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The Worst Mistakes to Make at the Gym

10 Workout Secrets (From Experts Who Learned the Hard Way!)

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

Nobody is perfect. And neither are our workouts. From the fitness hangover solution to what not to wear at the gym and how to avoid being "that" girl at the gym, 10 fitness pros (and me) give us their "I wish I'd known sooner" secrets for having a better, more effective and enjoyable workout. So you don't have to learn the hard way!

Brynn Jinnett, Founder of the Refine Method
I was working out in a hotel gym and a man was trying to perform some strange acrobatics that involved a kettle bell and a wobble board. A guy walked by and said "KISS, man!" Keep it simple, Stupid. Eat clean, work out hard. Rinse, repeat.

Kristin McGee, Yoga and Fitness Expert
I usually never wear makeup if I work out at the gym, especially first thing in the morning, but I had my makeup on for a meeting at one of the gyms I teach at and stayed to do the moving stairs after for a quick session. I jumped off and ran to teach my next private yoga client and realized she kept staring at me funny the whole way through. After our private, I used her restroom and noticed I had total raccoon eyes! My mascara had run all down below my eyelids and I looked horrible! I told my makeup artist friend about this and here's the tip he gave me, "To avoid make up meltdown mascara under the eye, rub a little Vaseline under your eyes when you go for a run or do a heavy workout then use a q-tip to gently glide it off and reapply some concealer and you're good to go." It totally works and I realize many women have to sneak in their workouts midday or after work and this does the trick.

Read more workout secrets from the experts after the break.

Kate Albarelli, Founder of Figure 4 at Pure Yoga
It is not true that you have to change up muscle groups every day. A truly effective workout is one that uses the body in its entirety with every muscle group every day. The muscles don't need a "recovery day." In fact, the muscles need to be reworked the next day in order to rid the lactic acid build up and keep the muscle fibers firing, thus getting stronger and not atrophying (atrophy sets in 36 hours of not using a muscle).

Keisa Parrish, Instructor at YogaWorks
Eat breakfast . . . a real one! If you don't eat breakfast all your efforts at the gym are for nothing. I had been working out frequently elliptical-ing and doing yoga, Pilates, but then I hit a plateau. I couldn't drop the last couple of pounds and talked with my mentor and she told me what I just told you. Boy did I see a difference!

Tara Stiles, Founder of Strala Yoga and personal yoga instructor to Deepak Chopra
Leave the makeup in your makeup bag. Go to the gym and do yoga with a clean face! Your pores will thank you. I used to be one of those girls who wore "just enough make up to think I looked like I didn't have makeup on" at the gym and at yoga. I did it for years, concealer, powder, light blush, and mascara, and one day, simply because I was running late, I actually washed my face, put moisturizer on, and left for yoga. And it felt great! My pores could sweat and I felt great. I could use a towel and not worry about getting makeup all over it, or my clothes. Let's make it a revolution! Most guys I know like girls looking natural, and it is a whole lot better for your body to sweat sans makeup. Plus, it is simply liberating to not wear a drop of makeup and enjoy a sweaty yoga class.

Alycia Stevenin, Barry's Bootcamp instructor and manager
Here is the best cardio advice that was given to me by my best friend years ago: If you are on a treadmill and you're able to read a magazine or talk on the phone, you are NOT working out hard enough. The key to burning fat on the treadmill is interval training, a mixture of high intensity bursts with low to moderate intensity recoveries. I was able to lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks by incorporating this style workout into my daily routine. If you put down that cell phone and crank up the speed you'll be bathing suit ready all year long.

Ruth Zukerman, Co-Founder of Flywheel
If you partied too much the night before, don't skip the indoor cycling class [or any next day workout] you reserved for the following morning. It's the best hangover cure around! One night I went out to dinner with two friends and as the evening went on it became very apparent that we were all drinking a bit too much. We vowed that we all had to show up for class the next morning. (I was teaching.) We arrived dragging our feet, forced ourselves through it and felt as if we got it out of our systems at the end of class! It was the best plan we could have had!

Sadie Lincoln, Founder of barre3
Always check underarms after wearing natural deodorant like Tom's. As much as I love it, it is like super glue. I'll never forget raising my arms during a warm up I was teaching (on camera!) and seeing black fluffy balls from my sweatshirt under my arms!

Kristi McNeil, Managing Teacher at Pure Yoga West
One thing I wish I would someone would have told me a long time ago is that a steady yoga practice makes me a stronger athlete. My yoga practice has made my core stronger than it has ever been. The awareness of breathing techniques and how to utilize them has increased my overall endurance and the mind/body connection that yoga encourages helps me to stay on track with my diet and day to day choices.

Elena Brower, Founder and Co-Owner of Virayoga
I have a promise to myself to practice 15 minutes of yoga every day, so my body stays connected to the movements, my muscles stay lean, and my brain has that time to rest. I wish I would've made this promise to myself sooner. I crafted it when I realized how hypocritical I felt trying to teach my classes having practiced a week ago, or even more. Those 15 minutes keep me strong and long, yes — but they are a way for me to feel proud of myself because I'm keeping my word."

And my piece of advice — always, always remember to pack a sports bra! There's nothing worse than lugging your workout clothes to work, being pumped for that evening boot camp class and realizing you left your sports bra at home. Leave a clean one as backup at your desk if necessary. And, if all else fails and you find yourself sports bra-less at the gym, skip the bounce-inducing classes and workout on the stair stepper instead. (Read more about sports bras in tomorrow's Fit Like Us post!)

Related Links:
The Calorie-Torching Workout Zooey Deschanel Loves
Gwyneth Paltrow's Secret To Long, Sexy Legs
Jennifer Aniston's Mind/Body Makeover Workout

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