The 5 Exercise Mistakes You Could Be Making

The 5 Exercise Mistakes You Could Be Making

1.You are a victim of routine and habit:

Muscle memory is no myth. If you perform the same exercises and workouts every week, with no variation, your muscles will grow accustomed with them overtime and your fitness goals will severely plateau. Repitition of exercises allows the brain to become “hard-wired” with a simple, efficient circuitry that enables the activity. The brain and muscles no longer have to work hard to make that particular movement happen, so the activity “feels easy” to you, as if it were second nature.

My suggestion: Switch it up

  • I am all for getting in and sticking to a set routine, however, if you want to see progression in your fitness goals, whether it is bigger strength gains or more fat loss, vary your workouts/rep range/rest time.  You will see dramatic changes as your muscles will have to work harder to adapt to these new changes.

Great examples:

  1. Intervals vs. steady cardio. (see previous post for more specifics about this)
  2. Heavier weights with reps between 5 and 8 and allowing more rest in between rest.

2. You don’t get in a good warm-up:

The goal of any warm-up is to increase your heart rate, body temperature,. and blood flow to your muscles. The increase in these things will prepare you muscles and mind-set for the upcoming exercises. As a result, you will see better performance results and reduce chance of injury. Research over the last decade has shown static stretching cold muscles can actually inhibit performance and put you at greater risk of injury.

My suggestion: Perform movements that are specific to the exercises that will follow.

  • Activate the energy systems and muscles that are going to be required to complete your workout.
Great Examples:
  1. Jump Rope for 5 minutes- This gets both your legs and upper body involved at the same time.
  2. Dynamic stretch warm-up and not static stretching!-Do 5-10 minutes of dynamic movements that will get your blood flowing and major muscle groups activated. (bodyweight pushups, lunges, squats, or spider man crawls all work great)
3. You don’t do enough multi-joint movements:
Everyone wants more bang for their buck. So, why limit yourself to single joint movements or “isolated movements” when you can combine exercises and use multiple joints to build muscle, decrease fat, increase metabolic rate, and burn more calories, all at the same time.
My suggestion: Use multi-joint movements for the bulk or your exercises and supplement them with single joint movements.
  • Multi-joint movements will allow you to become a more functional and well conditioned athlete by using major muscle groups in conjunction with one another.
  • Supplementing multi joint movements with single joint movements will allow you to take care of the smaller and stabilizer muscles that can be overshadowed when doing multi-joint movements.
Great Examples:
  1. The old-fashioned back squat- Not only do squats activate all your lower body muscle group,  but it also activates your core muscles which are the foundation to your strength and posture. (utilizes knee,ankle, and hip joints)
  2. Dumbbell snatch- A great, functional exercise that utilizes major muscle groups such as your legs, core, and shoulders.

4. After all my suggestions you still do sit-ups:

Core is an essential component to a functional and strong body.Why is it that I continue to see people wasting time doing one of the most inefficient and outdated exercises today!

My suggestion: Trade in your old-fashioned sit ups for a core exercises that are more efficient

  • There still exists a common misconception that the key to a six-pack is by doing a bunch of sit-ups. False, the key to washboard abs is by losing stomach fat through a healthy(total body) exercise regimen and an all-natural diet.

Great Examples:

1. Plank on swiss ball- This exercise will force you to stabilize your core on an unbalanced surface.

2. Hanging leg raise- Targets your hipflexors and lower abs along with the rest of your core.

5. You don’t replenish your muscles after your workout:

“Approximately 30 minutes after intense exercise, the body optimizes its ability to replenish energy stores-particularly muscle and liver glycogen. This is also a critical time because the body instigates muscle protein synthesis for muscle tissue recovery and repair, replenishes fluids and electrolytes lost through sweat, and adapts to the stresses encountered in the workout.”

My Suggestion: Invest in a workout shaker and some tupperware.

  • Bringing a recovery powder to your workout will ensure you provide your muscles with adequate nutrition to fully recover immediately after finishing. Bringing some food in Tupperware is also a great way to ensure you are getting ample carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Depending on your sport and fitness goals, your post-workout shake should range from a 1:1 carb/protein ratio to 4:1 carb/protein  ratio if you are involved in more endurance activities and are trying to restore carbohydrate levels.

