When it comes to working out, most women are often torn between what they read in magazines, what they see on TV, what their unqualified husband or boyfriend says, and society’s conflicting expectations of what a woman should look like.
With all this mental conflict it’s no wonder most women are prone to make mistakes in the gym – but with the help of personal trainer Prince Munangatire we’ve to put together a piece that might come in handy.
Mistake 1: Forgetting to cover all ends
Although toning and weight loss might be the end goal, it seldom comes without a lifestyle change. Covering all ends involves exercising properly, eating right, and maintaining a positive mindset. To forgo these three things is to set yourself up for slow – and in worst case – no results. Throughout this article you’ll see just how crucial these three points are. However, of the three, eating is the game changer. Your body is shaped by the way you eat, so what you put in your mouth is what you’ll look like on the outside.
Since you were a child, your eating habits coupled with your genetics have been shaping your body and “training” it how to respond to food. By the time you reach adulthood your body has either become a storer or a burner. Bad eaters have trained their bodies to always expect food to refuel whenever they are hungry. Therefore your body learns to store food away (storer) rather than use it (burner). Think of it like the difference between refueling your car on empty as opposed to maintaining a half tank. Good for cars, bad for people.
You’ve all heard of the old adage “You cant out-train a bad diet”. Never has there been a better example of this than the controversy surrounding the hit TV show “The Biggest Loser”. An astounding percentage of contestants regained their weight almost immediately after the show. This is because although they worked hard to burn their bodies, they remained victims of bad eating habits. Hence, when they lost the supervision of their trainers, they went back to all their bad habits and gained the pounds.
According to personal trainer Prince Munangatire, the important thing is to realise that your body will always be a little hungry. Even walking up and down your office or house will use energy which can make you hungry. The trick is to not always do the work for your body. Teach it to burn and use the food you eat by drinking water, forgoing constant snacking, and above all only eating what you need – as opposed to what you want. Soon enough the urge to snack or eat sweets will disappear and results will come.
Mistake 2: Not understanding time
The second mistake most women make is not having a realistic view of the time it takes to get in shape. A lot of people buy in to temporal weight loss schemes and quick fix diets. These don’t work. It took time for your body to get where it is today, so don’t bet all your money that it will take 6 weeks to get it to look the way you want. In fact, the cruel thing about time is that it takes shorter to lose all your hard work than it did to get the results. Prince says that in most cases it can take only a few weeks to lose years of progress. So stay determined once you start seeing results. This is where the positive mindset comes into play: Be proud of your results and stay at it.
The failure to understand time leads to a lot of drop-outs and quitters. Understanding time and how your body works over a training course is extremely crucial to get long term results; for example during your period week, your body can gain up to 4 kgs because it’s storing water to help you flow better! Knowing something that small can be the difference between you feeling discouraged every 4th week and learning how to manage your expectations.
Leo Tolstoy says “The two most important warriors are patience and time”. The world that we live in moves fast, people talk fast, we receive information fast, everything is instant…or so we might believe. However, meaningful results (particularly when it comes to health) are not instant. They take time and patience. A sure way to experience instant problems is to be impatient. Patience is an art not learned easily, but a worthwhile thing to exercise as much as possible.
Third mistake: Making excuses
Mental strength and staying positive is essential to doing well in the gym. In the context of working out, excuses are a sign that you aren’t in sync with your goals. Falling out of sync could be a result of a number things including, stress, guilt, fear, and good ol’ laziness.
People who are in control of their emotions are in better control of their body. A survey done in the UK showed that up to 75% of women actively avoid the gym in fear of judgement. (If you’r prone to this, think about it again; every gym-goer we’ve asked have had nothing but respect for the others in the gym – slim or not. Actually more respect for those who are not yet in shape, but who work hard to throw a few pounds. Once gymming becomes a habit it doesn’t take as much of an effort to go. Believe us when we say that no one will judge you!).
When your outside world is stressful it affects your mental strength which could affect your gym input. Prince says to remember that “Out affects in, which projects out”. He can instantly tell when a client is stressed, because their results drop and their input decreases. Their excuses begin to tally up and their enthusiasm dips to low levels. Prince says people must realise that problems will always arise, but to overcome life’s challenges and their adverse effects on your health is a simple case of prioritising.
If you prioritise your health everything you do will be done accordingly. You develop better choices for dealing with stress; out with the stress-eating and in with the power walks. If you push your children in a pram you might carry them instead. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. During work you walk for your lunch instead of taking a car
Key take aways:
- This article doesn’t mention anything actually done in the gym. That’s because most mistakes are done outside and not inside the gym.
- Teach your body to be a burner rather than a storer.
- Be patient and learn how your body works over time.
- Prioritise your health and everything will be done accordingly.