Five Mistakes You Are Making At The Gym
“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.” -Brandon Mull
Everyday I go to the gym, I look around and see mistakes being made. Whether this be someone having bad form, trying to lift too much weight, people doing too much cardio, wasting time, talking, etc. Mistakes happen, and I get that. Yet in order to grow and get better, we must learn from our mistakes.
If you have been doing the same routine for the last several months and have not seen progress, something is wrong and needs to change (whether in your diet or workout routine). As the great John R. Wooden once said:
“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”
The same goes for making mistakes. Mistakes are not fatal, but the failure to learn from those mistakes might be.
Below I have outlined five mistakes people make everyday when they go to the gym. Read through the list and see where you may need to adjust:
1. Using Machines:
Walk into any gym and you will see rows and rows of machines to use. Although these may be tempting to jump on.. think twice before you do.
Machines force your body to stay in a “guided plane” and do not allow you to move naturally. The machine is what is guiding your movements and eventually this can lead to injury, muscle and joint aches, and pain.
Instead, focus on doing bodyweight exercises (push-ups, lunges, bodyweight squats, etc.) and exercises involving dumbbells and/or barbells (like these here!). Not only will these exercises strengthen your muscles more efficiently and more quickly, they will also help stabilize them as well.
2. Focusing on doing too many isolated exercises:
Although we all love the “pump” or the incredible burn when doing bicep curls; when you are trying to get fit… isolated exercises should NOT be your top priority. Although they do have a time and place, your focus should instead be on doing big, compound movements.
The problem with isolated exercises, is that they only stimulate the muscle that you are working. Compound exercises on the other hand, stimulate multiple muscles at once. Therefore, compound movements will build more muscle, burn more fat, and bring better results!
3. Doing long bouts of cardio:
We have discussed this before but it needs to be said again. You see this everyday at the gym, people coming in and doing 1-hour plus long sessions of slow cardio.
Not only is this hard on your body, joints, and heart; it is one of the least time efficient exercises out there. Long bouts of cardio only burns fat and calories while during your workout (and not many at that). Other exercises and workouts such as sprints, strength training, and interval training will burn fat during the workout AND will continue to burn fat for up to 48 hours after you are finished.
The madness of long slow cardio has got to stop unless you are walking of course (which is always encouraged). Instead, focus on the workouts I stated: sprints, strength training, intervals, high intensity circuits, AT², etc.
4. Not focusing on form:
Form should be your number one focus on each exercise that you do. Proper form at the gym will help in many areas: it will help prevent injury, it ensures that you are using the right muscles throughout each exercise, and it allows you to lift more weight.
If you do not know how to do an exercise, you should always ask a professional before doing it. Trainers are there to help and are always open to answering your questions about certain exercises.
5. Starting out too fast:
Yes, we all want to get in shape as fast a possible but don’t make the mistake of hitting the gym too hard, too fast in the beginning.
If you have not worked out in a while, pushing too hard, too fast can lead to injury, overuse, and burnout. Instead, start out slow and build up to doing more and more. This will help eliminate soreness, prevent injury, and keep you coming back to the gym.
The last thing you want is to set a goal, hit the gym hard that first day then be so sore for the next week that you have to miss all your scheduled workouts. Start slow so you can develop a consistent workout routine that you can build up more and more over time…
The five mistakes above may seem obvious but they are things you see everyday in the gym. If you are making any of the mistakes above, make the necessary changes so you can start getting the results you deserve. If you are not making these mistakes, keep it that way!
What mistakes are you making at the gym? Leave your feedback below:
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