To be clear: There are no hard and fast rules for how you spend your time working out, but there are lessons you can take from people whose workout routines are a big part of their work. Generally speaking, an effective workout is one that helps you meet your goals in a way that is sustainable and safe.
So without further ado, I will never—welcome to Gym Yoga. Below, Chandler offers four things you shouldn’t Get him to the gym.
4 Fitness Mistakes A Trainer Avoids in His Own Workout
1. Skipping the warm-up
“It’s essential for any workout to warm up your entire body,” says Chandler. Skipping the warm-up and diving straight into the day’s programming can put you at greater risk for injury, which will ultimately (*sigh*) disrupt your workout routine in the future.
“A tight body is more prone to injury if you try to move too fast or lift too much without preparing your muscles,” Katie Merrick, personal trainer at Gold’s Gym, NCSF, previously told Well+Good. “I like to compare it to a new balloon. It’s harder to start inflating the balloon right away. If you first stretch it and move it well, it will inflate more easily. Our bodies are very similar.”
If you’re not sure what to do in your pre-workout preparation, a general rule of thumb is to activate the muscle groups you plan to use, warm up your body temperature, and mobilize your joints. For example, if you’re running, try incorporating moves like squats, side lunges, high knees, and butt kicks into your warm-up. Then, notice if your run feels a little more windy.
Bookmark this dynamic warm-up for your next workout:
2. Exercise without a plan
“I always like to have a plan of action when starting a workout because it helps me stay consistent with my goals,” says Chandler. If you’ve ever moved up the mountain to hit the gym after work, and then immediately thought, “Cool, what now?” You know that having a game plan is a key component to truly enjoying your time training.
If you’re not sure how to create your own fitness plan, check out this simple guide to creating a weekly workout schedule.
3. Working without proper fuel
“When it comes to pre-workout meals, I generally recommend eating a small snack about an hour before exercise to improve energy, performance and mental clarity during exercise,” Tamanna Singh, MD, a clinical cardiologist, previously told Well+Good. A combination of carbs and protein will treat you right before a workout, so try eating something like peanut butter toast or a chicken salad sandwich.
That said, if you’re a morning exerciser, Chandler says you need to do a little calendar Tetris to make sure you’re not under-fueled for your training sessions. This is especially true if you are someone who practices intermittent fasting. “I find that working out after 10 am on an empty stomach depletes your energy reserves,” he says.
4. Overcomplicated workouts
If you’re on social media, you know that fitness moves are gaining in complexity by the day. But as fancy as these moves may look on screen, dive into complex exercises when the basics are still challenging for you, Chandler says.
“Overcomplicating your workouts with exercises you’ve never done before is just an easy way to get injured,” he says. “Always work with a coach or trainer or new exercises with very light weights and bands to build form.” Remember: The most basic “Big Four” movements — squats, push-ups, pull-ups and deadlifts — can help you gain a lot of strength. Leave those fancy schmancy things for FitTok.