Summer is over and you've spent quite a bit of it cutting back on the Pret cheese baguettes and upping your workout routine to three gym sessions a week.
So why have you not really seen any results? Top personal trainer and founder of Reach Fitness London, Richard Tidmash, says it's probably because you're not actually doing an effective workout.
Gym mistakes, he says, are more common than you think. "In all seriousness, when I am in and around mainstream gyms, it is very rare that I see anyone doing an effective workout" he points out, "with all the information out there this is pretty annoying, as most people are going to see limited results from the time they are putting aside."
So where exactly are you going wrong at the gym and how can you make your workout more effective?
Losing the high heels would be a good start...
1) Your HIIT training isn't hard enough
"Social media is buzzing with chat about HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) right now. So you do a few star jumps until you're out of breath, some running on the spot then hold a plank and you will be lean in time for summer, right? Wrong! For HIIT to work effectively, you should be working to your absolute maximum. It isn’t fun, it isn’t pretty and you haven’t got time to post a selfie in the middle of the workout. Instead, try working to your absolute maximum for 1 minute on a rowing machine, rest for 2 minutes and repeat this 10 times, trying to cover more distance each time. That’s HIIT. You will be a sweaty mess at the end but you'll also have a good chance of actually burning some body fat."
How to make your workout more effective? Work up a sweat
2) Your weights routine is too basic
"There is a groundswell of noise for women to lift weights to change their bodies for the better. #StongNotSkinny and all that jazz. That’s great, but I’m afraid to say that the facts have become watered down. Getting strong isn’t about picking up some 3kg dumbbells and doing sixty reps of tricep kickback - I’m not making this up, I’ve sat and counted someone doing just that! It’s about lifting heavy on compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, Bulgarian lunges and push press. Take some time to learn the moves and perform 5 sets of 6 reps per exercise. So you know, your initial goal on Deadlift should be to lift your own bodyweight. That’s right, this isn’t Body Pump!"
Want to feel the weight training benefits? Make sure you don't skimp on the moves
3) You're doing simple movements incorrectly
"The general execution of basic movements such as squats, press ups and planks that I witness in normal gyms is pretty bad - and that’s from the personal trainers let alone the members. Working out is a skill and the devil is in the detail. Correct alignment, technique and control are all key to actually getting the right muscles working. Learn how to control your spine positions, how to retract your shoulder blades and how to move your hips. This all sounds like boring stuff but doing a plank for 3 minutes with a spine like an ocean wave isn’t going to give you a stronger core, it’s going to give you disc problems."
How to make your workout more effective? Master the moves
4) You're loading up on sugar afterwards
"If you were to believe Instagram right now, all you have to do to get great nutritional results is throw some broccoli and whey protein into a blender and boom - you'll drop 2 dress sizes before your holiday to Ibiza. Well no, if this were the case everyone would be in great shape. Getting your nutrition right is difficult: I still see people eating bananas five minutes before training, drinking diet coke from gym vending machines and leaving the gym without a protein shake. Get the basics right before you start worrying about how many grams of avocado to put in your blender. Fuel your body for training by eating protein, carbohydrates and fat around 2 hour before and refuelling within 30 minutes of a workout with lean protein and carbohydrate. And yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don’t miss it and don’t let it involve a bowl of sugary cereal."
Read more: 6 InStyle-approved NutriBullet recipes that are oh-so-easy (we promise!)...
Make your workout more effective by avoiding a post-gym binge
Richard Tidmarsh is the Owner & Lead Trainer of renowned gym ‘Reach Fitness London’. He trains international athletes such as Jimi Manuwa (UFC Fighter) and famous faces such as Jessie Ware, Professor Green, Vicky Pattison and Millie Mackintosh. For all the information on how you can train with Rich & his team along with his new series of training events and seminars head to r4reach.com and follow Rich on Twitter and Instagram via @RichTidmarsh