Great Example

1. 6oz of coconut water
6oz of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c yogurt, 1 banana
1 c frozen strawberries/blueberries
1 scoop whey protein powder
3-5 grams glutamine

For all those interested in fat loss, check out my good friend’s website Kellie Kaufman at This may help you gain the edge and break through plateaus.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions or comments.

From Naples,


Active Recovery

Active Recovery

Being that it is a Sunday, and usually an “off day” from work and training, where people lounge on the couch, spend time with family, and passively rest, I wanted to take a little time to talk about active recovery or “active rest”.

Active Recovery is a term used to describe the days you don’t workout but still perform light exercise or some sort of activity. This light exercise enables you to continue burning calories without putting too much strain on your body and muscles, which should be recovering from workouts and training, (long winded definition) With the amount of athletes in today’s society trying to “gain the edge”, trainers and coaches are starting to understand the impact of over-training. Often times the importance of complete rest is undervalued and injuries linked to fatigue and overuse have become more prevalent. With that being said, I think there is an efficient way to stay active on your “off days” that may actually help your body recover better and allow you to burn calories at the same time.

Active Rest vs. Passive Rest

Simply put, passive rest is where you do nothing, and completely let your muscles recover by not training, staying inactive, and sometimes immobile. While the physical element of this is vital, the mental break that you actually receive from passive rest may be the greatest benefit. Some examples could consist of any of the following;

  1. Sleeping
  2. Watching TV
  3. Reading
  4. Studying
  5. Surfing the web
  6. Lounging in the sun
Active Recovery benefits
While there seems to be great debate and differences of opinion on the actual purpose and effectiveness of active recovery, here are some of the potential benefits;
  • Stimulates the metabolic pathways of recovery without contributing to fatigue. (I.E. gets your blood pumping and juices flowing without contributing to muscle fatigue or strain)
  • Allows you to get some light work in on those often neglected stabilizer muscles or small muscle groups you might miss in a workout without putting strain on the large muscle groups. (Some examples would be shoulder rotational exercises or hip mobility)

  • Using it as a way to burn calories while still letting your major muscle groups recover.
  • Recovery or regeneration training-Countering a high-intensity training day, where there may be a build up of lactic acid or acidosis, with a less-intense recovery session may actually help speed up recovery, reduce high intensity-induced damage, and restore your natural lactate levels. (Often seen in biking and swimming)
  • Light weight workouts might help speed up recovery by increasing blood flow to the stimulated areas and removing waste products. This method ,coupled with a solid carb/protein recovery meal, will aid in your muscle regeneration and restored energy levels
Active Recovery Activities
  • Light weight workout at 50-75% of your 1 rep max.
  • Low-intensity cardio at 40-60 % of your maximum heart rate (Jog, brisk walk, light bike, light swim,)
  • Yoga class
  • Play golf
  • Light sport specific activity (Intended so you don’t “lose the feel”. Some examples would be stick handling a puck, shooting free throws, and juggling a soccer ball.)
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United juggles with the ball during a training session held at the Carrington Training Complex on September 16, 2008 in Carrington, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Cristiano Ronaldo
  • Sports massage or foam roll.


I think there is something to be said about having 1 day completely off to passively rest. This day should be made up of a whole lot of R&R, where you physically do nothing as well as give yourself a mental break by just zoning out for a day. (For those who know me, I prefer my passive rest by the pool or on the beach as I am definitely not a part of the 75% of the U.S that is Vitamin D deficient) However I think 1-2 days of active recovery or rest where you may perform a less intense workout, easy yoga, or one of the active recovery activities listed above, is extremely beneficial and important to an overall healthy lifestyle. My recommendation would be for athletes to spend at least one active rest day doing something functional that is not involved in your sport. For example if you are a hockey player go for a light jog or if you are a marathon runner go for a light bike to involve different muscle groups and stay mentally fresh. For those who are trying to get in shape or lose fat, active recovery is a great way to burn some calories while giving your body some much-needed rest.

My suggestion

While I don’t advise anyone to workout 7 days in a row, cycling high-intensity training days with light recovery days can be beneficial to your body. As a generic recommendation, I would suggest 3 or 4 days of workouts with 2 active recovery days and 1 day of passive rest. An individual’s specific regimen may be able to tolerate much more of a work load or less of one. (Get to know your body’s needs and limits) Thanks for reading and let me know your comments and suggestions.

From South Bend,