Bonehead workout mistake #6: Using mostly machines and single joint/isolation exercises
So you joined the gym and you hit “the circuit”… you know, that section in the gym with all those fancy, chrome-plated, “technologically advanced” weight stack-pulley, hydraulic or computerized machines all lined up in neat rows… far, far away from the barbells and squat racks (which you never touch), and which is designed to give you an “easy, safe, injury-free, effective full-body workout.” The machines may be easy, but most machines aren’t as safe or effective as they’re cracked up to be.
Kick butt workout tip #6: Use mostly free weights and compound, multi joint exercises
For lower body, squat and lunge variations are tops. For upper body, barbell and dumbbell presses, chin ups and rows are king. These and similar “BIG” exercises stimulate more muscle fiber, stir up more fat burning and muscle building hormones, and have more carry-over to real world and sporting activities than machines. Although weight stack machines are safe with respect to the fact that you cant drop a barbell on your head, they’re ultimately NOT as safe as free weights because they don’t develop the stabilizing muscles and functional strength that protect you from injury. A few machines and isolation exercises mixed in your program is fine, but focusing on compound and free weight exercises gives you far more bang for your buck than any machine ever created.
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Bonehead workout mistake #7: No mental preparation
This mistake goes hand in hand with mistake number one (winging it). You see, preparation is more than setting goals, writing out plans, and scheduling workouts. Preparation is also mental, yet most people haven’t the slightest idea just how powerful the mind is or how to harness its power.
Psychologists and “brain scientists” have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between an experience that is real and one that is imagined. Failure to take advantage of this discovery is a mistake of enormous magnitude.
Kick butt workout tip #7: Use visualization and mental rehearsal daily
Arnold Schwarzenneger, Jack Nicklaus, Andre Agassi and countless other sports legends have written and spoken extensively about their regular use of mental imagery. Those who succeeded, but claimed not to use such techniques as “visualization” were surely using it unconsciously or in a non-formalized manner. I would suggest you consciously and deliberately use this technique in the following manner: Twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, get relaxed, close your eyes and form mental images of yourself having the body you’ve always wanted, completing perfect workouts with motivation and enthusiasm and reaching all your goals. These images will penetrate your subconscious mind and literally program your brain to activate your body for total success.
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Bonehead workout mistake #8: Not eating immediately after training
Not eating anything after your workout (or waiting 2-3 hours to eat), because (a) you don’t feel like eating, (b) you don’t have anything to eat with you, (c) you heard that you get leaner if you don’t eat after your workout… is one of the most boneheaded things you can ever do!
Kick butt workout tip #8: Eat protein AND carbs (not just carbs) immediately after your workout
Much research has been done on the topic of post workout nutrition in recent years and the scientific literature is almost unanimous in its findings: At one time carbohydrates were emphasized after a workout. Other people insisted that protein is more important. The truth is, the optimal post workout meal includes quickly digesting protein and carbohydrates and is consumed immediately after training during the period known as the “post-workout window of opportunity.” Although the ideal amount and type of protein and carbs is still debated, the studies have shown that proper post workout nutrition increases protein synthesis, suppresses cortisol, replenishes glycogen, and enhances recovery.
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Bonehead workout mistake #9: Comparing yourself to others
Always trying to one-up the next guy is bonehead behavior. Comparing yourself to others is a great way to lower your self esteem and stay perpetually frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied!
Kick butt workout tip #9: Compare yourself to nobody but yourself
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden always advised his players, “Never try to be better than someone else; but never cease trying to be the best you can be. That is under your control. The other isn’t.” So why not focus on competing with yourself? Compare yourself to yourself.
Improve yourself. Work on progress and forward movement. Become better than you used to be. Ultimately, competitive sports are most valuable to the degree you use them to better yourself, not to beat others.
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Bonehead workout mistake #10: Making excuses
Many people, when they don’t get the result they want, or when things don’t go the way they expect, insist it’s not their fault. When they don’t lose any body fat, it’s their genetics or “The diet just doesn’t work!” When they fall off the wagon, it’s their friends and family’s fault – “They just don’t support me… they even tempt me with junk food and eat in front of me.” When they miss workouts, it’s their boss’s fault – “I just don’t have time with so much work being piled on me at the office.” No matter what the situation, the boneheads never even consider that the problem is staring right back at them in the mirror – someone or something outside of them is always responsible.
Kick butt workout tip #10: Accept total, 100% responsibility for all your results – good or bad
When you win, you don’t attribute it to luck or give someone else the credit for it. You proudly say, “I created it… I did it… that was me!” However, if you want to take the credit for your wins, you must also take credit for your losses and say, “Yep, I created it… I did it… that was me!” Boneheads want to take credit for their successes but not accept responsibility for their failures. Ultimately, that turns them into nothing but big losers. Winners and successful people became successful because they learned three magic words: I AM RESPONSIBLE. Once you claim responsibility for every result in your life – the good and the bad – the feeling of empowerment and liberation that comes over you is beyond description. For the first time in your life, you realize that YOU are in control. From that moment on – and not a second sooner – you become the creator of circumstance rather than a victim of it.
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Well, that’s all ten of em’. Let me wrap up with what is perhaps the biggest mistake of all, and that is: Not learning from your mistakes. Mistakes are okay. The only people who don’t make any are the timid, wimpy people who don’t even attempt anything. If you realize you’ve been making a lot of these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. As long as you learn from them and stop making them, you’re off the hook! But if you keep repeating these mistakes over and over again, then it’s official: You’re a bonehead!
Tom Venuto is a certified personal trainer, natural bodybuilder and author of the #1 best selling diet e-book, “Burn the Fat, Feed The Muscle. You can get info on Tom’s e-book at http://www.burnthefat.com To get Tom’s free monthly fitness newsletter, visit http://www.tomvenuto.com