for more great fitness tips, and while you’re there you can find the protein bar that’s right for you.
Depending on where you live, you may already be feeling the effects of the summer heat. If your workout is based outside, you may find yourself wondering if you should change it up to accommodate the coming heat. But does that mean you’re giving in to the weather? Won’t you get the most out of your workout if you’re performing under tougher conditions? Maybe, but if the temperature spikes and you aren’t ready for it, you could actually be hurting your performance. Here’s why you should take some basic steps to change up your workout when the thermometer tops out this summer.
Why make a change?
Even if you’re at the top of your game, a dramatic change in temperature can pose problems in your workout. Working out in a hot environment that you aren’t used to will increase your body’s core temperature. This increase can actually reduce the endurance capacity of your muscles, increase your body’s reliance on carbohydrates for fuel, and compromise aspects of your cardiovascular function.
So what should you do?
You have to give your body time to acclimate to the heat, and once it does, you’ll be able to train harder and more effectively. That doesn’t mean you need to completely change your workout, but there are some easy and effective ways to acclimate your body.
- Instead of heading inside to run on the treadmill, change your workout times to the morning or evening, when temperatures aren’t as brutal. If you can’t change the time of your workout, reduce your duration or intensity until your body gets used to the heat. You can even try little things like choosing a running route that provides plenty of shade on the sidewalk. Most people should become acclimated to the heat after a week or two of training.
- Drinking more fluids is also key. Always make sure you’re drinking water before, during and after your training. Drink fluids even when you don’t necessarily feel thirsty, and try a succession of small drinks, rather than a few huge glasses of water.
- Also remember to take into account the humidity in the area where you’re training. A humid environment keeps sweat from evaporating off your skin, which is actually what cools us down, not the sweating itself. So if you live in an area known for humidity, don’t forget to check the heat index to see if it’s safe for you to train outside at that time.
Like we said before, your training will go smoother if you give your body time to adjust to the heat. Trying to push yourself and keep the same routine when conditions change is only going to disrupt your training, and can even be dangerous.
After any workout, indoors or out, you want to recover and get back to work as quickly as possible. So try a Promax protein bar today. They’ve got all the protein you need to get your body performing at its peak.
There’s something about warm weather that gives people the urge to get out for a run, even if they haven’t been very active all winter. As spring kicks into gear, a lot of people may be starting up a new running routine, or bringing back an old one that got lost along the way. Running seems like an inherently simple activity. You just do it, right? Well, contrary to Nike’s advice, there are actually a number of ways you can screw up your running routine, and keep yourself from seeing the maximum fitness benefits. So take a look at these running mistakes before you lace up this spring.
Too Much, Too Soon
This is probably the biggest mistake that beginners make, but it can also hurt you if you’ve just been taking a break from your running routine. Maybe work got busy and you just haven’t been at it for a few months. Whatever the case, your body simply isn’t ready to pump out mile after mile. As frustrating as it may be, give yourself time to get back into the swing of things. Build up slowly so you can avoid injury.
The general rule is to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week. If you’re doing more than that, you’re at risk for wearing down your body and burning out before you can accomplish your goals.
Not Listening To Your Body
Runners generally have a set schedule that they like to stick to. A certain number of miles on certain days of the week, ratcheting up towards the goal of a race. But it doesn’t always work out like that. A little soreness can easily become a big problem if you decide to push through and follow your regimen exactly as you wrote it out. Ask yourself what’s worse—missing a few days, or missing a few weeks with a preventable injury?
Wearing The Wrong Shoes
It’s amazing that some people will still try to do their running in unsupportive or poorly fitted shoes, but it does happen. Take the time to get fitted for the right shoes if you’re just starting out. If you’re getting back into running after a long break, take a look at your old running shoes. The recommended lifespan for running shoes is usually about 300 to 350 miles, and definitely no more than 500.
Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else
For most of us, running is a way to stay fit and help lead a healthy lifestyle. Sure, you may get to the point where you sign up for longer races like a marathon, but there’s always someone who’s going to have you beat—someone who can just run longer and faster, or takes less time to recover. In the end, comparing yourself to other runners is going to be a futile effort that gets you nowhere.
If you’re starting up a running routine, you’re going to need the proper nutrition to keep you energized and help you recover. So pick up some of our delicious and healthy Promax protein bars, and get the most out of your workout.
Getting in shape requires choosing the right gear. Whether it’s protein bars, exercise equipment, or running shoes, picking the right products can make a huge difference in your comfort and performance.
If your workout includes running on the trail or doing a little cardio in the gym on a treadmill, wearing the right shoes is extremely important. It’s not a matter of picking the most expensive or trendiest shoes; it’s a matter of picking the shoes that best fit your feet. By wearing the right shoes, your feet will be more comfortable when you run or walk, allowing you longer and more challenging workouts.
Here’s a few tips from exercise experts concerning choosing the right shoes:
- Know your foot type – Perform the “wet test” to determine your foot type. Wet your feet, then step on a grocery bag or other piece of brown paper and examine your footprint. By looking at the footprint, you should be able to tell if your feet are flat, or have high arches or regular arches.
- Pick shoes best suited for your foot type – People with flat feet will be best served by shoes with dual-density midsoles and supportive posts. They’ll also need to ensure their shoes offer firm support. Runners with high arches will need neutral-cushioned shoes with a soft midsole. Runners with normal arches have a broader range of shoes available to them.
