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5 Mistakes You Are Making In The Gym

Contrary to what many so called “experts” will tell you when it comes right down to it exercise is simple. You only need to move around to keep your body strong and healthy.

That’s pretty much it…However, it can get complicated when there are different kinds of exercises. It becomes difficult to figure out the type of exercise that will be suitable for your fitness goals, how much exercise you should be doing, and what is the safest activity that you should engage in.

And those experts I mentioned they LOVE to make things complicated. My guess is because they think it’s a way to make themselves look smarter than they actually are but I digress.

Keeping things simple and not overthinking it is what gets results. You don’t need the latest and greatest workout fad or piece of equipment. Basis are basics and have never gone away because they work… period.

That said there are various mistakes that people make in the gym that are common to both beginners and veteran gym enthusiasts.

Doing Partial Reps

A rep is a repetition of a certain exercise in your workout routine. It can be anything from a bicep curl to a sit up to a bench press or a squat

Reps are great for challenging yourself, but if you are fond of doing partial reps and a poor range of movement, they are not going to be effective. In fact they could end up leading you to getting hurt in the long run.

A partial rep is performing a certain exercise at a very limited range of motion. For instance, having a half squat instead of a properly executed deep squat or not letting your arm fully extend down on your bicep curl.

You might have done this to get through the set quicker, but if you are looking to improve your strength or build muscle, you need to do the full range of motion.

Overusing Cardio And Underusing Weights

If I had a dollar for all the people who came into the gym and just did cardio over the years I’d be a very rich man. Most gym goers overuse cardio equipment to lose weight. They think that if an hour burns x calories than 3 will burn even more. If only that were true in the long run.

The first inclination for those who want to lose some pounds is hopping in the elliptical, treadmill, or bike and sweat out calories. Of course, cardio will help you spend energy but after a while your body will adapt to all that cardio and in turn your metabolism will slow down especially as all that cardio tends to decrease muscle mass. (have you ever seen a ripped marathon runner?)

You need to lift weights so that you can reshape your body, keep/build lean muscle tissue and then get the desired results.

Additionally, most women underuse weight due to the fear of becoming masculine. Keep in mind that women have lower testosterone levels. Thus, they do not have enough testosterone to develop “manly” muscles.

Not Warming-Up

Hands down the biggest mistake people make that causes them to get injured. In fact in my experience almost 60% of the injuries I’ve seen in gyms over the years are a direct result of not warming up (Poor form makes up most of the rest)

Most people start their workouts without warming up probably because they don’t know its importance or because their training program doesn’t offer it.

Warming-up your muscles is important even when you are at the gym for cardio or strength training. The warm-up can be a ten-minute session on the cross trainer or a few sets of low-intensity warm-ups.

Using Too Much Weight/Poor Form

There is a fine line between overexerting yourself and challenging yourself. Lifting weights that are too heavy for you usually results in poor form which may lead to injury and can lead to improper movement quality.

There is a place and time for maximum training and doing so in each training session will lead to burnout and may not result in consistent progress.

Avoid comparisons when training and keep in mind that what matters is not lifting maximum weight but doing more reps. If you want to achieve long-term results and have minimum setbacks, lighten the weight and concentrate on form.

Doing The Same Range Of Exercises

If you have repeated the same program for some months, years or as I’ve seen in some cases DECADES odds are you aren’t seeing any real results. I remember one woman who came to me frustrated because she had done the same workout on the elliptical 5 days a week for almost 15 years.. Seriously 15 years.

She said I’ve done everything right so I don’t understand why I’m not getting stronger or losing weight. It broke my heart to tell her that she’d largely been wasting her time all these years and need to change things up.

If you’ve done the same workout every time you go to the gym, then you are making a mistake. It is recommended to change up your exercises every four to six weeks. It doesn’t have to be a drastic change but you need to keep progressing things. It’s not that you don’t have to train different body parts or change everything completely; you can just tweak a few things once in a while. Small changes force the body to adapt not stay stagnant

Oh and that woman.. I got her to lift weights 2x a week for 30 minutes and incorporate some intervals into her elliptical program with progression and in about 3 months she lost 20lbs almost all of it fat and felt better than she’d ever felt.

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