Everyone knows the gym-bros that just show up in the gym to prove they can lift the heaviest weights or exert more energy than everyone else. Then there are those who are often too shy or anxious that they don’t find it easy to focus on their own form and exercise.
In both cases, and in the huge gap in between, the problem of making ridiculous mistakes in the gym is very common. Whether it’s what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, your focus and priority need to be on your training rather than any social or other external factors you think are influencing it.
Even if you don’t have a professional trainer in the gym to help you execute a flawless training routine, you should focus on improving things yourself by researching blogs like these and watching professionals do it.
In the end, it’s not for the gym or the people that you’re going in there to train. Your regimen comes on top of everything else and that means you need to make sure that you’re putting the work in without compromising on the quality or the efficiency of the workout.
To help you get started, we’ve highlighted some of the most common gym mistakes people make in their workout routines in a regular gym:
Lack of Warmups and Cooldowns
The first and unsurprisingly, the most important mistake that we’ve seen many people make is coming to the gym and instantly getting started on the barbells or dumbbells. While your motivation and spirit are commendable, they’re not well-placed, meaning you’re giving up on almost half of the benefits of your workout efforts.
For most people, warming up may be replaceable by a jog or cycling to the gym. Whereas, for others, even that is negligible. Warmups and cooldowns are both important as they not only get your blood and heart rate pumped up to handle the upcoming grind, but they also ensure that you’re not risking getting injured.
People who engage in warmups and cooldowns are likely to never experience muscle pulls, sprains and strains as compared to people who avoid or ignore them. (Provided they don’t increase the duration or the intensity of any exercise more than the limit.)
While warmups get you ready to exert more energy, cooldowns bring your body to rest in a less sudden way. When you cool down from a workout, you’re essentially avoiding drastic changes in your physiology in terms of blood flow, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. Your nervous systems that have been engaged in a flight or fight response need to be calmed down before you go out of the gym.
Flaws in Technique
Nobody’s ever held a dumbbell and instantly executed 20-30 perfect curls for the first time in their lives. In fact, most people have taken years to develop the perfect form and technique to lift weights. Although all exercises and workouts that you engage in demand ideal form, posture and technique when it comes to weight training, the stakes are high and the risks are more than just immediate injuries.
If you’re lifting at any angle other than the intended and recommended degrees, you’re risking abnormal and uneven growth of the body part involved in the exercise.
This is why, even if you have to risk seeming like a rookie/newbie/beginner, it’s always best to ask someone experienced whether what you’re doing is right.
Duration and Weight Limits
To put it simply, if you’re clinging little weights for too long or grabbing on to heavier weights too quick, you’re paving the way for problems. It’s not just about how much you can do and how much you want to do. It’s about how much you should do.
Experts say that even if you feel like you can easily lift 50 pounds, go for 40 pounds and do more reps. For beginners, starting out with the tiniest dumbbell you find isn’t a bad option. You can up the ante of a linear weight training program in a couple of weeks after you’ve tried increasing the number of reps.
Just make sure that you’re not biting more than you can chew or compromising on the number of reps because of the weights. The way to go about it is to set a number of reps you have to do, and if it starts seeming easy, increase the reps. If it still seems easy, increase the weight.
Breaks and Rest
People who think they can perform HIIT or work the same group of muscles for consecutive days are inevitably fooling themselves and will probably end up injuring themselves if not causing long-term muscular or skeletal problems.
The same goes for people who don’t take enough breaks in between sets and exercises. Most people who want to go for a machine that already has a line of people waiting will get pressured into getting more done in less time. They’ll even cut short on their breaks just to avoid standing in the line again.
This can cause severe problems while surely compromising the quality of your workout. Breathing is one of the most important elements of training and that involves taking rests and allowing your body to recover from the damage. Without recovery, you’re going to suffer pain, fewer gains, stress, strains and sprains and inevitably waste more time than you think you can save.
Lack of Organization
Lastly, you need to make sure that you’re organized in an efficient manner. You can’t just work out on a whim. Come up with a sustainable workout plan that covers your whole body for an entire week. You’ll also have to incorporate a healthy diet with essential nutrients that you can discuss with a dietician or a nutritionist. This will be designed as per your individual fitness goal. Once you have everything planned and organized, you’re ready to hit the gym and get things rolling.
Apart from the above, you need to make sure you work out in proper bodybuilding clothes or workout clothes that offer the perfect fit as well as breathability. Just make sure to remember everything above and don’t compromise on your training quality to have the best workout experience.
Ann Edwards is the fully qualified personal trainer from Elite sports. She has been helping people in the field of bodybuilding and fitness from more than a decade. Her career in nutrition and physical therapy has made her a fine addition for our team.