Biggest Gym Mistakes
As a general guide, here’s a few simple, yet costly mistakes many of us make during our time in the gym. If you’re guilty of any of these, or know anyone who is, the quicker you rectify these mistakes the better.
Ok, a reasonably obvious mistake but it’s always a surprise to see how much people ignore the warning signs. Just a 5% level of dehydration can make a huge impact on your performance in the gym and general dehydration can have negative impacts on your bodies’ ability to grow and repair. Take a bottle with you and keep it topped up.
Working through Injury
I’m not talking about those of you who’d attempt a bench press with a broken arm; I’m talking about those niggling little injuries, muscle pulls or sprains that are ignored in favour of keeping up your 4 or 5 session a week training plan. Trust me, injuries don’t just go away and they certainly don’t heal if you continue tom lift heavy weights. Training through these things could cause you serious problems down the road so always listen to your body when its trying to tell you something. Taking rests from heavier weights every few months is recommended to give your body a rest period so use any strains or injuries to your advantage by either resting up, or mixing your training up with aerobic exercise like cycling or swimming.
Weight Over Form
Probably the most common mistake on the list as 99.9% of us have been there and done that. We’ve all seen the guys in the gym (if not in the mirror!) who add those extra few kilo’s they can’t actually lift unless they give it their best swing or have their spotter take half the weight for them after the third rep. I can’t stress the importance of good form while lifting weights to decrease chance of injury and increase the direct effect on your muscles. It’s acceptable that your final one or two reps will be far from perfect, especially if you’re training to exhaustion, but be especially careful not to bend your back or neck and squeeze the muscles you’re focusing on.
The Social Club
A fairly simple mistake to correct; don’t use your mobile phone; don’t sit around on equipment talking to friends; and don’t spend more time in the sauna than on the equipment. I know the way gyms have gone in the past ten years and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s opened the door to a wider group of people to improve fitness and increase their size and strength in a comfortable environment catering for all needs. So don’t waste time and money using the gym like an internet chat room and do what you’re there to do, train.
No defined goals
We’ve all got goals in mind when we sign up to the local gym, most probably to either lose weight, tone up or bulk up, but do we know how we’re going to achieve those goals? Even the least dedicated bodybuilder should know what he’s going to do and how he’s going to do it. By jotting down things like our goals, how we’ll achieve them and the results, we’ll learn what works best for us and will have a good grasp of what’s required achieve those goals. Without recorded goals and routines we’re simply drifting along without direction.
Ignoring muscle groups/exercises
Again, one of those mistakes most common for beginners but it’s never fails to amaze me how often experienced bodybuilders ignore key exercises and muscle groups.
In all training cycles you should cover each set of muscle groups split into: Back; Shoulders; Chest; Legs; Biceps; and Triceps. Ignoring training the legs and back muscle’s are most common yet these are key groups if you are going to take bodybuilding any where near seriously. The guys whose workout is 80% bench press and bicep curl will have extremely limited growth potential, are more susceptible to injury and well, they’ll look kind of odd.
Compound exercises such as the Bench Press, Squat, Deadlift and Chin-up are key exercises that should be incorporated into your routine at some point. These not only increase your core strength and target individual muscle groups, but they also hit a range of muscles. The biceps and triceps are worked during e.g. chin-up and bench press exercises and time working on your arms should be limited.