working out

Wasting Time at the Gym

I see it all the time, in every gym I have been to, and honestly, have been guilty of it a time or two myself. At some point in time, I think every gym-goer has wasted time during their workout. Here are a few ways that you waste time, and ways that you can avoid it.

1.)  Talking, and talking, and talking.  Every once in a while it is okay to engage in a small amount of chit-chat in the gym, but don’t make it a habit and don’t let the conversation last longer than two minutes. You have work to do and you don’t need to let a discussion about something that happened to your buddy last week, issues going on at work, or last night’s ball game keep you from completing your workout.

2.) Taking extra long rest breaks. Although your rest time between sets varies depending on what you are doing (heavy weight/low rep sets must have longer rest periods than higher rep/light weight), you need to rest appropriately between sets. If you rest too long between sets then you lose the intensity you need to stimulate muscle growth, thereby resulting in stagnation and a plateau. To avoid taking extra long rest breaks, wear a watch or keep a stopwatch nearby and time yourself. 

3.) Waiting on machines, equipment, etc. So you want to squat but the squat racks are being used so you wait, and wait, and wait until it becomes available. Wrong move. If what you want to use is currently occupied then move on to the next exercise and come back to it.  Your workout will not be ruined just because you did leg press before squats.

4.) Doing the same exercises over and over again. Have you been doing the same workout plan, same weights, same reps and sets for weeks and still haven’t seen results? Do you feel like a hamster on a wheel when you go to the gym? The problem could lie within your training plan. You need to change it up every now and again. Shock your muscles with heavier weights, new exercises, or new types of training (i.e. supersets, negatives, 21s, etc.).

5.) Posting, emailing, texting from your phone.  Besides talking, I think this is the biggest distracter.  You’re doing shoulders or arms and get a massive pump and feel you just have to show this off.  You pull out your phone, take a picture, then create this long post on your favorite social media site. Or someone texts you and this conversation turns into 30 text exchanges. Before you know it, you’ve been sitting there on the leg extension machine, on your phone for 10 minutes. Make it a strict practice to wait until after the workout to take pictures, reply to emails or texts, and don’t answer the phone unless it is an emergency.

Taking these baby steps to avoid wasting time will not only optimize your workout, but will also free your schedule up for other fun things!

The Myth of Spot Reduction

Everyone has a body part that they think is the best. On the flip side, they also have the body part that they would probably sell their first born for in order to change (not really, but I have to throw some humor in here somewhere). The truth of the matter is, there is no such thing as spot reduction. You can’t focus on burning the fat from one body part. It just doesn’t work that way. To burn fat, you must burn it over the entire body through a combination of weight training (yes ladies, lifting weights!), cardio, and a healthy diet.

Doing just one of those three you will not produce changes. You must do a combination of them to see results. Fat cells are released by the body to be burned for energy, and unfortunately, you cannot choose which part of your body the fat comes from.

You also can’t focus on lifting for one body part in hopes that the fat will come off of it. Take your abs for example. You can do 1,000 crunches a day and still not have a visible “6 pack.” That comes from…you guessed it! Cardio, diet, and weight training. Many times the muscle you focus on when you try to spot train is so small that you aren’t doing your body a bit of good. When you try to target the larger muscles then you inevitably hit the smaller ones.

So the next time you hit the gym with every intention of focusing on one small muscle, work the whole body part instead. You’ll not only hit the area you’re trying to improve but you’ll increase your overall level of fitness!


Meet Pro-Wellness Ambassador: Jessica

My name is Jessica Pages, and I am an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, R.I.P.P.E.D Instructor, 1st Step Pro Wellness Ambassador, Sweat Pink Ambassador and aspiring NPC bikini competitor.

I was born and raised in North Carolina, and am married with three children ages 22, 17, and, 4.

I have not always been into fitness. I have always been overweight by about 10-15 pounds, but that never bothered me.

In 2009 I became pregnant for the third time. During my first two pregnancies my weight gain was minimal, so I thought I really didn't have to worry about gaining weight the third time.

Warm Ups and Cool Downs - The Importance of Getting Your Body Ready

Many people leave out two very important parts of a training session: the warm up and the cool down. I'm not just talking about stretching. There are many types of warm ups and cool downs, which I will discuss.

 I always recommend to my clients that they do a 5-10 minute warm up before engaging in their resistance training. I suggest doing steady cardio on their favorite piece of cardio equipment or something as simple as jogging or walking. Warming up has a variety of benefits including:

Criticism, Haters, and Discouragement: The Negative Nancies of Living a Healthy Life

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is good, right? Beginning an exercise program that improves your overall well-being is a great idea, isn’t it? Losing weight, feeling energized and happy, and looking better than ever should make you feel that you are on top of the world, shouldn’t it? You’d think so, but for some turning their life around and heading in that direction actually causes them a little pain along the way. I’m not talking about the pain of exercising. No, I’m talking about the emotional pain that some endure on their journey of becoming a better version of themselves physically.