What motivates you to go to a gym? Be it you are currently unhappy with your physique and want to get in a better shape, you want to be physically strong enough to enjoy your favourite or you are an athlete who wants to take your abilities to the next level or simply just hoping to get that targeted BMI all that matters is that you are doing the things right and efficiently.
You may have heard the terms “Strength and conditioning”, but do you really know what it is about? In short, it is a science. A science that drills deep into how the human body works. There is a lot of misconception when it comes to strength and conditioning, and doing things the wrong way synonym to wasting time and efforts, frustration and limited gains.
Here are some highlights on the common mistakes to avoid when you start your strength and conditioning journey.
1. Using workouts made for bodybuilders
Yep, this is one of the most common mistakes people make when they start a strength and conditioning program. This should be the last thing you should do unless your goal is to become a bodybuilder or look like one. Bodybuilding workouts are meant to make you more buff, they have little to no contributions to making you strong or improve your cardio fitness and endurance. Imagine how a badminton player moves over the court swiftly if he or she is as buff as Dwayne Johnson? It is relatively easy to get drawn into workouts built for bodybuilders since there is much more information available out there. Why? Because humans are visual animals. Most people prioritise physique aesthetic over performance. If you are an athlete, you need to find a workout plan that is made specifically for your sports. Every sport uses different muscle groups and has different requirements. If you are doing it for your BMI, you should not focus on solely muscle building. In short, try to include lots of compound motions when coming up with a strength and conditioning program for a specific sport.
2. Not adding mobility workouts
Mobility exercises are often ignored. Everyone wants to be stronger and faster but only a few realise mobility plays a vital role into all that. It is impossible to have perfect biomechanical control and motor-control but you can always improve it significantly. Improved mobility means you are using your muscles more efficiently when you do the sports. Lack of mobility affects your ability to perform and move correctly, hence underperformance. Stretching is the bare minimum when working to improve your strength and conditioning. Of Course, there is a lot further to dive in but try to incorporate stretching into your workout program, just a few minutes will do and over time, you will see the result.
3. Too much low-intensity cardio
Remember that cardio craze? When you open your fitness app there will always recommend you some cardio blog post.
Yes cardio has its place, but most people tend to overdo it and it becomes a problem. The problem is, there are not that many sports where it is actually helpful unless you are a long distance runner. Most sports require a short burst of energy followed by periods of low activity. What you need is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to improve your burst. HIIT takes less time and can provide better results. It leads to better fat burn and cardiovascular endurance. It is also easier to integrate with strength training.
4. Neglecting what you are training for.
Do not forget why you started a strength and conditioning program!! Regardless of how effective a program is, you still need to spend most of your time practicing your main sport. A badminton player will not become significantly better by improving their strength and conditioning, but neglecting their training. For example, If a tennis player loses his or her ball sense spending most of his or her time in the gym, how could he or she do well in tennis?
A strength and conditioning program should be a supplementary workout on top of your main training for whatever sports you want to get better at. Sharpening your skills should always be your priority. Get better at what you do and you will get the most out of your strength and conditioning program. Strength and conditioning programs get your body in optimal shape to perform the moves and techniques that are part of your sport. When done properly, it will make you stronger, faster, leaner, healthier and more athletic.