Pushing it too far, too soon, or for too long, can be just as dangerous as not pushing it at all. Here are five solutions to five common misguided mishaps in your sweat sessions…
1. Yoga is your new BFF…
You’re the only guy in a room full of yoga pants – what’s not too like? Well, a paper at the University of Sydney found yoga can cause musculoskeletal pain in 10% of people, and aggravates 21% of existing injuries.
Most fresh pain was in shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands, which was normal. But if you start to feel aches in old injuries, scale back sessions to once a week and ease o the intensity, so it’s more recovery.
2. You only think about one kind of pump…
Over training can see you love dumbbells more than your girl.
A paper in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise found blokes who relentlessly trained with high intensity and pounded the endurance sessions had the lowest libidos – a strong punch to your muscular ambitions.
Lifters who train for shorter amounts of time at a mid-range intensity fared better, with normal-to-high libidos. Keep workouts fun-sized by limiting them to an hour and you’ll gain some perspective about what’s important in life: like family.
3. You watch TWD and cycle…
Unless you’re watching a David Attenborough animal caper, you could shortchange your results. A paper at the University of Essex found training while watching reds, yellows or black and white made people less calm.
When indoor cyclists looked at blues and greens – like you would if you’re riding through a forest – they felt calmer and happier after exercise, making repeat performances more likely. Switch the station and you’ll be rewarded with good vibes.
4. You dabble in performance enhancers…
The allure is simple: you want to keep up with the other MAMILS (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra) in your cycling group, so you follow Mr. Armstrong’s lead. Bad idea: taking EPO did diddly-squat for the performance of moderately- trained athletes, found a paper in The Lancet.
Stick with the legal stuff: ketones. Cyclists taking this got a 2% performance bump that saw them increase every workout by 400 meters, found a paper in Cell Metabolism. Legal. Safer. Leaner. Don’t cheat yourself.
5. You train weights and cardio on the same day…
CrossFitters do it, so why can’t you? This strategy won’t make you super human: it impedes ability to recover fully, found a paper at James Cook University.
You’ll make a full recovery from your weights workout in 24 hours, which can vary from person to person, but the researchers found doing weights and cardio on the same day can damage overall endurance. This is OK if your goal is to build muscle and burn fat, but less than perfect if you want to feel the winner’s ribbon across your chest.
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