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  • Advice From Trainer Martin Perez

  • Advice From Trainer Martin Perez

Advice From Trainer Martin Perez
Advice From Trainer Martin PerezAdvice From Trainer Martin Perez

Advice From Trainer Martin Perez

Top 8 Mistakes to avoid in the Gym

April 5, 2017
April 5, 2017
The gym should be an athlete's second home. A well-structured strength and conditioning plan can help a polo player build strength, power, endurance and durability that will pay massive dividends once the season arrives.

Did you know that making weight room mistakes can jeopardize your efforts and even decrease your performance?

Here's a list of 8 common mistakes people make while training. Are you making any of them?

1. Skipping the Warm-Up
One of the costliest mistakes often happens as soon as you walk into the gym. If you skip your warm-up, you miss out on an opportunity to improve mobility and flexibility, and you increase your chance of injury.
A proper warm-up should:
-Raise the body's core temperature.
-Mobilize and stabilize joints such the hips, shoulders and ankles.
-Preview movement patterns you will use in your workout (e.g. Squats, Lunges, etc).

2. Performing Too Many Isolation Exercises
Nearly every sport requires fluid, full-body movements. So why would you spend time in the gym working one body part at a time?
Sure, big biceps look good on the beach, but if it's athleticism you're after, you need to skip the majority of your isolation exercises.
Instead, pick multi-joint strength movements like Squats, Deadlifts and Push-ups, along with powerful exercises like Jumps, Sprints and Throws. 

3. Never Deloading
Many athletes pride themselves on pushing to the brink of exhaustion, but always teetering on that line can halt your progress. Every once in a while, you need to take a step back to take two steps forward.
Deloading is a planned training period during which you don't work quite as hard, thus allowing your body and mind to recover so you can keep getting stronger. If you're training hard at least four days per week, you should take a week-long deload every four to eight weeks to recharge your batteries.

4. Training to Failure Too Often
Your workouts should build you up, not break you down. There's no faster way to leave yourself feeling broken down than training to failure too often.
Luckily, you don't have to train to failure at all to get bigger and stronger. As a general guideline, always leave one or two good reps in the tank at the end of each set. You'll recover faster and still make progress.

5. Wearing Improper Footwear
Did you know that what you wear on your feet can have a huge impact on how you move? Your workout footwear can greatly enhance -or reduce- the effectiveness of your exercises.
For example, wearing running shoes to Squat or Deadlift is a common mistake. The soles of running shoes are cushioned to reduce impact while jogging. But when you're lifting a heavy barbell, you want a solid heel so you can produce force into the ground. The squishy soles of a running shoe reduce stability and limit how well your legs produce force. Instead, opt for a flat-soled shoe or a heel-elevated shoe with a hard sole.

6. Sacrificing Form for Weight on the Bar
As fun as it is to throw around heavy weight, polo players need to remember that their main competition is on the field, not in the weight room.
Lifting heavy weight is one of the fastest and most effective ways to become a better athlete, but never at the expense of proper form. If you get hurt in the gym, all your efforts were for nothing.
It turns out that some of the best exercises for athletes (Squats, Deadlifts, Cleans, Snatches, etc.) are some of the riskiest, because they apply shear and compressive forces to the spine. That said, take the time to master the technique before loading these exercises with heavy weight. Train under the guidance whenever possible, and use spotters when appropriate.

7. Not Doing Enough Cardio
Doing no cardio at all is a bad idea. Even though most players need strength and power more than they need endurance, it's a costly mistake to ignore aerobic conditioning entirely.
That's because all recovery is aerobic in nature. Your oxidative energy system is responsible for regenerating ATP, the body's main energy source. Intense exercise requires lots of ATP, and if your oxidative system is poorly developed, you'll take a long time to recover between plays.

8. Not Putting Your Phone Away
A lack of focus will derail any player’s workout, and nothing does that faster than a smartphone.
When you walk through the gym doors, your only priority for the next 60 to 90 minutes is getting better. Nothing on Facebook or Instagram will help you lift more weight or get more explosive, so put the phone away.
To avoid distractions, use a notebook instead of your phone to track your workouts. If you use your phone to listen to music, arrange a playlist ahead of time so you're not fidgeting with your phone mid-workout to find a song you like.

Until then...
Stay active and fit!

Martin