Ask Nicole: Is Your Gym Making You Fat?

You’re getting ready for summer but how much can your gym really do for you?

Summer is just around the corner and you’re months away from your New Year’s resolution that ended days after you made it. So now what? Will you finally make an appearance at the gym? Maybe you have been going but your waistline doesn’t show it. Could it be that your gym is making you fat?

The 5 Top Reasons Gyms Make You Fat:


  1. Going to the gym is not enough

Sure, getting up and actually getting out the door is necessary; but that action alone will not make you healthier or make you strong enough for activities of daily life with ease. Prior to getting to the gym, have a plan. You need to know exactly what you will be working on and have a course of action. If you wanted to plant a vegetable garden you would need to have a plan. Which seeds do you need? Is your soil just right? Do you have the right amount of space for roots to grow? Your body requires the same. You must know what it takes to improve upon what you have; then go do it.

2. Same routine is not only boring, it’s ineffective

Making a beeline for the same machine, at the same time, to do the same thing will not cut it. Your body has over 600 muscles. You don’t have to work them all at the same time, everyday. But, you do need to work a good percentage of them in varying ways throughout the week. My favorite is when people say they get walking in everyday. Unless there is some physical limitation, walking is a daily routine of us all (since we were 2 years old). So just think, that is one of our oldest activities and our body is used to it. Which is one reason why you gain weight when you do nothing. You must expose your body to a different stimulus so that it doesn’t adapt and get lazy.

3. Too much of the wrong thing can be counterproductive

For the sake of time or to just say you went to the gym, you go and hop on the treadmill for an hour, 3 times a week. Most of us don’t require that much cardio. In many cases with women, since they typically don’t eat enough calories and don’t have an effective strength training routine, they are literally burning away the muscle that they actually do have. Which is why they are still soft, flabby and overweight. Your routine should be broken down into 3 parts. Assuming you have an hour, you would strength train for 30 minutes, cardio for 20 minutes and spend the rest of the time warming up and stretching. It is about the quality, not the amount of time spent. If your workouts are effective, you don’t need a lot of time to get the job done. You only need consistency.

4. Maybe your mindset is set wrong

Working out is the last thing you want to be doing. You would rather take a pill. You are about to get married or you are unable to walk up stairs without resting in the middle. So you have got to view exercise as a necessity. It has to become as important to you as your daily hygiene. It needs to be an appointment on your own calendar. It needs to become like air…you cannot live without it.

5. Underestimating the workout-reward ratio

Your watch says you burned 500 calories; that is all you need to justify treating yourself to a grande latte after you’re done. Your body requires a certain amount of calories to be at its best each day. When you exercise, you are burning calories from carbs and fats. Depending on the intensity of your workouts, which will hopefully get better after reading this, your body will experience what is called the ‘afterburn effect’. Your body continues to burn calories even after your exercise. So the more intense the exercise, the more efficient those fat killers are at burning the unwanted pounds away. To that end, you don’t want this fatty reward that you think you have earned on top of the fat calories you already had. Get rid of what you need FIRST! Then work on maintaining.

The bottom line here is that the gym is just a place. A building. It has little effect on ultimately how your body will end up. The main source is YOU. You need to go into that building knowing that there is nothing in there that will get you to your goals. You must bring that with you.