Top 5 Biggest Mistakes in the Gym
What not to do
In my years as a trainer, coach and athlete I've seen it all. Here are my top five biggest mistakes that I see in the gym on a daily basis.
1. Focusing on "Mirror Muscles"
It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like! Just working on what you can see is a very typical mistake. You get addicted to seeing results and only focus on those areas - often you'll see people staring in the mirror while working on their pecs, shoulders, and biceps (curls for girls!) and even avoiding legs altogether, not to mention the muscle groups that you can't see or important mobility movements.
Obviously, this will cause imbalances. You'll be very likely to end up with mobility issues such as muscle groups and tendons being either too short or too long.
You need to think about how your body as a system. Every part works together and over- or underworking certain areas has consequences.
2. Just doing cardio and not using weights
First of all, you're not making use of their membership! Secondly, not doing any strength or resistance work might be working against your goals and you'll be missing out on all the super benefits of strength work.
Women are particularly prone to falling into this trap.
Check out articles related to this topic below.
3. Only doing classes
Just like number 2, if you're only doing classes you're not using your membership properly and you may be working against your goals rather than towards them.
Look at what you typically do when you go then sit down and work out what your goals are and if you are getting a proper balance of mobility, stability and balance work, cardio and resistance. If there's a gap then look to add something else to your routine.
4. Not asking for help
It can be disconcerting going into a gym if you're not sure what to do and how the machines work. This is totally normal.
All you have to do is ask for some help - there are people there whose job it is to help you.
And if they don't help you or you still feel uncomfortable then either you should look into changing gyms or train with a friend who knows the ropes and can help out.
5. Going too heavy
While I am the biggest believer in the benefits of weights (especially heavy ones), it is super important for beginner (and everyone really!) to have their form locked down before they load up on the weights. You need to have body awareness and understand the correct foundations or you will be at serious risk of getting injurred or becoming demotivated when it doesn't work out.
Working with a personal trainer can also alleviate these issues. Not only do you have your own personal expert who is responsible for teaching you the right form, building a program that fits you and your goals and helps you ladder up, but it also means that next time you're in the gym you'll feel like the pro.
See you at the gym!
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