Are you spending hours working out every week, and not getting the results you want?
Never fear, there’s a quick fix for even the most ingrained workout no-nos. Check out these seven workout habits you should drop: Not only will ditching these help you lose the pounds, they will help you become a more efficient exerciser.
1. The elliptical
First off, the elliptical doesn’t use a natural body motion to work your body. Workouts that use natural motions like running, bending, or jumping are much more effective at toning muscles. Sure, the gliding motion of the elliptical burns calories, but that’s about it.
It is also easy to slack off on the elliptical. With the treadmill you at least have to keep up with the pace you set. On the elliptical you start off with guns blazing, and 10 minutes later you are crawling along like a turtle.
2. Working out for long periods of time at a moderate pace
Instead of working out for an hour at an easy-to-moderate intensity level, step it up a notch. Challenge yourself to 30 minutes of nonstop, intense exercise. You can take 15- to 30-second breaks, but move quickly from one workout to the next. Give it 100% for
Need ideas for shorter, high intensity workouts? Check out 15 Minutes to Change Fat to Muscle.
If this means writing down your regimen, great. Tattoo it to your arm. Whatever. Make the most of your time. Get in, get out. No one likes a gym rat.
4. Too much cardio and too little strength training
5. Hydrating with sports drinks
6. Doing the same exercises over and over again
The Stairmaster might have been challenging at one point, but pretty soon your muscles become familiar with that motion. Your body only uses half the energy to complete this task that at one point had you huffing and puffing your way to the locker room.
Mix it up. By changing your workouts daily you will trick your body into working harder and burning more calories. It will also save you from boredom. Take that new kickboxing class or try one of my workouts at MMA Academy.
7. Going it alone
However, sometimes it takes a workout buddy to hold you accountable. Working out with a partner not only makes it more likely that you’ll work out, it makes most people try harder than they would on their own. Your partner can cheer you on to finish that last half mile or to finish those last four deadlifts.
And let’s not forget the power of good old-fashioned competition. If your friend is doing 50 lunges, don’t you suddenly feel inspired to do 51?
Now that you’ve dropped those pesky habits, try a new workout: 4 fitness trends you need to know about.
This article originally appeared on Health.com.