Gym memberships simply put you in the gym, but they don’t educate you on how to get the results you want. Most people simply wander around and do stuff they have read in magazines. Without the right knowledge, you can waste a ton of time and money…and still get zero results!
So, after 14 years working in health clubs and training people, here are 6 common mistakes that I see people make. I don’t point these out to make fun of people or criticize, but merely to educate you and help you get the most out of your time in the gym. So here ya go…
6 Common Mistakes I see in the Gym
Exercises that focus on only one muscle group are great to help a lagging muscle or help rehab after an injury, but using isolated exercises as the base for your entire program is a mistake. This type of thinking stems from old school bodybuilding routines. The problem with this type of training is that is doesn’t create a synergy between different parts of your body. Your body has hundreds of muscles, that work in a variety of angles. Training should help make them work together more efficiently.
Mistake #2: Working out with machines
Most gyms are full of machines. The problem with machines is that they do not mimic how you would move in the real world and the majority of them require you to sit down. Since most machines guide you through movements and control the pattern, you are not learning to stabilize loads or how to move under pressure. Plus, most of our physical ailments these days stem from sitting too much. Why would you sit at the office all day, sit in the car, sit on the couch and then sit at the gym? It makes no sense!
Mistake #3: Doing long bouts of cardio
“Cardio” is a term that was adopted in the eighties and it has evolved with large health clubs ever since. Cardiovascular health is incredibly important, but simply doing low intensity, long bouts of “cardio” type exercises is not the best way to get in shape. I still hear people talking about getting their “cardio” in and then sitting mindlessly on an elliptical all morning. If that’s what most people think they have to do at the gym, then no wonder they don’t wanna go!
Mistake #4: Doing crunches and sit-ups to get 6-pack abs
Your abdominal wall is designed for support and rotation. Your abdominal wall is an incredible design that helps connect our limbs together and helps our body function as one unit. The old idea of doing thousands of crunches is ridiculous. Get off the floor and start doing some compound movement patterns in various planes. Use a variety of pushes, pulls, rotations while standing on your feet. Move in different directions and use a variety of different tools, like kettlebells, ropes, sandbags, dumbells, bands and more. Believe me, your abs stronger than ever!
Mistake #5: Repeating the same workout routines over and over
Major health clubs are full of people still holding onto a workout split that they used for the past 10 years. Think I’m wrong? Look at how many guys are waiting for the bench press next Monday. If you want your body to change, then you have to provide new stimulus. Try new things, use new pieces of equipment, move in different directions, increase the weights, decrease rest intervals, alter the tempo or get out the gym completely! Thats right, sometimes its good to just get outside and have some fun. Try a hill run, swim, hike, paddle board, surf, play football, etc.
Unless you are training for a long distance event or have to train this way to survive, super long workouts are counterproductive for most people. The goal when working out is to stimulate your body, not annihilate it! Too many people these days think more is better and end up overtraining. Go into your workouts with a clear plan that takes an hour or less. Some of my most intense workouts may last only 10 minutes. Are they effective? Absolutely!
So there you have it…6 mistakes that are common in almost every gym. If you are guilty of some of these mistakes, don’t worry, we are creatures of habit and tend to find a groove and stick with it. While this can be a positive attribute in other areas of life, it can be our downfall in the gym. Take some time to asses your current workouts.
How long has it been since you tried something new?
Are you making progress toward a goal?
If not, it might be time for a change!
Need some help with a new plan of attack? Give us a call!
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