At the gym, you keep bending from side to side – so why is your waist getting so wide? You’re doing hardcore cardio – so why are your arms still so soft? To maximize fitness efficiency, knowing “just do it – right!” training tips may be just what you need to overcome plateaus and achieve optimal results.
According to expert personal trainer Carla Freda, a former fitness competitor who works with clients of all ages and fitness levels at Olympia Gym in Aventura, there are common mistakes being made in the gym that can be easily corrected by combining proper form with enlightening information. .
‘Waist’ of time
It may be “mind bending” to learn that an exercise to avoid is the side bend – especially when performed with weights. “Many people have the misconception that holding hand weights and doing side bends will trim or tone love handles,” Freda says. “But by performing this exercise, you’re actually doing the exact opposite – you’re thickening your waist!”
Back to basics
Incorporating back and shoulder resistance exercises into your gym routine can make your waistline appear smaller and help you achieve enviable “v-taper” symmetry. If you do the lat pull-down targeting the latissimus dorsi – one of the largest muscle groups of the back – make sure you “just do it – right!”
“I often see people pulling the bar down using only their arms and pulling it down way too low, to about stomach level,” Freda says. “The correct form for lat-pull downs is to grasp the bar with the hands a little wider than shoulder width apart and pull the bar just above the chest, letting the body lean back slightly as you pull down.”
Spinning your wheels?
Do you want to firm and tone? Everyone answering in the affirmative, should know that while spinning, running and using cardio machines all burn body fat, it’s weight training that creates the optimal muscle tone men and women want most.
“Cardio and weight training are both effective fat burning activities, but many women still hold the old common misconception that they’ll get too big if they lift weights,” Freda says. “The truth is that it’s weight training that can create sexy arms, shapely legs, a flat stomach and an overall appealing shape. Not to mention, the more muscle mass you gain, the more calories you’ll burn – even at rest.”
Just eat right!’
Ultimately, beyond what you do in the gym, it’s what’s on your plate that determines how great your physique will look. For example, Freda points out, “You can do all the crunches in the world - but unless you’re eating clean, you won’t lose excess fat and see the muscle underneath. The good news is, if you’re burning body fat by doing cardio and weight training, this will allow you to get away with consuming quite a few more calories!”
“Keep changing up your workouts, make them challenging and you’ll see results,” Freda says. “Talk to a fitness professional for some tips on new and different routines as well as how to improve your nutrition. Or you can just keep doing what you’re doing – and you’ll just keep getting what you’ve always got!”