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The Top 10 Gym Mistakes | Are You Guilty?

Are You Wasting Your Time by Making Gym Mistakes?


Are you guilty of making gym mistakes? Are they curbing your progress? I’m sure you’ve all seen some of these before, or maybe you’re guilty of some yourself. These are the top 10 easily avoidable gym mistakes that people make, which, in terms of progress, could be really holding the offenders back.

The Top 10 Gym Mistakes


1. Poor preparation.

Arriving at the gym for your workout, without having had anything in the way of pre-workout nutrition, is a gym mistake that you really should not be making. Make sure you take on some form of pre-workout meal, ideally containing protein and carbohydrates, at least an hour before you hit the gym. Before you set off for the gym, you should have also prepared something to take care of your intra-workout needs. Whether this is a protein shake, amino acids or just water, make sure you have something in your gym bag, ready to go.

2. Not Having a Plan.

Another gym mistake that I see happening all too often is guys arriving at the gym, without having already decided what they want to achieve in that session. This leads to time being wasted, and workouts dragging on for longer than they need to. Make a plan and stick to it. Before you get to the gym you should know exactly:

  • Which muscles you are training.
  • Which exercises you will be doing.
  • How long you intend to workout (also how long your rest periods will be).
  • How many sets you will be doing.
  • How many reps you will be aiming to do per set.

3. Dehydration.

Gym Mistakes - Dehydration

Gym Mistakes - Dehydration

The human body is made up of approximately 70% water. Water plays a role in almost everything that the body does, and without enough of it dehydration will occur. Dehydration is on this list of gym mistakes as it has some serious effects on the body, including feeling fatigued/drowsy, headaches, lack of concentration, lack of strength/energy and even stimulating catabolic hormones. None of these effects are desirable whilst in the gym, or at any other time for that matter. If your urine is yellow in colour, you are dehydrated.

4. Resting For Too Long.

The subject of rest covers two gym mistakes – too little, and too much rest between sets. Your rest period should be between 30 secs – 3 minutes long. If you rest for any less than 60 secs, it is highly likely that you will encounter cardiovascular failure before you have completely worked the muscle. On the other hand, by the 3 minute point, you will have regained all of the strength that you are going to without extended rest, and you should feeling ready for your next set. Resting for any longer than 3 minutes will cause:

  • Reduced heart rate.
  • Reduced ‘pump’ in the muscle.
  • Cooling of the muscle.
  • Reduced intensity.

5. Not Recording Workouts.

This gym mistake is a very important one to avoid, for anyone looking to make any real progress in the gym (that’ll be all of us then!). If you do not record what you achieve in the gym, how can you expect to better it on your next training session? The answer is simple – you can’t. Ensure you log every set you do, then next time you train, you can push that little bit harder. This doesn’t need to be with paper and pen, there is a very useful iPhone app just for this purpose – Gym Buddy.

6. Chatting.

There is nothing wrong with meeting people at the gym, but what really is a gym mistake, is going to the gym to workout around your chat rather than chatting around your workout. It just means that your workout will drag on for far longer than necessary. Maybe even taking you into catabolism territory.

7. Bad Form.

Gym Mistakes - Bad Form

Gym Mistakes - Concentrate on Good Form before big weights.

Remember… Form is EVERYTHING!! Good form is much more important than lifting big weights. Working a muscle through its proper range of movement without using momentum or swinging is a sure way to stimulate it to grow. Bad form is probably the most common of all gym mistakes that you will see. People believe that in order to get big, they must lift big, usually at the expense of good form. Bad form is not only not effective for building muscle, it is also highly likely to cause injury. Big lifts come in time, but only after you have nailed your form.

8. Lack of Variation.

Performing the same workout week after week is of little benefit to you. Your body will ensure that it builds enough muscle to perform what you’re asking of it, and no more. This is one of the classic gym mistakes, as what you should be doing is shocking your body on each and every workout. This way, it doesn’t know what to expect and so will be forced to grow. There are lots of ways of adding variation, some of which include:

  • Performing reps faster or slower.
  • Reducing rest period between sets.
  • Reversing the order in which you work through your exercises.
  • Using lighter weights & more reps/heavier weight & less reps.
  • Using super-sets.

9. Lack of Motivation.

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