- Shop at the right time of day – Shop toward the end of the day. Your feet tend to swell at the end of the day, making them larger. The shoes you buy in the morning may feel too tight later in the day.
- Trust your feet – If a shoe feels uncomfortable, don’t buy it, even if it meets all of the other criteria. You are the best judge of whether a shoe works for you or not.
- You may want to get more than one pair of running shoes. According to Runner’s World, alternating running shoes can reduce your risk of injury. A study of 264 runners found that runners who rotated shoes had a 39 percent lower risk of injury than runners who stuck with just one pair of shoes during the 22-week study.
- Seek advice from your gym trainer or a qualified salesperson in the store before purchasing your athletic shoes. These professionals can steer you toward the right footwear, and they may even be able to hook you up with a discount.
Foot injuries are all too common among runners, and a strained tendon or twisted ankle can throw off your exercise plan. Pick the right footwear to reduce your risk of injury and make running less work and more fun.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want strong bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free protein bars. With a wide range of flavors to choose from, Promax is the perfect fuel for every palate.
If you’re living a healthy lifestyle, you know that there really aren’t any shortcuts to getting fit. Any diet or workout routine that promises you unrealistic gains with little effort or “one simple trick” is almost assuredly a con. Dieting in particular is filled with these misleading or downright false guides. Beware of any diet that focuses particularly on one nutrient, food, or food group. Because we’re all about fitness and proper nutrition, we’re warning you about some of the worst diets out there, and explaining why they’re a terrible idea.
Juice Cleanse Diets
This type of diet basically promises that only drinking juices for a certain period of time will “detox” your body, and get you plenty of nutrients in the process. It might look appealing to some people because juice is pretty delicious, and you’re not eating whole foods. So you must end up losing weight, right? The problem is that your body already has ways to cleanse itself. They’re called your kidneys and liver. You’re also getting a ton of sugar when you only consume juice, and even if you do lose weight, it’s going to show back up when you return to eating normal food.
The Atkins Diet
This diet has been around for a while, and generally makes a reappearance after everyone has forgotten about it for a little bit. The basic premise is that you want to cut out carbs from your diet almost entirely in order to burn fat. Unfortunately, this just isn’t a healthy way to live, as carbs are essential for proper nutrition and energy. It’s not carbs that make us fat; it’s the kind of carbs we eat—namely, simple and processed carbs that don’t provide the benefits of complex carbs found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. So there’s no need to cut out carbs completely. Instead, change the types of carbs you have in your diet.
Could your body be too acidic? Should you change your diet to cut out acidic foods? The answer is no. These diets claim that acidic food makes us sluggish and more prone to disease, but there’s exactly zero real evidence to back this up. Blood pH is regulated by the kidneys, and diet doesn’t have any long-term effect on it. The reason some people see positive results with this diet is that it encourages users to eat more vegetables and cut out alcohol. However, there just isn’t any evidence that eating a more alkaline diet actually helps you in any way.
The reason so many people get taken in by these diets is that they present a simple answer to a complex problem. One or two superfoods aren’t going to get you slim. A healthy diet includes all of the food groups, but in moderation. A healthy diet and a workout routine will get you into the shape you’re looking for. For more tips on a healthy lifestyle, head over to our blog. And while you’re there, check out our line of delicious and nutritious Promax protein bars!
Music and exercise go hand in hand; we’ve talked before about how music improves your workout. It helps you focus on something else besides the physical pain and exertion you feel. It facilitates movement in your muscles, ramping up your efficiency and allowing you to get more out of the workout. It also just generally improves your motivation.
However, it has to be the right kind of music. Depending on what activity you’re doing, you might prefer rap or hip-hop (it has the right beats per minute to correspond to most people’s running speed), pop music (good for warming up and cooling down), or dance music (perfect for weight training because of its upbeat tempo).1 Anything too fast or slow, and you might not get the results you’re looking for.
Fortunately, experts have combed through millions of public Spotify playlists with the word “workout” in the title and have come up with the ultimate list of songs to take your workout to the next level. Here are a few to get you started on the road to powering up your workout.
This future-disco anthem from 2013 took airwaves by storm with its infectious guitar licks and repetitive melodies. At 116 beats per minute, it’s hard to argue that this wouldn’t be the perfect jam for any workout playlist.
Another hit from 2013, this club banger from the album Artpop has a high-energy momentum that keeps going from start to finish. It’s 140 beats per minute, so it’s perfect for an intense cardio workout and will definitely get your adrenalin flowing.
Also 140 beats per minute, this is a staple of any workout playlist. In fact, many of Michael Jackson’s hits are great for working out to: think “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” or “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground.” “Beat It” has the added bonus of featuring inspired lyrics, such as “No one wants to be defeated.” Positive messages can have a positive effect on your workout, making this the perfect high-energy addition to your playlist.
There’s no other song that checks all the boxes as this one does: Hard-driving rhythms with the perfect tempo to supercharge your workout; inspirational lyrics; and a hint of nostalgia that might remind you of your younger, carefree days. In fact, experts say that positive imaging – such as remembering when you were younger, fitter, and carefree – can be a powerful motivational tool for stepping up your workout.
Heralded as one of the greatest songs of all time, you can’t help but move your body when this comes on. It’s got an uplifting message and a great tempo for working out (123 beats per minute), and it tops many people’s workout playlists.
Once you’ve got your workout playlist in check, make sure you have the right nutrition to revitalize your body and refuel muscle growth. Boost your workout with our protein bars and energy bars, available in our online store.
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