Avoid Making the Most Common Gym Mistakes With These Gym Tips
The new year is upon us, which means plenty of resolutions being made and plenty of gyms being overcrowded during the craziest month for gyms every single year. Of course, everyone is entitled to work out, so this is actually just good news for the fitness industry in general. What seems like a temporary nuisance to some is actually a really good thing once you take a step back and evaluate things.
But, I digress. This post is not about how to deal with the crowds in the gym, but rather about how to maximize your gym time by avoiding common gym mistakes made. The following tips will help you avoid making these mistakes. If you are a novice, read carefully. If you are more experienced, you should still find value in a lot of what is said below.
Go to the Gym With a Plan
The most important part of your gym workout is to have a plan. If it works for fitness experts, it should work for everyone. Going into the gym without a plan is planning for failure. You need to know what your fitness goals are and how you are going to get there. For the gym novice, this should go as far as writing out your workout plan and sticking to it. Seeing what lies ahead holds you accountable for what needs to be done and helps you avoid the feeling of the workout never ending. Even if the end of the workout never seems to arrive, take it one step at a time and complete it. Whether your fitness goals are to lose weight, get fit, or add lean muscle mass, make sure that your plan supports that.
Gym Time is Not Social Time
These days, this point can be taken two ways. This is not social hour with your friends, nor is it social hour with your mobile devices. Do not check into social networks to post statuses, or worse yet, selfies while working out. No one cares. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no one really does. Just get to work. The weight is not going to lift itself. Getting back to the first point, having a gym plan also means to time your rest periods. Do not cheat by resting too long. You are only hurting yourself.
In case you are doing cardio work, if you can talk comfortably, you are not exerting yourself at a level high enough to get results. If you are lifting weights and can talk during your last rep, you are not going hard enough.
Whether you are using free weights, a weight machine, or a cardio machine, using bad form, or using a machine incorrectly, can lead to serious injury. Take the time to know the exercise that you are doing or the machine that you are using. If you are unsure of how to properly do an exercise, seek out the advice of a personal trainer. Just like you would not replace the roof on your home without knowing the proper way to do it, you should not work out without basic knowledge of the exercises that you are attempting to perform.
Lifting Too Much Weight
If you cannot get the weight up with proper form for the amount of reps that you are striving for, then you are lifting too much weight. If you are struggling with the bench press at a certain weight and you cannot lift the bar straight, then you are lifting too much weight. The same goes for any weight lifting exercise. Lifting too much weight will cause an injury.
Working Out Too Long
This goes along with going to the gym with a plan and gym time not being social time. I workout 5 days per week on the weights as well as doing cardio 3-4 times per week. Do you think that I am in the gym for 2 hour sessions? Heck no. I get in and out. Go in with a plan, execute that plan to perfection and get out of there to enjoy the rest of the day. Gym time should be focused time where you are done in one hour at the most. My cardio sessions may even be as short as 20 minutes.
What if I am a Hard Gainer?
While I know that there are different body types and that genetics play a huge role in how easily people can add muscle or lose fat, do not use that as a crutch. Whether you take more work to gain lean muscle mass or not, just do the work. Think of the body that you are striving for, not the body that you will settle for.