We go to the gym with a certain goal in mind. Some people want to stay fit and healthy, others exercise to lose weight, and some work out in order to boost muscle mass. Regardless of your goal, the results of your workouts depend on the quality of performance you show in the gym.
We tend to believe we know everything, especially when going to the gym for a few months now. That’s not the case, though! There’s always something you can learn. For example, mistakes we repeat at the gym prevent us from reaching the full potential and experiencing desired benefits.
Here are the most common mistakes that you should stop repeating immediately.
- You Socialize Too Much
The gym is a great place to meet like-minded people and those who want to achieve same body goal as you do. Talking to those people can be some kind of support, you can trade experiences, and motivate each other. However, socializing shouldn’t be your priority when you’re exercising. Why? That’s because you don’t focus on exercises and moves you’re making.
As a result, you don’t activate different muscle groups as much as you were supposed to. Of course, this stalls the progress you were making. The solution is to socialize before or after workouts, not during the training process.
- No Workout Plan
Most of us were guilty of this one at some point or another. For example, you want to lose weight so you just go to the gym and start using a treadmill or some other machine. There’s no plan or strategy, you just wing it. Having a workout plan is beneficial in more ways than one; it allows you to do specific exercises to achieve your goal and it helps you organize your time.
Asking a personal trainer to create a workout plan for you is a very practical idea. Personal trainers are trained to create customized plans according to a person’s weight, body goals, needs, preferences, and current fitness status.
- You Don’t Warm Up
While we start our workout routine with a nice warm-up at the beginning of our journey, we skip this step later on. How many times have you thought “I go to the gym regularly, I don’t really need to warm up, my joints are used to exercise, anyway?” The warm-up is always a great idea because it activates your muscles and prevents injuries.
This is particularly important if you have arthritis; signs and symptoms of joint pain can intensify if you don’t warm up properly before starting your workouts. This can be fixed easily; strive to do a few stretches before your routine. Remember, people who suffer from arthritis may need more time to warm up, up to 10-15 minutes.
- You Do Same Exercises Over and Over
When you start going to the gym, you notice an improvement in terms of weight loss, toned muscles, and fat loss. It’s easy to consider your current workout as a winning formula that doesn’t have to be replaced.
In order to get the maximum from every gym session, you have to challenge yourself and your body. The Same routine is monotonous and muscles in your body get used to it easily. After some time, you don’t need to do much to activate them, and you don’t get results you expect. Feel free to spice things up from time to time and introduce something new into your workout regularly.
- You Focus on the Speed
When you’re at the gym, do you take your time to exercise effectively or you’re trying to finish the routine as soon as possible? For most people the answer is latter. You don’t really want to get it over with, but we tend to assume that the faster we do it, the better. Putting an emphasis on the speed prevents you from focusing on proper performance. It is more important to execute some maneuver properly than to do it as fast as possible. When doing different exercises, your primary focus should be to do everything perfectly in order to get the most out of your workout.
- Exercising Twice as Hard to Make Up for Missed Session
Busy day at work or some other factors sometimes make us miss a session. This isn’t so terrible, that’s life! The problem occurs when you decide to exercise twice as hard and prolong your session significantly in order to make up for missed training. Big mistake! You won’t get twice as many benefits just because you’re working out longer. In fact, evidence shows that excessive exercise jeopardizes cardiovascular health. Additionally, over-exercising forms bigger pressure on your joints, thus causing pain. It is important to know about arthritis joint pain if you deal with it on a daily basis.
Ideally, you should stick to 30-45 minutes and avoid spending hours in the gym. On days when you miss a gym session, try to be more active by taking stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of taking a taxi, and try to spend more time standing than sitting down.
- Too Much Rest Between Sets
While it is recommended to take a break between sets of an exercise, make sure you don’t overdo it. Why? Resting too long can cause muscles to get cold and it will be more difficult for you to complete your workout. Also, you are at a higher risk of losing your focus and starting socializing. To overcome this, you should use a timer to limit your rests and avoid taking breaks that are way too long.
- Copying Someone Else’s Workout
Do you remember that episode of Will and Grace when she didn’t want to pay for a personal trainer and chose to copy some other woman’s workout? Later, it turns out that Grace was doing exercises designed to help other women enhance her butt, although she wanted bigger breasts.
Well, copying someone else’s workout is a common occurrence and a bad habit you should ditch. Always bear in mind that someone else’s workout is customized specifically for their needs and you probably won’t achieve your body goals this way. Instead of copying, work with a professional who will create a program just for you and your needs.
Although it is not our intention, we usually make a lot of mistakes that prevent us from making a desired progress in the gym. These mistakes are usually involuntary, you don’t even realize you’re making them in the first place. This article helped you identify eight common mistakes you should avoid in order to achieve all your goals and look better faster than ever.