Hitting the gym is about a lot more than crushing calories according to Women's Health, but when you make regular sweat seshes part of your plan to lose weight, it can be tough to break out of the "hour-on-the-treadmill or bust" mentality. And little did you know, the trainers at your gym are dying to show you the light. Here, fitness experts explain how you're sabotaging your weight loss efforts at the gym — and what to do instead.
You're not working hard enough
"I often refer to this situation as the 'moving couch potato,' or the person on the elliptical for an hour who isn't doing much. It's important to be aware of your level of effort by monitoring your heart rate. For low-intensity exercises, like hatha yoga or hiking, aim for 50 percent of your max heart rate. Moderate-intensity exercises should get you to about 65 to 75 percent, and vigorous intensity is 80 to 85 percent."
— Cat Fitzgerald, C.S.C.S., of NY Custom PT & Performanceprevnext
Your routine is so routine
"Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. You've got to change up your workout to lose that last bit of weight. For example, if you've been running long distances, try adding short-distance sprints. If you've been following a weight-lifting routine, add some sort of cardio. By switching up your exercises, you keep your body guessing and get faster results."
— Matt Tanneberg, C.S.C.S., of Arcadia Health and Wellness Chiropracticprevnext
You're the Bicep Curl Queen
"When it comes to training and losing weight, bigger movements are the better option. For instance, compound multi-joint movements, such as a pushups, deadlifts, pullups, or squats, involve more muscle groups and require more energy (you know, calories) than single-joint exercises, like a bicep curl. Building muscle with compound movements also raises your metabolism, so you burn more calories at rest."
— Wes Showalter, C.S.C.S., interval and cycling coach at Studio Three.prevnext
You reward work with food
"I witness hard-working clients, who just made significant efforts to get them closer to their goals, order a burger and fries or an ice cream post-sweat. Giving your body the gift of movement doesn't call for a celebratory meal."
— Rocky Snyder, C.S.C.S., of Rocky's Fitness Center