1) Trying to tone a specific body part
Working the muscle with high reps (20+reps) on a lighter weight will not tone that area. You CANNOT manipulate where you lose fat. You can only create a toned appearance by either 1) Lowering your overall body fat % or 2) If your fat layer is thin enough to start to see the underlying muscle, developing that muscles size can also give a more toned appearance.
2) Too much anterior muscle work . . .
(Chest, Quads, Abs) in relation to posterior muscle work (Upper Back, Lower Back, Glutes, Hamstrings). This will cause structural imbalances which lead to, poor posture, injury & reduced exercise performance due to mechanical inefficiencies causing loss of power, strength & range of motion.
3) High volume of training but low volume of recovery
The higher the volume & intensity of your training, the higher the volume & effort your recovery plan needs to be. This includes getting adequate sleep, stress reduction strategies, appropriate nutrition plan, myofascial release work (foam rolling or sport massage) & stretching.
4) Going on a low fat diet
This leads to excessive consumption of carbohydrates. This creates to major problems: (1) Any carbohydrates that are not used will be converted into and stored as fat (2) Frequent & excessive consumption of carbohydrates reduces your insulin sensitivity. This creates a whole article’s worth of health problems, one of the big ones is a reduced ability to process carbs & use them for fuel in your muscles, meaning your body stores more of what you consume as fat.
5) Not training with a purpose
You should have a plan of what you’re going to do before you train. Your workout should be designed to progress you towards some long term goal. Too many people turn up & just do what they feel like on the day. ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ - Winston Churchill
Written by Tom Peto
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Author - Tom Peto
Available for magazine & website articles