Published 10:02 am Monday, August 3, 2020

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David Crocker

Diet and Exercise


As a master personal trainer, I will from time to time be recruited by gyms and fitness establishments as a personal training consultant to get trainers, staff, and patrons on the same page with regard to proper exercise technique, and training protocol. Today I’d like to share common mistakes folks make as they embark on their quest for fitness.

  1. Wasting time in the gym.

Don’t get me wrong, rest is a crucial element when training, but my job is to know when to push the client and when to hold them back. Muscles use ATP (adenosine triphosphate) for energy. This organic compound is responsible for muscle contraction, and the regeneration of ATP occurs very quickly. However, a measure of weight training at any level is to push plenty of blood through muscles. If the rest period is too long, blood will escape muscle tissue, so it’s almost as though you’re starting that particular exercise over.

  1. Going at weight training and exercise alone.

When beginning an exercise routine, get assistance from an experienced trainer. Personal trainers will be there during the teaching and learning process. They not only guide you through your exercise routine but can be sounding boards of knowledge if you experience any training difficulties. Trainers should help you progress through different fitness levels, as well. Make sure the personal trainer you choose is knowledgeable in all fitness levels.

  1. Not performing exercises in the proper order.

There are exceptions, of course, but ideally when working out you should begin training larger muscle groups, then work your way to smaller ones. The order should go something like this…legs, back, chest, shoulders, triceps, biceps, then abdominal muscles. Abs should always be exercised last.

  1. Comparing yourself to others.

I sit down with each client to find out their particular objectives. Then I come up with a fitness solution, based of those individual goals. I have no two clients on the same program, because no two clients are the same. Some folks want to lose weight while others want to improve balance. There are clients who need stronger bones, while still others want to gain muscular strength or be more efficient at a particular sport or activity. Also, some clients have physical challenges. We are all unique with different needs and deserve our own individual exercise plan.

  1. Lifting too heavy or too light.

As a general rule, lifting lighter weight is good for building muscular endurance. Heavier weights are needed for developing strength. Proper weight training form is crucial to both. I notice some guys lifting tremendous amounts of weight but performing exercises improperly. Conversely, I often notice ladies not lifting heavy enough, because they fear if they work hard, they’ll bulk up…not true! I was once lead trainer to L.H. Fields modeling agency, and I can assure you, our world class models worked very hard in the training room. The general goal is to get the hardest workout with the least amount of weight, utilizing proper form.

  1. Not exercising abdominal muscles last.

Whether you’ve never exercised, or you’re a professional bodybuilder, there is no exercise routine in which abdominal muscles should not be trained last…period. Abdominal muscles are stabilizer muscles (which means they effect every muscle and movement), so if you work them early in your routine, you’ll be weaker during all other exercises. Always train abs last.

  1. Finally, not getting enough sleep.

Remember, muscles don’t tone and tighten while you’re working out. Oh, they may feel tight, but that’s because they are gorged with blood as part of the normal exercise process. However, the true toning and strengthening happens hours later during sleep. In fact, I require all clients on time sensitive programs (athletes, models, etc), get an extra hour of sleep every night, whether they have to go to bed earlier, or sleep later. A nap won’t do it. There needs to be a certain cycle of sleep.

No matter your fitness level, correcting these mistakes will help you be leaner, stronger and more fit.

Questions? Email David at dwcrocker77@gmail.com