We’ve all witnessed equally hilarious and completely incorrect ways of performing exercises at the gym at some point. Everyone has committed at least one mistake in the gym, which is inevitable. When you are surrounded with all of this fancy equipment, it’s tempted to just pretend you know what you are doing and hope no one is looking. However, not all our gym mistakes are based on embarrassing moments like these.
Here are the top gym blunders that we need to learn how to fix!
6 Common Gym Mistakes
1) Abusing that Cardio Machine:
This one is mostly for the ladies. The first thing everyone does when they hear the term ‘you’ve gained weight’ is to hop on that treadmill for hours, hoping to shed off that fat. Yes, cardio is a great way of burning calories, but running for hours and hours will not give you the shaped and lean look. It is much better to combine cardio exercises with weights and resistance. Weights will help you tone your body, build muscle, and boost your metabolism. In fact, having a weight-lifting regimen can be really beneficial in fat loss, because muscle requires energy to maintain itself. More muscle = more calories used up = fat loss. Win-win! For the ladies that think you will ‘get bulky’ from lifting weights, you simply can’t. You do not have enough testosterone in your body for mass muscle production.
2) Incorrect Form:
This is one of the most dangerous mistakes at the gym. Incorrect form can be the cause of injuries and poor progress at the gym. Before increasing weights, you have to learn the proper technique and form. If you are struggling to complete a set of full squats at a certain weight, then it is too high! Drop the weight down and go slow. Sometimes pushing our limits and performing sloppy sets a not the way to go!
How can I improve my form?
a) Ask a personal trainer at the gym to watch you complete a set. They will usually help you correct your form and provide tips to make life easier for you.
b) Watch tutorial videos on the specific movement, then practice in front of a mirror!
c) If one movement is too difficult, perform the modified version until it becomes too easy. Then move up to full movement. It’s all about baby steps!
3) Poor Programming:
If you are one of those gym goers that just throws together a workout on the spot every time you hit the gym, listen up! Not following a routine can hinder your progress. For example, you might end up overworking a certain muscle group that week, or vice versa. Create a weekly plan with the help of a trainer, targeting all the muscle groups on different days.
4) No Rest Days:
Working out every day of the week can be tempting (to some), but it is not healthy! You have to take at least one day of rest per week, to allow your muscles to recover and strengthen for the week ahead. If you’ve been training for a couple of months, it is important to take a week off for full recovery. If you still need to be active on the rest day, that is no problem! Go for a walk, do some stretching, or focus on breathing and yoga. Just don’t do anything strenuous.
5) Repeat Repeat Repeat:
So, you’ve got a gym program, but you’ve been using it for 6 months straight. Why are you not progressing? Our bodies get used to routine, and eventually our progress will plateau. You must change up your workout routine every 2-3 weeks, in order to challenge your body to keep getting fitter, faster and stronger.
6) Poor Nutrition Before/After the Gym:
It is essential to provide that body with a little pre-workout snack to fuel your workout, and a post-workout snack to help those muscles recover. For example, you can have a banana half an hour before your gym session. After the session is over, have a protein-rich snack, such as eggs or a shake, to help your muscles strengthen and recover.
It is inevitable that we will make mistakes in the gym. Success is not a straight line. If you are guilty of any of these common mistakes, try to figure out strategies to learn how to fix them!