Wondering why you’re not burning as many calories as you have in the past, or why you’re all of a sudden experiencing knee or back soreness? If you’re not maximizing your workout at the gym, it could be you need to develop a new way to trim . Over 30? Studies show that this is pivotal benchmark for gym goers, as your body – and the muscles in it – begin to change.  Instead of putting forth 110% without getting much back, steer clear of these common gym mistakes and get fitter than ever.

Failing to Stretch Before and After

So many gym goers think that stretching before and after their workout isn’t worth the effort. Maybe you are running late, and only have 30 minutes to work out, so why spend another minute wasted on hamstring stretches? In reality, stretching isn’t a ‘waste’ at all, and can prevent serious bodily injury. Stretching also improves coordination, balance and flexibility; heightens your energy levels and increases blood flow. Do you have a chronic back problem? Try the feel good yoga cat pose and properly stretch out your back muscles.  Do your leg muscles feel tight? Gain flexibility in your thighs by sitting with your legs crossed and knees bent, while you lean forward.

Don’t Overdo the Weight Lifting

If you want to speed up your weight loss or achieve larger biceps, nothing works as well as a resistant training program in combination with a cardio workout.  If you want larger bicep muscles, you don’t have to lift more and for a longer time period than the next guy. Consider that a gym myth. Instead, maximize the quality of your workout, not the length of time you spend sweating it out. Rest in between reps, as this is what allows your muscle groups to tear down and rebuild themselves. Increase the amount of weight you lift and decrease the number of reps you do. For lean muscles, work with less weight and add on more reps for a slim and svelte figure.


Utilize Cardio in a New Way

You don’t have to run for 45 minutes in order to burn calories. Instead, run in half that time and achieve the same results, all thanks to a higher intensity (with less time to devote to it!) workout. It’s a common misconception that a longer jog on the treadmill burns more fat, revs up your metabolism and creates that flattering lean muscle mass you desire. Instead, try high interval cardio training and achieve the same results, all with less time to do it in. The key to 20 minutes of high impact exercise? Intervals.  Start with a five minute warm-up, followed by short bursts of sprinting for 60-90 seconds, followed by resting for 60 seconds in between.

Make the most of your gym experience by maximizing your time there. Whether you have 20 minutes or an hour and 20 minutes, adjust your workout to fit your lifestyle by applying these tips. You’ll get the fit body you long to have simply by working out smarter, not longer.