My Top 6 Cardio Workout Mistakes

As a personal trainer in Llanelli and from my work as a fitness instructor I am well aware of what goes on in a gym. Day in day out I witness people with great intentions in the gym doing the same old routine and set in their old ways not getting the results their effort deserves.

Many people will go to the gym and just do cardio, same old speed, same intensity and resistance on the treadmill, exercise bike, rowing machine etc. In order to get results you need to be training correctly.

Cardiovascular health is extremely important to us and affects the way we live. Cardio exercise machines are great as they help you to improve your cardiovascular fitness and burn fat while at the same time strengthening your heart and lungs which is vital for your health and seriously reduces the chances of suffering health problems.

So to help you out today I am going to go through some of the most common exercise machine mistakes:

  • Treadmill – The treadmill is probably the most used of all the cardio machines. It is important when you are running that you don’t overdo the movement, you are looking for a long purposeful stride, many people you see bounce up and down which eventually will wear out the ankle joints, leading to big injuries.
  • Exercise Bike – One of the most important things when exercising on bike is having the correct seat height, take your time in finding the right position which is most comfortable so you can make the most of your workout. You add strain to your knees and spine by putting the seat to low. Having the seat too high is also bad, when you are sat on the bike and you pedal to the bottom (where your leg is straightest) your leg should be just short of straight. It’s an easy workout mistake to eradicate so just take a minute to get the right position and away you go!
  • Going too easy – No disrespect but if you are able to read a book during your cardio workout it isn’t intense enough. So many people do the same long BORING cardio workout which doesn’t raise your heart rate to the required level to achieve results, you should mix it up a bit with High Intensity Interval Training, this will bring the best results and shed those unwanted pounds. You should be finishing your cardio workout sweaty and gasping for breath, that’s when you know you’ve put the most into it, and you feel much better for it afterwards. You burn 100 calories in 20 minutes of low-intensity work compared to 160 calories in 10 minutes of high intensity.
  • Cross Trainer– I see many people going hell for leather on the cross trainer, this isn’t what it’s designed for. Make sure that you have set the resistance to the correct level that it is working your cardiovascular endurance and well as toning your body.
  • Pre Workout Meal – You should not exercise on an empty stomach but you shouldn’t eat too close to a workout. You should have a light low calorie meal/snack around an hour- 2 hours before exercising. If you starve your body before exercising you won’t be able to produce the best results. If you aren’t fully hydrated and haven’t eaten well it’s the equivalent of a car with no petrol … you’re going nowhere sorry!
  • Believing Cardio will cancel everything out – If you’ve eaten terribly for the whole day sadly 20 minutes on the treadmill isn’t going to make up for it. You need a combination of healthy eating, effective exercise, good hydration and adequate sleep to give you the best chance of reaching your health and fitness goals.

There we have it, my top cardio workout mistakes which I see every time I step into the gym. As a personal trainer in the Llanelli area I want the best for my clients, and that’s why you should distance yourself from the things I have discussed. Training can be very ineffective if not done correctly.

Take Care,

Jamie Stedman

PS let me know what mistakes you’ve seen in the gym below.

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